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Trump no longer supports ban on Muslim, says his running mate

By Lalit K Jha
October 07, 2016 12:57 IST
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Donald Trump no longer wants to impose a total ban on Muslims entering the United States, his running mate Mike Pence has said, indicating a disavow of one of its most provocative policy proposals by the Republican presidential nominee.

“It is not Donald Trump’s position now,” Pence told CNN in an interview on Thursday when asked about Trump’s stated policy of banning Muslims from entering the country.

“Donald Trump has talked about putting the security of the American people first... And he’s made it clear our position is, we’re going to suspend immigration from countries compromised by terrorism,” Pence argued.

Pence said Trump has underscored on the need to suspend immigration from countries and territories that have been compromised by terrorism.

“I understand why you want to play the oldies, you want to talk about the where the campaign began or what statements were made, but the American people are focused on the policies that Donald Trump is articulating every day across this country,” 57-year-old Pence said.

Later at an election rally in Pennsylvania, Pence slammed the Obama administration for making alleged cash payment to Iranians as ransom, which has been denied by the US government.

“This administration and Hillary Clinton, with Clinton’s assent, signed an agreement that essentially puts off $150 billion to the Iranian, the radical Mullahs in Iran. And all we did was delay their nuclear ambitions.

“The worst of it to me was the very day that the Iranians released four American hostages from captivity in Tehran, we delivered $400 million in cash on a pallet as ransom,” he said.

“Let me make you a promise. When Donald Trump becomes president of the US, we won’t be paying ransom to terrorists. They will be paying the price if they detain American citizens or threaten our people,” he added.

The US, he said, can’t have four more years of Obama administration.

“We cannot have four more years apologising to our enemies and abandoning our friends. For America to be safe, for the world to be safe, America needs to be strong. And when Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, we will lead with American strength on the world stage once again,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 70-year-old reality TV star denied allegations that a town hall, held on Thursday, was not his preparation for the next debate with his Democratic rival Clinton.

“This isn’t practice, this has nothing to do with Sunday,” Trump said in an apparent response to the criticism against him.

Trump’s performance in the first debate against Clinton was widely panned. “We’re just here because we just wanted to be here. And I want to be with the American people, I want to be with the people from New Hampshire, and she (Clinton) wants to rest,” he lashed out at Clinton.

The next debate in town hall-style presidential format is scheduled to held on Sunday. 

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Lalit K Jha
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