Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reiterated his call to shut down mosques in the United States where, he said, “some bad things are happening.” Speaking on Fox News’s “Hannity” program on November 17, Trump said that America has “absolutely no choice.” Trump said, “Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it.” He told host Sean Hannity, “A lot of people understand it. We’re going to have no choice.”
This followed up on Trump’s statements of November 16 when he said he would “strongly consider” closing mosques if elected. This came in response to the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 where 129 innocent people were murdered and hundreds more injured. Trump told Sean Hannity that the security situation and Middle Eastern terrorism is changing “a lot faster than anybody understands.”
“There’s absolutely no choice,” Trump insisted. “Some really bad things are happening and they’re happening fast. Certainly a lot faster than our president understands because he doesn’t understand anything.” Trump also spoke to concerns over the influx of Syrian refugees. He said that he has “a feeling that a lot of bad things will happen.” Currently, thirty-one governors are refusing to accept Syrian refugees. “But yet we take everybody,” he said. “We don’t know where they come from, we don’t know what their crime record is. It could be wonderful. It could be a disaster.”
If elected, Trump said of the refugees, “they’re going out.” He added, “We can’t take a chance. You know, if you take thousands of people, and again I hear it’s going to be many more than what you’re talking about right now. But if you take thousands of people, Sean, all you need is a couple. You know, you don’t need 25, you don’t need 100,” he said. “Look at all the damage done in Paris with just a few people.”
In Tennessee, the chairman of the Republicans in the state house is calling for stern measures. Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin) vowed "We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can." Concerning the qualms expressed by President Barack Obama and certain Democrats, Casada said “I’m not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks. ... We need to gather (Syrian refugees) up and politely take them back to the ICE center and say, 'They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours.' "
Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has sent a letter to Obama formally asking him to stop sending Syrian refugees to Tennessee. Haslam joined other governors in a conference call with Obama that has not produced any recorded resolution of the impasse.
In a November 16 appearance in Knoxville, Tennessee, Trump was emphatic in identifying the source of the security problem for the United States. “Radical Islamic terrorism. Let’s talk about it. We have no choice. As to his prospective presidential policies, Trump told his listeners “We’ll make our military so strong, so powerful, so incredible, we’ll never have to use it!”