BALMEDIE, Scotland — Donald Trump once again muddled the points of his Muslim ban, telling reporters Saturday on the 14th hole of his Aberdeen course that it “wouldn’t bother” him if a Scottish Muslim came into the United States.
But he later revised his past remarks that the proposed prohibition would be a blanket ban and is more a question of proper vetting — with extra emphasis placed on certain countries.
“I don’t want people coming in — I don’t want people coming in from certain countries,” Trump clarified to The Daily Mail while also telling several passing golfers to play through the 18th hole. “I don’t want people coming in from the terror countries. You have terror countries! I don’t want them, unless they’re very, very strongly vetted.”
When asked which countries constitute the “terror countries,” Trump said: “They’re pretty well-decided. All you have to do is look!"
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks and National Finance Chairman Steven Mnuchin attempted to further clarify outside the course clubhouse, telling reporters after Trump’s multiple-hole round of press gaggles that the presumptive Republican nominee's position hasn’t changed since his foreign policy speech in New Hampshire two weeks earlier.
“It is about terrorism and not about religion. It is about Muslims from countries that support terrorism,” Mnuchin said.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for further clarification on if the Muslim ban still applied to all Muslims or if instead it now focused on “terror countries” and the vetting process.
In the immediate aftermath of the Orlando, Florida, terror attack at the Pulse nightclub, Trump seemed to pivot from his unequivocal all-inclusive ban to a suspension of immigration from countries with “proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies.”
He also promised as president to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats.”
Trump’s four gaggles — from the 10th, 13th, 14th and 18th holes of his course — focused heavily on Brexit, with markets still reeling from the fallout of Friday’s decision for the country to leave the European Union.
But Trump maintained that the decision “shouldn’t even affect" Americans. When pressed on the next hole by NBC News on the volatility of the markets in relation to Brexit, Trump agreed to its volatility but offered few assurances when asked how he would assuage Americans seeing their own pockets and investments impacted.
“We’re sitting on a very precarious time,” Trump said, once more pivoting back to talking about America’s rising national debt. "What’ll affect America more than Brexit is what President Obama’s done with our debt.”
The multi-gaggle day came as Trump finished up a two-day tour of his properties in Scotland. He continually pressed that he was in the country of his mother's birth to support his children’s work on the courses and that this wasn’t about the campaign, but reporters followed the candidate at each location.
On Saturday, over 30 members of the press trailed the candidate between holes in campaign-provided, Trump-staff-driven gators with three to five reporters piled on each.
“Nobody’s ever given you a backdrop like this ever before,” he told reporters on the 13th hole, lamenting that he doesn’t have time for golf anymore because he’s always working. "There’s never been a backdrop like this.”