Donald Trump has sparked outrage after failing to condemn a call to purge the US of Muslims and claims that President Barack Obama is not an American.
The controversial Republican presidential candidate raised eyebrows when confronted with an outspoken questioner at the start of a town hall rally in New Hampshire last night.
As questions from the audience got underway, a man stood up and told the billionaire: “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.
"We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American. Birth certificate, man.”
Interjecting, Mr Trump said “we need this question. This is the first question”, before the audience member continued.
The man said: “But, anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us.
"That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
Mr Trump came under fire for his response, which failed to challenge the nature of the man’s comments about Muslims or his claim that President Obama belonged to the faith.
The presidential hopeful answered: “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things and, you know, a lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there.
“We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”
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."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
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."
Asked about the comments after the event, Mr Trump’s team said: “Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberty is at stake.”
Before adding: “Mr Trump was referring to the need to protect Christians’ religious liberties as his previous statement says and nothing more.
"To be clear, Mr Trump's response to the question regarding training camps in this country was 'we will look into it'."
But Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned Mr Trump’s response to the questioner.
She tweeted: “Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS [President of the US] and hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing and just plain wrong. Cut it out.”
Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong. Cut it out. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 18, 2015
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz branded Mr Trump a racist, according to CNN.
“GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s racism knows no bounds,” she said.
“This is certainly horrendous, but unfortunately unsurprising given what we have seen already.”
Mr Trump was asked to explain his comments on the issue after the rally by several journalists, but reportedly did not answer.
Corey Lewandowski, Mr Trump’s campaign manager, later told CNN that the candidate did not hear the claim that President Obama - a Christian born to a Kenyan father and American mother in Hawaii - was a Muslim.
“All he heard was a question about training camps, which he said we have to look into,” he said.
“The media want to make this an issue about Obama, but it’s about him waging a war on Christianity.”
Islam is the fourth-largest faith in the US after Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, with an estimated 2.7 million Muslims living in the country.
Mr Trump’s comments came days after Muslim teenager Ahmed Mohamed received an outpouring of support, from those including President Obama, following his arrest when teachers mistook his homemade clock for a bomb.
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