At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would consider one man's request that America "get rid of" Muslims.
The White Plains, New York, man was the first to ask a question at the event.
"We have a problem in this country," he began. "It's called Muslims. We know our current president is one."
"Right," Trump responded.
"You know he's not even American," the man continued.
"We need this question, this is the first question," Trump said with a laugh.
At Thursday's town hall, the question continued to more broadly include other Muslims in the U.S.
"We have training camps growing where they want to kill us," the man said. "That's my question: When can we get rid of them?"
"We're going to be looking at a lot of different things," Trump said. "A lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We're going to be looking at that and plenty of other things."
Later, in a statement to the Washington Post, Trump said his answers were more about defending Christians in the U.S.
Trump's answer stood in stark contrast to the reaction John McCain had as a Republican presidential candidate at a town hall in Minnesota in 2008. At that event, he admonished a woman who said Obama was "an Arab" who couldn't be trusted in the White House.
Saying "no ma'am," McCain would not let her finish and seized the microphone.
"He's a decent family man — citizen — that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign's all about."
Watch the exchange here:
The man who asked the question said he was from White Plains, New York. An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated White Plains was in New Hampshire.
Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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