Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he won’t be apologizing to Ben Carson for comments made recently about Carson’s religion.
“Well, I didn’t say anything bad about it. I just don’t know about it,” Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during an Oct. 25 phone interview on “This Week.”
“I would certainly give an apology if I said something bad about it, but I didn’t – all I said was ‘I don’t know about it,’” the billionaire real estate mogul added.
Trump was responding to questions about comments he made earlier in the week at a rally in Jacksonville, Florida, when he remarked on Carson being a Seventh-day Adventist.
“I’m Presbyterian,” Trump said at the rally, according to MSNBC News. “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.”
Seventh-day Adventists are Protestants who regard Saturday as the Sabbath and believe that the second coming of Christ is near. Carson is a twice-baptized member of the church, according to MSNBC.
Trump maintained throughout the questioning by Stephanopoulos, though, that he hadn’t attacked Carson’s religion, only that he said he knew nothing about it.
Stephanopoulos pointed out during the interview that “some conservatives claim that Seventh-day Adventists are not Christian.”
“Were you trying to send a dog whistle to them because Ben Carson is beating you among Evangelicals in Iowa?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“No, not at all,” Trump said. “I think nationwide I am beating Ben with the Evangelicals but no not at all. I just don’t know about that particular religion.”
“Back to my question,” Stephanopoulos said. “Why raise it?”
“Because I just said, I don’t know about it,” Trump responded. “I said nothing about it. I would never say bad. I’d never say bad about any religion."