Try Not To Laugh: Trump Camp Quietly Reaching Out To Muslims For Support

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We’re not sure how presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump could possibly have the audacity to court Muslim voters but it’s happening.

The HIll reports that Trump’s top foreign policy adviser, Walid Phares, has quietly opened backchannels within Muslim and Middle Eastern communities in the U.S. in an attempt to win over a small but increasingly important voting bloc.

Prominent Muslim Republicans and conservative Middle Eastern activists in the U.S. are being courted by the Trump campaign. It’s almost funny considering the GOP front-runner’s ‘ban Muslims’ remark.

The Hill reports:

In a Friday phone interview with The Hill, Phares said Trump campaign officials had not directed him to engage with the groups. Rather, he described the talks as a natural extension of the relationships he’s built over decades of policy work on Middle Eastern affairs.

Phares said that he initiated contact with several individuals and groups to ask them to organize for Trump or to sell them on Trump’s positions in hopes that they’d at some point support the likely GOP nominee.

But the bulk of the discussions, Phares said, were initiated by curious Muslim Republicans or Middle Eastern conservatives seeking additional information on Trump’s views or hoping to influence his policies – particularly as they pertain to the temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

“Most of those who reached out said they want to support Mr. Trump, but they’re not clear about some of the statements he’s made,” Phares said.

“Right now the ban is just a few sentences in a foreign policy announcement and a tweet, it’s not like he’s written books or published articles or delivered lectures on this,” Phares said about Trump’s ‘ban Muslims’ rhetoric. “He’ll continue to add context and distinction to his position as he gets new information.”

Wait for it.

Phares is a Lebanon-born Christian who has been blasted by the left over allegations of past ties to Lebanese insurgent groups. Some Muslims have expressed concern about his rhetoric.

Some of those that Phares reached out to are still trying to wrap their minds around Trump’s candidacy.

“They approached me and said – ‘what should I do’?,” the source said. “I said – by all means, engage. Meet with the campaign. Speak with the campaign. Address the community’s concerns.”Trump, who has

In addition to banning an entire religion from entering America, Trump previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S.

Trump’s remarks garnered condemnation from his Republican rivals. Lindsey Graham, among others, took to his Twitter account to write, “He’s putting at risk the lives of interpreters, American supporters, diplomats, & the troops in the region by making these bigoted comments.”

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, allowable under Creative Commons license.

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