Donald Trump can’t seem to stay out of the headlines these days, and he has spoken out on today’s terrorist attacks in Brussels.
A series of bombings in the Belgian capital left at least 30 people dead, and Trump weighed in on what he would do as president if a similar situation unfolded in the United States.
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Trump would close U.S. borders as president
‘Well I think I’ve said it. I would close up our borders until we figure out what is going on,’ said Trump.
‘Look at Brussels, look at Paris, look at so many cities that were great cities. Paris is almost as bad. Paris is no longer the City of Lights, Paris has a lot of problems. All you have to do is speak to the people who live there where the same thing has happened and they are in fear. The city is in fear. And we have to be smart in the United States,” he continued.
Trump returned to his familiar discourse on immigrants, making it clear that he believes U.S. policy is making the situation worse. He accused the Obama administration of “taking in people without any real documentation.”
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“We don’t know where they’re from, who they are. They could be ISIS. They could be ISIS related. We just don’t learn,” he said.
Trump previously called Brussels a “hellhole” during a Fox Business interview in January. Today he said that the city is a “disaster.” In response the mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, told the New York Times: “We don’t react to Mr. Trump’s comments. Have a nice day.”
The Republican presidential candidate also made an appearance on Today, telling Matt Lauer what he would do as president in the event of a similar attack in the United States.
“Well first of all this is a subject that is very dear and near to my heart because I have certainly been talking about it much more than anybody else, it’s why I’m probably number one in the polls because I say we have to have strong borders,” said Trump.
Belgium held up as an example
He went to lampoon the Belgian capital and used it as an example of how not to run a country.
“We have to be very vigilant and careful who we let into our country. I know Brussels well and Brussels is a total mess, and I’m not talking about the attack today,” said Trump. “I’m talking about, generally speaking, it is a city that used to be one of the finest, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and now its a catastrophic and very dangerous city where the police have very little control.”
He was later pressed to provide more concrete details about what he would do as president.
“I would be very tough on borders and I would be not allowing certain people to come into this country without absolute perfect documentation,” said Trump. “We’re allowing thousands of people already to come into this country who don’t have proper documentation. We don’t know where they’re coming from.”
Trump condones torture of terror suspects
The journalists were not willing to let Trump off the hook and co-host Savannah Guthrie attempted to pin him down by asking what he would do as president. Unfortunately what came next didn’t make a lot of sense.
“I would exclude the people from Syria who do not have documentation coming in from the migration line that interestingly have cell phones,’ said Trump. “In many cases they get the cell phones and where do they get their bills? I would certainly exclude those people from coming in.”
Trump was later asked about Salah Abdeslam, the recently arrested suspect thought to be behind the Paris terror attacks. Abdeslam is currently in custody in Brussels following a successful manhunt, and Trump was asked how authorities could get information out of the prisoner.
‘Well I would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do to get the information and i would say…,” said Trump before being cut off by the hosts, who pressed him for specifics.
“Waterboarding – if it was up to me and we changed the laws – would be fine,” Trump went on. “If they could expand the laws I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people we have to be smart and we have to be tough and we cant be soft and weak which is what we are now.”
The hosts then asked Trump if he believed that torture works, and he said: “Yes I am.”