All the Times Trump Has Revised His Position on the Muslim Ban

| JUL 24, 2016 | 6:32 PM
Republican National Convention: Day Three

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GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump shocked the world last December when he announced that he would consider temporarily banning all practicing Muslims from the United States if elected.

Since then, however, Trump has altered his position on the controversial issue quite a few times.

The latest change came on Sunday, when he told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd:

"I don't think so. I actually don't think it's a rollback. In fact, you could say it's an expansion.

I'm looking now at territory. People were so upset when I used the word 'Muslim': 'Oh, you can't use the word 'Muslim'.“ Remember this. And I'm okay with that, because I'm talking territory instead of Muslim...”

Here are all the times that Trump has reversed or altered course on the ban since announcing it last December:

1. “It’s not about religion. This is about safety.”

In an interview with ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Michael" last December, the billionaire businessman declared that the ban was about protecting Americans' safety — and had nothing to do with the religion of those affected by it.

2. “Certainly exceptions can be made”

Trump acknowledged that “certainly exceptions can be made” when it comes to who would be affected by the ban in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon last December.

3. “We should temporarily ban Muslims”

The GOP presidential nominee further clarified his position on the ban in an interview with ABC's Jimmy Kimmel late last year, calling it a temporary fix to the United States' terrorism problem.

4. “No, it was never meant to be...”

It took a few months, but Trump finally made the first of several perceived reversals to his so-called Muslim ban, telling Fox News's Greta Van Susteren back in March that:

“No, it was never meant to be… That’s why it was temporary. Sure, I’d back off on it. I’d like to back off as soon as possible, because frankly I would like to see something happen."

5. “Terror states” only

Trump later restricted the areas in which the Muslim ban would apply, with spokeswoman Hope Hicks telling CNN's Jeremy Diamond in June that only Muslims from so-called “terror states” would be affected:

6. “I will suspend immigration from areas of the world...”

Following the deadly terrorist attack on an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Trump told supporters in a rare policy speech that he:

“...will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.”


7. “There is no religious test”

In discussing the differences between Trump and Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence's differing opinions on the Muslim ban, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus told CNN's “State of the Union” last week that the GOP nominee supports:

“...a temporary ban on immigration from countries that harbor or train terrorists until we get a better vetting system.”

8. The RNC speech

In his speech before the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Trump said that the United States:

“...must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time it's proven that vetting mechanisms have been put in place.”

As The Washington Post notes, because he did not mention Muslims by name, many thought that Trump had formally changed his position on the ban — just like Priebus, Pence, and a number of his top allies recently suggested.

With the election still months away, and Trump's tendency to frequently change this position, Americans shouldn't be surprised if even more Trump revisions are on the way.