Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who helped Donald Trump craft his far-right immigration platform, came cautiously to Trump’s defense today after Trump proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States. Sessions said that Trump was “treading on dangerous ground” but that it is “appropriate to begin to discuss” the issue.
“Well, he’s treading on dangerous ground,” Sessions told Stephen Bannon on Breitbart News’ SiriusXM program this morning, “because Americans are so deeply committed to freedom of religion, that is a major part of who we are.”
“But,” he added, “at the same time, we’re in an age that’s very dangerous and we’re seeing more and more persons enter and a lot of them have done terrorist acts and a lot of them believe it’s commanded by their religion … So I think it’s appropriate to begin to discuss this, and he has forced that discussion. We may even have a discussion about it in Judiciary Committee today. But, you know, it’s time for us to think this through and the classical, internal American religious principles I don’t think apply providing constitutional protections to persons not citizens who want to come here.”
“As a principle, we want to be not condemnatory of other people’s religion,” he continued. “And there are millions of wonderful, decent, good Muslims, hundreds of millions worldwide, and so we’ve got to be really careful that we don’t cross that line and I guess Mr. Trump has caused us all to think about it more concretely.”