On CNN, David Gregory Slams Trump's “Incredibly Dangerous” Anti-Islam Comments

Gregory: “The Lack Of What Donald Trump Really Understands About Religion And About Radical Islam” Is “Striking”

From the March 10 edition of CNN's New Day:

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DAVID GREGORY: I think there's a few things there that are really striking. First of all, the lack of what Donald Trump really understands about religion and about radical Islam that he showed in that interview. The nature of Islam itself is a religion. Now, he's not even making this argument, but religiously, of course, there are fundamentalist Muslims who do believe that the West, the infidels should be fought, that apostates should be fought, should be countered. And there are radical Islamists who want to make religious identity and religious law the centerpiece of society in the Middle East. That is what ISIS is, a return to the caliphate.

CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): He didn't qualify, by the way. He said Islam.

GREGORY: He didn't qualify.

ALISYN CAMEROTA (CO-HOST): But that's what he's touching on. What you're talking about is what he's talking about, right?

GREGORY: Right, but he's saying I don't even know. There's 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Most of them --

CUOMO: I think he is talking about all of them, by the way. He said Islam.

GREGORY: That's my point. And that he -- so he portrays such a lack of understanding, and for a potential commander in chief to frame it that way, I think is incredibly dangerous. So he's not even specifying radical Islamists, who indeed want to make religion central and do want to target the West on religious grounds. That's who he's talking about.

CUOMO: He would say that's PC talk.

GREGORY: But it not PC talk. It's actually fact-based about who Islamists are as opposed to peace-loving Muslims in this country and all around the world. And, by the way, this authoritarian streak where he talks about torturing people and ordering the military to do certain things and killing family members of terrorists, and then he said, well, no, no, no, I said we're going to go after them. That is something that really needs to be unpacked. And I credit Anderson in the interview for getting to what exactly he means and are voters going to take a chance that, well, maybe he'll kill family members of terrorists, but maybe he won't, I'm just going to go after them.

MAEVE RESTON: Well, I mean, this is so much of Donald Trump's campaign, which, you know, he leaves open this idea that he is just preying on people's fears, preying on ignorance in this country, and about religion and fear about the terrorist attacks that we've faced here. And I just think that, you know, we keep seeing in a lot of these elections the late deciders going to other candidates, to Cruz, to Rubio. And it's just, it's interviews like this that underscore the fact that he has given so little specificity or even just like a general idea of what his policies would mean. And it's just been so frustrating. And I think that there are some undecided voters, Republicans, particularly independents, who are just not going to buy that, and are going to watch that interview and say what is he talking about?


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