During an interview with Don Lemon on Sept. 30 (shown below), Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump told the CNN host that he’s fine with Russia’s involvement in the Syrian crisis. He also says that some Muslims are “a problem” and that, if elected president, he would deport all of the Syrian refugees currently being taken in by the U.S.
While Trump agreed that Russia is primarily interested in propping up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, he also said he believes that their military involvement can help root out the terrorist organization ISIS.
“If Russia wants to go in and if Russia want to fight — in particular ISIS, and they do and one of the reasons they do is because they don't want ISIS coming into their country and that's going to be the next step. So that's why they're there,” Trump said. "I think they will be fighting ISIS."
The business mogul blamed President Barack Obama for allowing Russia to take charge of the escalating war in Syria.
“They don't respect our president,” Trumps says. “They really don't respect us anymore. And that's why they're doing this.”
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter disclosed on Sept. 30 that some of the targets of Russia’s airstrikes have not been ISIS but the U.S.-backed Syrian fighters who want to throw Assad out of power, according to The Hill. Trump claimed to “hear they are hitting both.”
Lemon asked Trump about the September town hall incident when one of his supporters went on an anti-Muslim rant and claimed that Obama was a closeted Muslim. After the event, Trump was criticized for not voicing his disapproval of the man's Islamophobia.
Trump would not apologize for his response to the situation (or lack thereof).
"He said Muslims are a problem, OK? That's what he said, OK? Are they a problem? You tell me," Trump said.
"I don't see the people ... that knocked down the World Trade Center going back to Sweden,” Trump added. “So he said Muslims are a problem. I think a certain segment are certainly a problem. Unless you want to be so politically correct where you want me to say, 'Oh, absolutely not.'"
Trump then criticized the Obama administrationfor allowing thousands of Syrian refugees into the U.S. America is projected to accept over 10,000 more displaced Syrians in 2016, according to CNN.
“We have no idea who they are. We have no idea where they come from,” Trump said. “And I'm just telling you right now, they may come in, through the weakness of Obama, but they're going out if I become president.
"They will not stay here. They are going back to Syria, whether it's safe zones or whatever."