• Politics

Trump Defends Muslim Ban During South Carolina Speech

2 minute read

Speaking just hours after he called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump spoke to an audience in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina about the new proposal, how to curb ISIS recruitment, and why he doesn’t like Chris Christie.

Trump mostly stuck verbatim to the statement announcing his new proposal to ban Muslim entry to the U.S., which he called a “common sense” solution. Explaining his rationale, Trump said, “It’s going to get worse and worse, you’re going to have more World Trade Centers. We can be politically correct and we can be stupid, but it’s going to get worse and worse.”

Trump defended the statistics mentioned in the statement. It cites a 2015 study by the Center for Security Policy, a group that advocates a more aggressive response to Islamic radicalism, that found 25% of Muslims living in the United States agreed violence against Americans was justified as part of the global jihad, and 51% polled agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah law.

The survey, which was not published with a margin of error, was completed “online” under procedures that were undisclosed had a sample of 600 self-identified Muslims, and the leader of the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney, is a controversial figure. But at the South Carolina rally, Trump called the Center a “very highly respected group of people.”

Read More: Donald Trump Calls For ‘Complete Shutdown’ Of Muslim Entry To U.S.

Trump also advanced a new suggestion for how to curb homegrown terrorism and radicalization. Talking about ISIS’s recruitment online, he said the United States should consider “closing that Internet up in some way.”

Near the end of his hour-long speech, Trump took an extended hit against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said Trump’s plan to bar Muslim entry to the country is “a ridiculous position and one that won’t even be productive.

Read More: Republican Rivals Condemn Donald Trump’s Proposed Muslim Entry Ban

Trump knocked Christie back on everything from New Jersey credit downgrades, to Christie’s politics— “I thought he was going to vote for Obama … He possibly did,” to the infamous George Washington Bridge closing— “He knew about it. He knew about it. He totally knew about it.”

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com