Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump refused to criticize the fan who told him he wanted to “get rid” of Muslims, as seen in footage posted by CBS News on Tuesday.
“We could say there are no problems with the Muslims. There’s no problems. There’s no terrorism. There’s no problems. There’s no anything. They didn’t knock down the World Trade Center,” Trump told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. “To the best of my knowledge the people that knocked down the World Trade Center — you know where they’re — they didn’t fly back to Sweden.”
The remark stemmed from a back-and-forth between the two men regarding Trump’s encounter with the unidentified man during a Sept. 17 event in Rochester, New Hampshire.
“We have a problem in this country called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American,” the man said, before asking, “We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
Pelley called it a “testing moment” for Trump as a candidate.
“You let that pass,” he told Trump. “And I wonder what that tells us about you.”
Trump first said the man’s remarks were “mostly about Obama,” and then said other audience members agreed with him. He also told Pelley, “I don’t have to defend President Obama” before arguing that he is not anti-Muslim.
“I love the Muslims. I have many, many friends, people living in this building, Muslims,” the former reality show star said. “They’re phenomenal people. But like everything else you have people where there are problems.”
Watch the exchange, as posted on Tuesday, below.