Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump doubled down on his prior statement that “Islam hates us” at the CNN GOP presidential debate in Miami, Florida Thursday.
CNN’s Jake Tapper, referring to a statement the real estate developer made the day before asked, “Do you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?”
“I mean a lot of them,” Trump said. “I mean a lot of them.”
Trump clarified his response when prodded by Tapper.
“They’re talking about radical Islamic terrorism or radical Islam, but I will tell you, there’s something going on that maybe you don’t know about, maybe a lot of other people don’t know about, but there’s tremendous hatred and I will stick with exactly what I said,” Trump said.
The Manhattan businessman first suggested that “Islam hates us” in an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“I think Islam hates us. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us,” he said to Cooper.
While Sen. Marco Rubio voiced that “radical Islam is a danger in the world,” he criticized Trump’s blanket stance during the debate.
“I know that a lot of people find appeal in the things Donald says, ’cause he says what people wish they could say,” Rubio responded. “The problem is presidents can’t just say anything they want.”
Watch the exchange, via CNN.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 11, 2016