Donald Trump doesn't challenge anti-Muslim supporter who claims President Barack Obama is Muslim and born outside America
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/18/2015
Donald Trump continues to find himself at the center of controversy for his outlandish remarks, but this time, the presidential candidate is being rebuked for his silence.
At a town hall event in Rochester, NH, on Thursday night, Trump declined to challenge a supporter who called American Muslims "a problem" and claimed President Obama is a Muslim who wasn't born in the United States.
According toThe New York Times, a man in the audience began to ask Trump the following question: "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. We know our current president is one."
Trump reportedly replied with a simple "right," which could've just been a reflex or meant rhetorically.
The man then continued, "You know he's not even an American."
Trump received heat afterwards from other presidential candidates for his apparent agreeance via lack of correction.
Trump released a statement obtained by The Times late Thursday through his representative to defend his actions.
"The media wants to make this issue about Obama," Trump said in the statement. "The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country. Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberty is at stake."
"Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong," Clinton tweeted Thursday night. "Cut it out."
One of Trump's Republican competitors, Chris Christie, commented on the issue during an appearance on the Today show with host Matt Lauer.
"I wouldn't have permitted that," Christie insisted, according to The Times.
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"I would just tell you that if somebody at one of my town hall meetings said something like that, I would correct them and say, 'Now, the president's a Christian and he was born in this country.' Those two things are self evident."
Trump previously credited himself with forcing President Obama to publicly release his birth certificate in 2011 after rumors spread he wasn't technically an American citizen.
"He's got to decide how serious a candidate he wants to be," Christie said, "and how he handles different problems like this are going to determine that in the eyes of the American people."