President-elect Donald Trump removed a statement from his website that called for a ban on Muslim immigrants, one of the most controversial proposals of his winning presidential campaign.
But the statement, originally published on Dec. 7, 2015, was later put back online, reported CBS News.
Trump officials did not explain why the statement had been removed after the Republican businessman won the election.
The statement was published soon after a man and woman opened fire on innocent people in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on,” the statement read.
“Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” Trump is quoted as saying in the statement. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again."
The proposal was met with anger from opponents who said banning people based on their religious beliefs was not only unconstitutional, but bigoted.
“Oh, for the love of God,” said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert at George Washington University, according to The Washington Post. “This would not only violate international law, but do so by embracing open discrimination against one religion. It would make the United States a virtual pariah among nations.’’
Despite the criticism, Trump never wavered from his initial stance.
“I don’t care if it hurts me,” Trump told MSNBC in May. “I’m doing the right thing when I do this. And whether it’s Muslim or whether it’s something else, I mean, I have to do the right thing, and that’s the way I’ve been guided.”