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Donald Trump asserted Sunday that he’s open to using religious profiling to thwart future terrorist attacks.
In a telephone interview on “Face The Nation,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told host John Dickerson that in addition to his proposal to bar all Muslims from entering the US, he was open to using religious profiling to identify potential extremists.
“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” Trump said. “I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads.”
“We really have to look at profiling, we have to look at it seriously,” he added.
Trump also stood by his proposal to “respectfully check mosques,” citing the NYPD’s now shuttered Muslim surveillance program as an effective model to emulate across the US. Current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration ended the surveillance program after criticisms that it unconstitutionally targeted Muslims living in New York for surveillance.
This isn’t the first time that Trump has floated profiling as the solution for rooting out extremists.
In the wake of a terrorist shooting in San Bernardino, California, last December, Trump told Dickerson that he was open to religious profiling.
“I think there can be profiling,” Trump said in December.
“If they thought there was something wrong with that group and they saw what was happening, and they didn’t want to call the police because they didn’t want to be profiling, I think that’s pretty bad.”
Trump’s recent suggestions for increasing scrutiny of Muslims in the US have ignited a wave of criticism from officials in both parties.
In a speech earlier this week, President Barack Obama slammed Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, pointing out that several recent high-profile terrorist attacks in the US were carried out by American citizens.
“Where does this stop?” Obama asked. “They were all US citizens. Are we going to start treating all Muslim-Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance?”