After a truck drove into a crowd of people in Nice, France, killing at least 84, Newt Gingrich seemed to escalate Donald Trump’s calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, commenting on Fox News’s Hannity Thursday that the United States should "test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported."
His comments were immediately criticized in the American media, prompting Gingrich to go on Facebook Live on Friday to clarify his statements, asserting that the news media was "trying to grossly exaggerate what I was saying" and that "this isn’t about targeting a particular religion."
But although he did acknowledge that it is both "impossible" and "not appropriate under the Constitution" to deport Americans, in his attempts to clarify his earlier statement Gingrich seemed to just deepen his calls to increase surveillance on Muslim Americans.
"If you are a practicing Muslim and you believe deeply in your faith but you are also loyal to the United States and you believe in the Constitution, you should have your rights totally and completely protected within the Constitution," he said. "You should have nothing to fear. Your children should have nothing to fear."
What he meant, he clarified Friday, is that the United States has "every right and every obligation to our own citizens to screen people who want to migrate to the United States. to find out whether or not they believe, for example, to kill homosexuals … to find out whether they believe you should kill Christians and Jews. We also should find out are they willing to learn English, are they willing to assimilate, are they willing to become Americans."
You can watch Gingrich's whole Facebook Live session here: