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Donald Trump on Terrorist Recruiting Video: ‘I Have to Say What I Have to Say’

ISIS-affiliated al Shabaab fulfilled Hillary Clinton‘s debate attack on Donald Trump when they released a recruiting video featuring The Donald this week. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, John Dickerson asked Trump to react to the news, and Trump’s response was tautological and predictable: essentially, Trump told Dickerson “I gotta be me!”:

They use other people, too, what am I going to do? I have to say what I have to say. You know what I have to say, there’s a problem. We have to find out what is the problem and solve that problem.

As much as it pains everyone but Donald and possible Melania, I have to agree with Trump here. While his Muslim-bashing is extremely unhelpful in persuading allies in that community to join us, the degree to which he convinces people to behead and burn people alive is about the last thing anyone should care about. Anyone who is going to join ISIS on that basis was never going to be a Peace Corps volunteer. What Trump’s alienation can do is keep people from joining the right side of that fight.

Elsewhere in the extensive interview, Trump simultaneously lightened up his racist attack on Ted Cruz’s faith, yet doubled down on it. A few weeks ago, Trump cast doubt on Cruz’s evangelical faith by noting that not too many evangelicals “come out of Cuba,” which Dickerson asked him to explain:

Dickerson: What do you mean when you say about Senator Cruz not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba?

Trump: It means that Cuba generally speaking is a Catholic country. And you don’t equate evangelicals with Cuba. I don’t. I think evangelicals I have — I guess I am, I’m Presbyterian, protestant, but I don’t see it as coming out of Cuba.

Dickerson: But you’re not questioning whether — as far as you know he could be more devout as you are.

Trump: Certainly it’s possible. I’m not questioning. I say it in somewhat smiling manner, But there’s a little truth to it.

Ted Cruz, it should be noted, was born in Canada, not Cuba.

 

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