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ROCHESTER, N.H. — Usually, it's what Donald Trump says that sparks controversy. But Thursday night in New Hampshire, it's what he didn't say that is raising eyebrows.
In a sweaty gym in front of about 3,000 fans, Trump declined to correct the first questioner of the night who said President Obama was a Muslim and not a U.S. citizen.
"We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American," the man in the audience said. "We have training camps growing when they want to kill us. My question: When can we get rid of them?"
Trump, who was an early and vocal questioner of President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship, did not correct the man about Obama’s faith. Obama is a Christian.
Instead Trump told the man, "We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. And a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We are going to be looking at that and plenty of other things."
Asked by NBC News for clarification after the event, Trump’s campaign said he interpreted the man to be asking about getting rid of the alleged "training camps," not Muslims.
"Mr. Trump was referring to the need to protect Christians religious liberties as his previous statement says and nothing more," Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told NBC.
"To be clear, Mr. Trump's response to the question regarding training camps in this country was, 'We will look into it," he said.
The interaction recalled a moment from the 2008 presidential campaign, when Republican candidate Sen. John McCain strongly corrected a woman who said she could not trust Obama because "he is an Arab."
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned Trump's response.
After the New Hampshire rally, some in the Rochester crowd sought to distance themselves from the man's comments about Muslims.
"That was wrong for him to say that. That was wrong,” Jim Maroz said, adding that is "not at all" who Trump supporters are.
"It wasn’t a question that Donald Trump should have been asked or presented with," said Jayme Radwin. "He didn’t dispute it, but he didn’t confirm it either. None of the American people really know. None of us do."
Trump on Thursday also declared that he would not accept a salary if he is elected into president. "If I'm elected president, I'm accepting no salary, OK, that's not a big deal.”
And fresh off Wednesday night's GOP debate in California, Trump took aim at Republican rival Carly Fiorina, who was widely praised for her performance.
"Everyone’s saying she made a good speech yesterday. I don’t know, I don’t get it," he said, adding that her tenure as Hewlett Packard CEO was "terrible."
"In addition to what, she cut thousands of thousands of jobs and they're still cutting them and bottom line, you know what, she made a horrible purchase because the Compaq purchase was a disaster, she made a horrible purchase," the real estate tycoon said.
One audience member stood up and directed a climate change question to Trump. He balked.
"Let me ask you this, take it easy fellas. How many people, how many people here believe in global warming?" Trump asked. Only a handful of people in the crowd raised their hands.
He also touched on a topic dear to the hearts of many in New England: Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.
“Tom is this incredible guy, total champion and didn't even want to tell me about it,” Trump bragged. “He endorsed me yesterday, everybody up here knows."