Donald Trump

By Brian Bennett
September 19, 2016

After days of scorching criticism, Donald Trump defended his decision to let stand a comment disparaging Muslims, and told a conference of conservative Christians Saturday evening that he would fight to protect their right to practice Christianity inside the U.S.

Trump lamented that stores don’t use the word “Christmas” in their holiday displays. “You go to a store in New York and they don’t use it any more, they don’t put it up,” Trump said, to loud applause from the crowd attending the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum in Des Moines. “And I want Christmas to be used, I want people to be able to celebrate Christmas,” he said.

“Every year it gets worse and worse, before you know it you won’t be able to go to church the way they’re doing it,” he said.

Trump also said, without backing it up, that Syrian Muslims applying for admission to the U.S. have gotten preferential treatment over Syrian Christians in recent years.

“If you’re a Muslim you can come in easy, if you’re a Christian from Syria, where they cut off your head, where they drown you, where they do things that you are talking about medieval times, you wouldn’t believe — it is almost impossible, in fact it is virtually impossible to come into the United States,” Trump said. “That’s the way we have our country now. That is what we have been reduced to.”

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