The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman tweeted a partial quote of Donald Trump’s phone-in interview this morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that makes it seem like Donald Trump won’t rule out a database on “all Muslims,” but once again, Trump’s answer is more complicated than a partial quote.
First up, here’s what Haberman tweeted:
ABC this AM: GS: "Are you unequivocally now ruling out a database on all Muslims?"
TRUMP: "No, not at all."
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2015
Sounds bad, right?
Now here’s what Donald Trump actually said from the transcript where immediately following the “No, not at all” portion of the answer he goes on to explain that he won’t put in place a database for “all Muslims”:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You did stir up a controversy with those comments over the database. Let’s try to clear that up. Are you unequivocally now ruling out a database on all Muslims?
TRUMP: No, not at all. I want a database for the refugees that — if they come into the country. We have no idea who these people are. When the Syrian refugees are going to start pouring into this country, we don’t know if they’re ISIS, we don’t know if it’s a Trojan horse. And I definitely want a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watchlists. We want to go with databases.
And we have no choice. We have no idea who’s being sent in here. This could be the Trojan — it’s probably not, but it could be the great Trojan horse of all time, where they come in. When I look at those migration — and when I look at the migration and the lines and I see all strong, very powerful looking men, they’re men, and I see very few women, I see very few children, there’s something strange going on. And if you look at what’s happened in Europe, a lot of bad things are happening in Europe. Just ask the folks that live in Germany, George. A lot of bad things are happening. So —
Trump is imprecise — again — and Trump or his people need to clear this up, but from what we’re seeing, it looks like Haberman’s tweet doesn’t capture the spirit of what Trump was trying to get across.