As Donald Trump took to the morning show circuit on Tuesday to defend his proposal for a ban on Muslims entering the country, the Republican frontrunner was forced to provide a few more details on how such a far-reaching ban would work.
Although Trump's aides had initially said no one would be exempt from the "total" ban, Trump began listing exceptions he would make: U.S. citizens who are Muslim and traveling abroad would be allowed to reenter, along with Muslim members of the U.S. military returning from tours overseas. Muslim leaders of foreign countries would also be allowed in and exceptions would be made for athletes headed to the U.S. to compete.
During an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that lasted more than 30 minutes, co-host Willie Geist repeatedly asked Trump how such a ban would work, as religion does not appear on most major passports: Would airline representatives, customs agents or border guards ask a person's religion?
"They would say: 'Are you Muslim?'" Trump said.
"And if they said, 'yes,' they would not be allowed in the country?" Geist asked.
"That's correct," Trump said.
Trump said earlier in the interview that such details "would have to be worked out" and that he hoped the ban "wouldn't take very long," especially if it pushes Muslims to more diligently turn in their relatives, friends or neighbors who are acting suspicious.
But Trump mainly continued to stay vague on "Morning Joe" and in shorter interviews on two other networks Tuesday morning. He wouldn't provide a full list of exemptions, a timeline for how long such a ban would last or a clear defense of how banning members of the world's fastest growing religion would keep the country safer.
During an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday, Trump repeatedly avoided further questions about how he would implement the proposal or convince Congress to approve it, especially given that the idea has been denounced by numerous prominent Republicans. Instead, Trump pointed to warnings about the threat of terrorism and claims of support for his idea.
"We can take it sitting back -- you will have many more World Trade Centers," Trump said. "It will only get worse."