Mike Pence Hints at Trump’s Muslim Ban Extending to Other Religions

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana suggested in a radio interview this week that Donald J. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims from entering the country could be broadened to include other religions, not just Muslims.

In an interview with Charlie Sykes, a Wisconsin talk radio host, Mr. Sykes specifically pressed Mr. Pence on his running mate’s Muslim ban, asking: “So there’s no longer a proposed temporary ban on Muslims? It would be anyone from those countries, including Christians? Jews?”

Mr. Pence, seeming to go beyond even the policy proposed by Mr. Trump, did not rule out barring immigrants from other religions, if they were coming from nations or territories that support terrorism.

“I think what you heard in the convention speech from Donald Trump, what we’ve talked about out on the stump, is that we would temporarily suspend from countries, or territories if you will — the caliphate of ISIS obviously expands beyond one country,” he said. “But to say that individuals that come from regions or countries that have been compromised by terrorism would, that we would suspend that immigration, I think that’s appropriate until we develop a new vetting system.”

A spokesman for Mr. Pence did not respond to emails seeking clarification.

Since initially proposing a Muslim ban in December, in response to the terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif., Mr. Trump has repeatedly tried to tweak and modify his position, often muddling just what his actual proposed policy would be.

In May, Mr. Trump seemed to back away from his original proposal, calling it “a temporary ban,” and in June he said that the ban was geographical, not religious, applying only to “areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies” — though he later clarified he was referring only to regions with ties to “Islamic terror.”

On his Scotland trip, he again spoke of the ban, seeming to take several slightly contradictory positions as he made impromptu remarks to reporters between holes on his golf course. But his campaign then, too, clarified that his ban was about terrorism, not religion.

Mr. Pence seemed to be trying to express this Trump policy — that Muslims were not specifically being singled out — in his comments to Mr. Sykes.

“That’s what Donald Trump and I are calling for now, is to have a temporary suspension of immigration from countries or territories compromised by terrorism, and I believe that’s an appropriate action given the horrendous, horrendous violence that we see,” he told the radio host.

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