President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign staff temporarily redirected the webpage detailing his controversial proposal to temporarily ban Muslim immigration into the United States, one of the most divisive and controversial policy ideas of his campaign, but swiftly sought to restore it after reporter inquiries Thursday.
The proposal is detailed on a page titled, “Donald J. Trump statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration.” Starting on Election Day, that page redirected to a new page where supporters could donate to the campaign. “Thank you America,” said the banner on the new page. “We showed America the silent majority is no longer silent.”
“The website was temporarily redirecting all specific press release pages to the homepage. It is currently being addressed and will be fixed shortly,” the campaign told The Post in a statement.
The website detailing the controversial ban was restored Thursday afternoon.
Trump, who has said that Muslim immigration poses a threat to the United States, in December called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
“We can be politically correct and we can be stupid, but it’s going to get worse and worse,” Trump said in December during a campaign event in Mount Pleasant, S.C., where he read the statement released earlier in the day. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem, and the dangers the threat imposes, our country cannot be the victim of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad.”
The proposal was met with massive backlash from Democrats and Republicans alike, who accused the then-candidate of scapegoating Muslims and race-baiting. Trump’s critics have accused him of using racial grievances and fears of radical jihadism to motivate his base.
“I think Islam hates us,” Trump said in March during an interview with CNN. “There’s something there that — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”
The campaign sought to back away from that language earlier this year amid intense scrutiny after it was clear he would clinch the Republican presidential nomination.
The repackaged proposal shifted from focusing on Muslims in particular and instead saying immigration should be suspended “from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism.” Many at the time saw it as an attempt to broaden his appeal beyond his base for the general election.
After shifting to a geography-based ban, Trump still made regular reference to jihadism and Muslims in speeches on the campaign trail. His campaign website still included the statement on the morning of Election Day, according to Web caches.