Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said that "Islam hates us" on Wednesday, and when pressed on the broad statement by Anderson Cooper, he commissioned Cooper to go find out, telling him "you're going to have to figure that out."
Trump appeared on Cooper's CNN program Wednesday night, and the subject of national security arose.
"Do you think Islam is at war with the West?" Cooper asked.
"I think Islam hates us," Trump said. "There's something there … there's a tremendous hatred there. There's a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us."
"In Islam itself?" Cooper asked.
"You're going to have to figure that out, OK? You'll get another Pulitzer, right?" Trump said. "But you're going to have to figure that out. But there is a tremendous hatred, and we have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful, and we can't allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States and of people that are not Muslim."
Trump called for a temporary ban late last year on Muslims entering the U.S. until the country's representatives "can figure out what's going on." The idea was universally panned:
Trump, who has previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S., made his latest controversial call in a news release. His message comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers and the day after President Barack Obama asked the country not to "turn against one another" out of fear.
Trump's comments are likely to roil the Republican presidential race, forcing many of his opponents for the nomination to engage in a debate over whether there should be a religious test to enter America.