Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee strongly defended Donald Trump’s controversial Muslim ban, comparing his plan to Israel’s tough immigration and border policies during an interview with Israel’s public radio on Thursday.
“Right here in Israel, Muslims don’t just get to come into Israel without some clearance,” Huckabee told radio host Eran Cicurel on Reshet Bet’s “International Hour” program when asked about Trump’s Muslim ban, a plan rebuked by many in his own Republican Party. “In fact, I am not sure that they are allowed to immigrate here at all.”
“It’s not unusual,” the former presidential candidate and Trump supporter asserted. “You don’t have open borders to Muslims here (in Israel).”
Following the deadly Orlando nightclub terrorist attack on Saturday, Trump re-upped his call for banning Muslim immigration to the United States. “Although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on,” Trump said in a speech on Monday. “We have to do it. It will be lifted, this ban, when as a nation we’re in a position to properly and perfectly screen these people coming into our country. They’re pouring in and we don’t know what we’re doing.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s comments. “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. It’s not reflective of our principles not just as a party but as a country,” Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “This is a war with radical Islam. It’s not a war with Islam. Muslims are our partners.”
Huckabee is in Israel as a guest of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. He also addressed the 16th annual Herzliya Conference on Wednesday.
Read a full transcript below:
“What he has said is that there would be a moratorium until we have a better understanding who is coming. I mean, right here in Israel, Muslims don’t just get to come into Israel without some clearance. In fact, I am not sure that they are allowed to immigrate here at all. So it’s not unusual — when everybody acts like ‘Oh what Trump has said is so amazing,’ it’s not that amazing in Israel. You don’t have open borders to Muslims here. And not many countries have open borders, not just to Muslims but, you know, they want to make sure that the people who come are thoroughly vetted. We have had San Bernardino and Boston; we have had Orlando, Fort Hood. I think Americans want to take care of Americans and it’s not that they are anti-Muslim but they are anti-radical Muslim, and they want their families to be protected.”