By Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times (TNS)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Donald Trump brushed aside concerns Sunday about a recruitment video released by an al-Qaida affiliate in Africa that showed the Republican presidential front-runner’s call to close U.S. borders to Muslims.
The video, purportedly released by the Somali militant group al-Shabaab, shows Trump at a news conference last month calling for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Using that as partial evidence, the video argues that the United States is an enemy of Islam and that Muslims should join al-Shabaab’s fight.
On Sunday, Trump said he was not bothered that the video used his image.
“They use other people too,” Trump said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “What am I going to do? I have to say what I have to say. … There’s a problem. We have to find out what is a problem. And we have to solve that problem.”
Trump called for the temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States after attacks by radical Islamists in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. Most other presidential candidates have denounced his proposal, noting that America’s Muslim allies are crucial to the fight against the militant group Islamic State.
Al-Shabaab has long aligned itself with al-Qaida, but a breakaway faction recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
Two weeks ago, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said during a Democratic candidates’ debate that Islamic State had used Trump’s criticism of Muslims in recruiting videos. Trump demanded an apology, insisting that her claim was untrue.
The fact-checking website PolitiFact sided with Trump, saying there was no evidence to support Clinton’s claim.
(c)2016 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, December 30, 2015. REUTERS/Randall Hill