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Gingrich: U.S. Should 'Test Every Person Here Who Is of a Muslim Background

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"If they believe in Sharia, they should be deported."

MANCHESTER, NH - JANUARY 04: Republican presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks during an interview at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College on January 4, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. After finishing fourth in the Iowa Caucus, Gingrich continued his campaign in New Hampshire for the upcoming primary. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Following the deadly truck attack in Nice, France, Thursday night, Newt Gingrich said the U.S. should "test every person here who is of a Muslim background" to see if they pose a threat to the country.

Speaking to Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, the former House speaker said if those background checks reveal an allegiance to Sharia law, or Islamic law, the individual "should be deported."

"Let me be as blunt and as direct as I can be: Western civilization is in a war," Gingrich said. "We should, frankly, test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization."

He did, however, make it clear he is "perfectly happy" to welcome Muslims "who have given up Sharia" into the United States. Regardless, Gingrich said the country must "be fairly relentless about defining who our enemies are."

Gingrich told Hannity he is "sick and tired" of being told the most powerful nation in the world "is helpless in the face of a group of medieval barbarians."

Many reports indicated Thursday that Gingrich was out of the running to be Donald Trump's running mate and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was the presumptive GOP nominee's vice presidential choice. However, Trump, who was going to announce his pick Friday, has postponed the reveal in the wake of the attack in France.

Additionally, Trump said Thursday night that he had not yet made his "final, final" decision.

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