How Donald Trump’s Plan to Ban Muslims Has Evolved

June 28, 2016, 12:14 PM UTC
Photograph by Michal Wachucik—AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s proposal to bar foreign Muslims from entering the country was among his most bombastic, helping him stand out in a crowded Republican primary field. Now the presumptive Republican nominee for president, the billionaire businessman appears to be reversing his stance. A timeline of Trump’s changing language on the issue:

December 2015

The real estate mogul-turned-presidential candidate shakes up the race when he announces that he wants to bar foreign Muslims from entering the country following the shooting in San Bernardino, California. “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” his campaign says in a release.

January 2016

Trump sticks with his Muslim ban. During Fox Business Network’s GOP debate, moderator Maria Bartiromo asks Trump whether he’s heard anything that’s made him want to rethink his “comments about banning Muslims from entering the country.”

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“No,” Trump responds to laughter and applause. “Look, we have to stop with political correctness. We have to get down to creating a country that’s not going to have the kind of problems that we’ve had with people flying planes into the World Trade Centers, with the — with the shootings in California, with all the problems all over the world. … We have to find out what’s going on.”

May 2016

Trump begins to stress the “temporary nature” of his ban, leading some to wonder whether he’s reconsidering. “It’s a temporary ban. It hasn’t been called for yet, nobody’s done it,” he says on Fox News Radio. “This is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

June 13, 2016

Trump delivers a speech reacting to the massacre in Orlando, Florida, in which he appears to reiterate his proposed Muslim ban. “I called for a ban after San Bernardino and was met with great scorn and anger. But now … many are saying that I was right to do so. And although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on. We have to do it,” he said. “It will be lifted, this ban, when and as a nation we’re in a position to properly and perfectly screen these people coming into our country.”

June 24-25, 2016

Trump travels to Scotland to tour a pair of golf courses. He offers contradictory responses when pressed on his position. At one point Trump tells reporters that he’d be fine with Muslims from Scotland or the U.K. coming to the U.S. Trump later takes to Twitter to offer a clarification: “We must suspend immigration from regions linked with terrorism until a proven vetting method is in place.”

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