During a Dec. 3 television interview, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walked back what appeared to have been a claim that he would target the families of terrorism suspects.
In an appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” Trump repeatedly dodged questions from host Bill O’Reilly about comments he made earlier in the day on Fox morning show “Fox & Friends,” CNN reports.
Trump told hosts during that morning interview that the U.S. was “fighting a very politically correct war.”
“And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families,” he said on the show, according to The Huffington Post. “When you get these terrorists you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. But they say they don't care about their lives. You have to take out their families.”
“So what does that mean?” O’Reilly asked Trump about the comments. “You are going to have assassins roaming around shooting the families of the terrorists?”
Trump launched into a rambling explanation about terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks having reportedly placed families on planes and sent them back “home” to Saudi Arabia.
“Would you have killed [Osama] bin Laden’s family?” O’Reilly asked, interrupting the response.
As the two talk over one another, O’Reilly asked, “What does ‘take out’ mean?”
“‘Take out’ means that you have to wipe out their homes where they came from,” Trump answered.
“Would you kill the family members of terrorists?” O’Reilly said.
“I don't want to be so bold,” Trump said. “I want to tell you they would suffer.”