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Story highlights

"I think Islam hates us," Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper, deploring the "tremendous hatred" that he said partly defined the religion

Asked if the hated was "in Islam itself," Trump would only say that was for the media to figure out

Washington CNN —  

Donald Trump said Wednesday that he thinks “Islam hates us,” drawing little distinction between the religion and radical Islamic terrorism.

“I think Islam hates us,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, deploring the “tremendous hatred” that he said partly defined the religion. He maintained the war was against radical Islam, but said, “it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.”

10:15 - Source: CNN
Donald Trump CNN interview (part 1)

READ: Donald Trump: ‘It’s over’ if I win Ohio and Florida

Asked if the hate was “in Islam itself,” Trump would only say that was for the media to figure out.

“You’re gonna have to figure that out, OK?” he told Cooper. “We have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States.”

10:59 - Source: CNN
Donald Trump CNN interview (part 2)

Trump made headlines in December when he called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Despite widespread condemnation of the remarks, Trump has stood by the proposal.

Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” Thursday, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said the real-estate magnate stood by the sentiment that many Muslims worldwide sympathize with ISIS, but said Trump should’ve used “radical Islam.”

“It is radical Islamic extremists that do participate in these types of things,” Pierson said, calling for a “broader perspective” of Muslims’ ties to terror. “We’ve allowed this propaganda to spread all through the country that this is a religion of peace.”

In speaking with Cooper, Trump added that “there can be no doctrine” when asked to outline how he would project power overseas.

Trump also tried to clarify his position on how far he would go in targeting the families of terrorists. He has said in the past that he is in favor of “expanding the laws” that govern how the U.S. can combat and deter terrorism, and Trump has called to bring back waterboarding, even vowing the U.S. “should go a lot further than waterboarding.”

00:51 - Source: CNN
Donald Trump talks about working with Democrats

READ: Trump: My Muslim friends don’t support my immigration ban

But Trump on Wednesday declined to say what specific measures he would support.

“I’ll work on it with the generals,” he told Cooper. He added, “We have to play the game at a much tougher level than we’re playing it now.”