Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMcMullin: 'Trump is not a loyal American' Sunday shows preview: Trump sits down with Fox Green groups blast Trump's reported pick of Exxon CEO for State MORE is distancing himself from the suggestion that he wants to create a database to track Muslims in the U.S.
In a tweet on Friday, he said the idea came from a reporter.
I didn't suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2015
Trump refused to rule out a database and special IDs for Muslims in an interview with Yahoo! on Thursday.
“Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy,” he said when asked if he would implement the programs.
After he was asked about the comment later that evening by an NBC News reporter, Trump said he would “certainly implement” a database to track Muslims in the U.S.
When asked whether Muslims would be legally required to sign up for the database, he said, “They have to be. They have to be.”
The GOP primary front-runner has been widely criticized for the controversial comments that come after the terrorist attack in Paris last week.
Fellow Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have refused to back the plans.
Democratic primary front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump must not pull a bait-and-switch on American workers Jewish groups divided over Hanukkah party at Trump hotel Colo. AG: Electoral College lawsuit could cause 'chaos' MORE said Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims is “shocking," while rival Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Trump sits down with Fox Democrats: Where the hell are You? Sanders on Trump pick: This is how a rigged economy works MORE called it "outrageous and bigoted."
-Updated at 4:26 p.m.