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Trump suggests racial profiling and says of Omar Mateen’s father, ‘I’d throw him out’

The Washington Post The Washington Post 18/08/2016 Aaron Blake
<span style="font-size:13px;">Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reads a document.</span> © REUTERS/Carlo Allegri Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reads a document.

In case there was any doubt that Donald Trump was going to keep charting his own, controversial course for the remainder of the 2016 campaign, he erased it in an interview airing Wednesday night.

Speaking to Fox News's Sean Hannity during an hour-long town hall that was recorded Tuesday and aired Wednesday, Trump opened the door to racial profiling in order to prevent terrorism.

Trump called for Muslims to help root out terrorism and suggested he would be in favor of profiling to stop terrorist attacks in the United States. He said Muslims bear responsibility for not proactively flagging potential terrorists.

"And frankly, the Muslims have to help us, because they see what's going on in their community," he said, according to a transcript, adding: "And if they're not going to help us, they're to blame also."

Trump proceeded to repeat his dubious claim that neighbors saw bombs in the apartment of the San Bernardino, Calif., attackers' home and then said racial profiling might be in order.

"But look, we have -- whether it's racial profiling or politically correct, we'd better get smart," he said. "We are letting tens of thousands of people into our country. We don't know what the hell we're doing."

It should be noted that this is not the first time that Trump has suggested profiling when it comes to fighting terrorism. In June he said it's something that should be on the table.

"Well, I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," Trump told CBS News. "Other countries do it. You look at Israel and you look at others -- they do it, and they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense, and we have to use our heads."

He added: "It's not the worst thing to do."

Hannity also asked Trump about Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, who was seated behind Hillary Clinton at a rally last week.

"What do we do when we find somebody that has extreme views?" Hannity asked. "Do we throw them the hell out?"

Trump said he would throw Seddique Mateen out, though it's not clear whether he meant from a rally or -- as Hannity appeared to intend -- from the United States.

"I'd throw him out," Trump said, according to a transcript. "If you look at him, I'd throw him out. You know, I looked at him. And you look, he's smiling.

"He had the red cap on. I thought it was one of my caps. I said no, no. Make America Great Again? I don't think so."

The Hannity interview was taped before it was reported that Trump was installing the head of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, as his new campaign CEO and pollster Kellyanne Conway as his new campaign manager -- moves that pushed campaign chairman Paul Manafort to the side and suggested Trump won't be moderating his tone any time soon.

It's far from the only way over the last week-plus that Trump has made clear he's not going to change his approach to the 2016 campaign. Despite a litany of polls suggesting his message is failing nationally and in many key swing states, Trump has indicated he's either going to win -- or he's going to lose running the campaign he wants to.

The campaign he wants, without question, includes the freedom to say the kinds of controversial things he did in his interview with Hannity. 

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