Trump has no problem advocating for vile ideas, but sometimes he needs reporters’ help to think them up. On Thursday, Trump told Yahoo News that American Muslims would have to be subject to greater surveillance, and “we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.” Yahoo asked if that meant giving Muslims special IDs or tracking them in a database, and reported, “He wouldn’t rule it out.”
This sparked the interest of other reporters. That night, in Iowa, Trump was asked whether he’d create a database to track Muslims. “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely,” Trump said. “There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases.” Would Muslims be required to register? “They have to be.” Would he register them at mosques? “Different places ... it’s all about management.”
It is obvious Trump has no idea what he’s talking about, as he uses the phrasing of his anti-Mexican immigrant tirades when defending the Muslim database he just made up. He says “we have to have a border,” and it would “stop people from coming in illegally,” even though, obviously, millions of Muslims are U.S. citizens.
Trump was later asked whether this would be any different from Nazis registering Jews. “You tell me. You tell me,” he said with his usual bravado, but it is likely that, at the core, it was a sincere request.