Donald Trump, who has a history of making hateful and xenophobic comments about immigrants in the United States, kicked off a town hall meeting on Thursday with a less than stellar response to a person’s anti-Muslim sentiments.
While talking to the audience in Rochester, New Hampshire, the Republican candidate called on a man wearing a Trump T-shirt to ask the first question at the campaign rally – however, that question turned out to be more of an outburst than an actual query.
“We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims,” the man began. “We know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American.”
Things got even darker when the man asked Trump if he had any plans to “get rid” of Muslims.
“We have training camps growing where they want to kill us,” he added. “That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”
Ignoring all the notions of decency, the real estate mogul responded to the suggestion of genocide with a laugh, and promised he’ll “look into that” if he becomes the president.
Furthermore, he didn’t even bother correcting the man for wrongly stating that Obama is a Muslim and not a citizen of the United States – which isn’t that surprising, considering Trump was a driver of the “birther” movement that claimed Obama wasn't born in the U.S.
Watch presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s response to the entire tirade in the video posted above.
Trump’s response also went viral on social media:
'Obama is a Muslim' trending is such an embarrassment. The world is seeing this, just when we started reaching out to gifted Muslim kids?— Magnificent (@Ironyisfunny8) September 18, 2015
If "Obama is a Muslim," then I probably would have voted for him the second time around too.— A Funny Girl (@NatashaMuse) September 18, 2015
Ok so Obama is a Muslim, Kennedy was a Catholic, and I get to choose my religion. I thought that was the point of being an American! Choice— Lenore Carwile (@MyLostLenore) September 18, 2015
The "Obama is a Muslim" hysteria proves the conservatives are too bigoted and primitive to accept a non-Christian president— Nick Nipclose (@NickNipclose) September 18, 2015
Even if it were true, which it isn't, that Obama is a Muslim, according to Constitution (remember that?) there is NO RELIGIOUS TEST CLAUSE.— Pyrophore (@pyrophore) September 18, 2015
Trump's handling of the question received harsh criticism from his opponents on the Democratic and Republican side as well. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley called out Trump on Twitter for his response.
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
Trump must apologize to the president and American people for continuing the lie that the president is not an American and not a Christian.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 18, 2015
Shame on you, @realDonaldTrump. “Muslim” is not a slur. You cannot scapegoat your way to the presidency. -O'M— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) September 18, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie told NBC's "Today Show" on Friday that he wouldn't have brushed off the comment.
"I would just tell you that if somebody at one of my town hall meetings said something like that, I would correct them and say, now, the president’s a Christian and he was born in this country,” he said.
Trump’s controversial answer comes at a time when the entire world, including the U.S. politicians, are rallying up to support Ahmad Mohamed – a 14-year-old boy who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to his school.