The presumptive GOP nominee defended his controversial proposal during a radio interview this week

By Andrea Park
Updated May 12, 2016 12:10 PM
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Credit: Steve Pope/Getty

Is Donald Trump taking back one of the most controversial comments of his presidential campaign? Not exactly.

In a radio interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday, Trump addressed his December comments about barring Muslims from entering the U.S.

“We have a serious problem,” he said. “It’s a temporary ban. It hasn’t been called for yet. Nobody’s done it. This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

The presumptive GOP nominee defended his proposal by blaming Muslims for the spread of global terrorism.

“We have radical Islamic terrorism all over the world. You can go to Paris, you can go to San Bernardino, all over the world,” Trump, 69, said. “If they want to deny it, they can deny it. I don’t choose to deny it.”

Shortly after the San Bernardino shootings in December, during which a radicalized Muslim couple killed 14 people, Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

He added: “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

The real estate mogul faced major backlash after his controversial statement: Politicians from both sides of the aisle criticized Trump’s anti-Muslim remarks, the U.K. considered banning him from entering the country and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest condemned Trump’s “morally reprehensible” comments, saying they “disqualified him from serving as president.”

Most recently, London’s new Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, spoke out against Trump’s dangerous anti-Muslim rhetoric, following Trump’s remarks this week that Khan might qualify as an “exception” to his proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

“Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe – it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists,” Khan said. “This isn’t just about me. It’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world.”