Donald Trump is doubling down on some of his most controversial policy proposals.
In a Sunday interview on NBC’s Meet the Press — his first since accepting the Republican nomination — Trump appeared largely unfazed by criticisms that his convention and his keynote address were "a little dark."
Instead, he spoke about expanding the scope of a proposed travel ban that would bar Muslims from entering the country. Back in 2015, he proposed "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," but now it seems he wants to take that ban even further.
"I'm looking now at territories," he explained. "People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can't use the word Muslim. Remember this. And I'm okay with that, because I'm talking territory instead of Muslim."
Trump said he would specifically target countries "compromised by terrorism." Though he didn’t explain the system that his administration would use to classify which countries would be subject to such a ban, he hinted that nations like France and Germany might fit the bill.
"It's their own fault," he said, presumably referring to the French government, "because they've allowed people over years to come into their territory."
In addition to reiterating his support for tighter immigration control, Trump also stood by his past criticisms of intergovernmental agreements and treaties.
Last week, in an interview with the New York Times, Trump shocked the international community by insinuating that under his leadership, the United States might not honor the terms of NATO’s military alliance in the event of Russian aggression. Talking to Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on Sunday, he dug into that position:
All I'm saying is they have to pay. Now, a country gets invaded, they haven't paid, everyone says, "Oh, but we have a treaty." Well, they have a treaty too. They're supposed to be paying. We have countries within NATO that are taking advantage of us. With me, I believe they're going to pay. And when they pay, I'm a big believer in NATO.
But if they don't pay, we don't have — you know, Chuck, this isn't 40 years ago. This isn't 50 years ago. It's not 30 years ago. We're a different country today. We're much weaker, our military is depleted, we owe tremendous amounts of money. We have to be reimbursed. We can no longer be the stupid country.
But under a Trump presidency, NATO wouldn’t be the only international agreement possibly on the chopping block. Over the course of the interview, Trump also questioned the US’s involvement in the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, calling both "disasters." In particular, he spent quite a bit of time railing against the WTO, arguing that if the organization objected to some of his protectionist trade policies, the United States would have to consider "pulling out."
Trump’s Meet the Press comments have garnered him strong rebukes from both economists and policymakers.