Donald Trump definitively stated on Sunday that he would rule out putting American Muslims into internment camps. During Trump’s call-in interview on ABC’s This Week, host Jonathan Karl asked the GOP front-runner explicitly about the issue:
KARL: So let me ask you, you said that Islam is at war with us. A lot of people wonder, given some of your proposals, whether or not you would go the next step towards internment camps. And I know you’ve never proposed that. But let me just ask you here now, would you categorically rule out the idea of internment camps for American Muslims? Is that something —
TRUMP: — rule it out but we would have to be very vigilant. We’re going to have to be very smart. We’re going to have to be very rigid and very vigilant. And if we’re not very, very strong and very, very smart, we have a big, big problem coming up. We’ve already had the problem. Check out the World Trade Center, OK, check out the Pentagon. We’ve already had the problem. But I would — I would say you have to be extremely strong. You have to keep your eyes open.
And by the way, Muslims in our country have to report bad acts, OK?
Last fall in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Donald Trump seemed to suggest that he would consider registering American Muslims into some kind of database so they could be monitored properly, and the comment inevitably, and understandably, conjured comparisons to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews. A few weeks later, after the ISIS-inspired attack in San Bernardino, Trump called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims being allowed into the U.S., and then compared that idea, favorably, to President Franklin Roosevelt’s decision to authorize the internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Then he indicated that, while he hated the concept of internment camps, he wasn’t sure whether or not he would have supported the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, only to later eventually clarify that he was indeed opposed to it.