Donald Trump has called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States - before responding to a wave of critcism by telling a cheering crowd: “I. Don’t. Care.”
The candidate for the Republican presidential ticket released a statement calling for a "complete shutdown" of Muslim immigration to the US.
Speaking in the wake of the deadly California shootings in which 14 people were killed, the 69-year-old – long written off by political pundits but maintaining a bastion of support across America – said the ban should remain in place until authorities "can figure out" Muslim attitudes to the US.
Following a swathe of criticism, he re-read the controversial campaign statement on board Second World War carrier USS Yorktown, telling the crowd: “We need a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States while we figure out what the hell is going on.”
His statement went on to claim “there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”
But on stage, Trump built on these remarks.
“They think they are going to change our religion," he said.
"I don’t think so. I don’t think so – not going to happen.”
He claimed that while he knew he was not being “politically correct”, he was leading the “noisy majority”.
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
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4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
“We used to call it the quiet majority, but people are fed up – they are fed up with incompetence, they are fed up with stupid leaders, they are fed up with stupid people," he said.
It would appear many of his supporters agree. Six out of eight supporters who spoke to CNN at the South Carolina rally last night concurred with Trump’s assessment.
Many commentators have noted the timing of his remarks coincides with the release of a Monmouth poll, placing rival Texan senator Ted Cruz ahead of Trump by five per cent.Reuse content