Donald Trump has moved away from his earlier stance on a proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus claimed on Sunday, 17 July. Trump confirmed this during an interview with 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday.
Priebus told reporters that the presumptive GOP nominee's ban does not include a religious test but is instead geographic and focused on regions with concentrated terrorist training sites.
"If you have seen the last few weeks, his position that he's put on the table in his position papers that are on his website and what he's been talking about is a temporary ban of immigration from countries that harbor and train terrorists," Priebus told CNN. "That's Donald Trump's position. There is no religious test on the table."
He continued: "It is simply limited to countries that are harboring and training terrorists. And that's really where 75% of the American people are at. He has pivoted to this position."
According to The Washington Post, Trump's chief strategist Paul Manafort clarified that the geographic ban was not a new position but rather "a deeper articulation of his position."
"Donald Trump's position on immigration is that the world is a mess, terrorism is rampant internationally, people want to come here and destabilise our country," Manfort said on CBS. "He said, 'In terrorist areas, geographic areas ... filled with rebellion, we have to put a temporary suspension until we figure out what is going on."
However, Trump has not rejected the possibility of a religious test on Muslims, the Washington Post reported. Trump began discussing the ban geographically last month, noting it would focus on nations with ongoing terrorist threats. Trump's campaign, though, has not specified what those countries are and whether Muslims would be the only group subjected to immigration restrictions.
In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Trump called for "extreme vetting" of people from "territories" with a history of terror. "Change territories, but there are territories and terror states and terror nations that we're not going to allow the people to come into our country," he said, according to NBC News.
"We're going to have a thing called 'extreme vetting.' And if people want to come in, there's going to be extreme vetting. We're going to have extreme vetting. They're going to come in and we're going to know where they came from and who they are," Trump continued. The presumptive GOP nominee did not clarify what the extreme vetting would entail or what countries or territories were considered terror states.
"Terror nations," Trump told NBC News shortly after his trip to Scotland in June. "Look it up. They have a list of terror nations."
During an earlier interview on Fox News Sunday, Manafort added that Trump and his new running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, saw eye to eye on the geographic ban despite past comments by Pence that a unilateral Muslim ban was "offensive and unconstitutional".
"Look, first of all, this team is not going to see eye to eye on everything. But in the issues you're raising, they're not disagreeing on fundamental things," he said. "They're actually agreeing. They both agree: There needs to be a ban in terrorist countries."