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Rachel Maddow Grills Kellyanne Conway on Trump’s Position on Muslim Immigration


"Is that now no longer operable as the statement of the Trump campaign?”

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow grilled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, Wednesday evening over the candidate’s conflicting statements regarding his proposed ban on Muslim immigration.

Citing remarks on Muslim immigration made by Trump in December, Maddow asked Conway, "Is it still the policy of the Trump campaign and of Mr. Trump that there should be a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on?”

Conway replied that Trump wants “to ban people from entry here from countries that are known exporters of terrorism, which we can't sufficiently vet.”

“So that is not every everybody, that's not every continent,” Conway said.

Maddow continued to press. “But does that statement rescind the earlier statement?” she asked.. “Does that mean that — I mean, it was very clear what he said in December, and he put it in writing, right? A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. It was very clear. Is that now no longer operable as the statement of the Trump campaign?”

Conway replied, “Well, I don't think it supplants it at all,” adding, “You look at his speech from last Monday, and I think you find your answer, where he says, look, we are going to stop allowing countries that export terrorists, that we can't get a good vetting system with them.”

The host argued that terrorists have come to the United States from countries that aren’t Muslim-majority nations, such as several 9/11 hijackers “who had most recently lived and operated their cell in Germany.”

“So is Germany a country from which we will not allow immigration anymore?” Maddow asked.

Conway answered, “No, not wholesale. Because there are so many other ways that we could have at least captured, or I should say, known that those — that particular al Qaeda cell was here nefariously.”

Maddow continued to press Conway on Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

“You are saying that's no longer operable,” Maddow said.

Connway responded, “I'm saying that you should see what he said last Monday, where he is saying suspend it from regions or countries that are known exporters of terrorism.”

Maddow said of Trump's proposed ban, “If that's no longer the case, that would be a really big deal. But it can't be that we're not supposed to hold him accountable for that statement anymore, but he hasn't rescinded it.”

“You're in a position of trying to defend what he said last week, and not refer to what he said in December, but only one of them can be true,” Maddow continued.

Conway attempted to change the subject to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, saying, “Well, Rachel, I have memorized the list of 22 flip-flops that Hillary Clinton has made on policy, and they have nothing to do even with the corrupt Clinton Foundation State Department pay-to-play connection, they have to do with policy.”

At the beginning of the interview, Maddow jokingly asked Conway “if it is a hard decision to do a show like this with liberal commie pinko like me.”

Conway replied, “I've never described you that way. No, it's a real pleasure"

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