Donald Trump's shifting positions on Muslim ban

Story highlights

  • A Trump spokesman said Saturday that the billionaire supports barring only Muslims from "terror states," not all Muslims
  • Here's a look at what Trump and his campaign have said about the ban

Balmedie, Scotland (CNN)Donald Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States has been a central issue of his campaign -- but he has described the ban differently in the weeks since the mass shooting in Orlando.

His spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, told CNN Saturday that Trump supports barring only Muslims from "terror states," not all Muslims.
Trump even indicated that the ban is not ironclad, telling CNN in a brief interview on Saturday he would consider allowing Muslims from states with heavy terrorist activity to enter the U.S., as long as they are "vetted strongly."
    Here's a look at what Trump and his campaign have said about the ban:

    Trump calls for a ban on Muslim entry -- December 7, 2015

    Days after two Islamist shooters killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, Trump announced the controversial policy, calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
    His proposal was fiercely criticized from all corners of the political spectrum, but Trump did not deviate from his policy.
    Instead, he continued to double down in subsequent months and weeks at rallies and in interviews, even telling CNN's Anderson Cooper in March that he believed "Islam hates us."

    Focus on terror after the Orlando attack -- June 13

    Trump quickly pivoted to national security after a lone gunman killed 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
    Delivering a speech the next day in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump again talked about banning people from the U.S. -- but this time didn't specifically mention banning Muslims.
    "I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats," Trump said.
    He did not say whether he intended to ban individuals from those countries in addition to banning all foreign Muslims, or whether the policy was a replacement for his blanket Muslim ban.
    And his campaign did not respond to multiple requests asking for clarification on whether Trump still supported banning all foreign Muslims from the U.S.
    Still, Trump did not distance himself from his focus on Muslims in the wake of the Orlando, doubling down on his proposal to launch surveillance operations against U.S. mosques during a rally in Atlanta last week.

    'It wouldn't bother me' -- June 25

    On Saturday, gaggling with reporters as he toured his golf club here, Trump suggested in an offhand comment that his ban wouldn't apply to Muslims from countries not typically associated with terrorism.
    "It wouldn't bother me, it wouldn't bother me," Trump said when asked whether he would allow a Scottish Muslim into the U.S. under his policy.
    His campaign spokeswoman, Hicks, then told CNN that Trump does not support banning all foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. but instead would ban Muslims from "terror states" -- though he did not specify which states he believed supported terror.
    Trump's national finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin, who accompanied Trump on his Scotland trip, also suggested Trump's policy had changed.
    "It is about terrorism and not about religion. It is about Muslims from countries that support terrorism," Mnuchin told reporters on Saturday.

    Interviews with CNN, the Daily Mail and Bloomberg -- June 25

    Trump also indicated on Saturday that his ban is not ironclad and declined to answer directly in an interview with CNN whether his ban would extend to all foreign Muslims.
    Instead, Trump emphasized that Muslims from states with heavy terrorist activity would be "very strongly" vetted and suggested that the U.S. would more closely scrutinize all individuals seeking to enter the country.
    He also told the Daily Mail that individuals from "terror countries" would be "even more severely vetted" but could ultimately be allowed entry into the country.
    "People coming from the terror states -- and you know who I'm talking about when I talk about the terror states -- we are going to be so vigilant you wouldn't believe it and frankly a lot will be banned," Trump told CNN after touring his golf course here.
    Trump also focused on the need to ban individuals from "terrorist countries" in an interview later Saturday with Bloomberg Politics.
    "I want terrorists out. I want people that have bad thoughts out. I would limit specific terrorist countries and we know who those terrorist countries are," Trump said, again not specifying which countries would be included.