Watch CBS News

Donald Trump: "I want surveillance of certain mosques"

Speaking at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for increased scrutiny over mosques, along with a database tracking Syrian refugees that enter the country
Donald Trump wants "surveillance of certain mosques," database of refugees 01:28

Republican front-runner Donald Trump promises that under his administration, he would keep a close eye on "certain mosques" as well as any Syrian refugees that entered the United States.

"I want surveillance of certain mosques, OK?" Trump said at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday. "I want surveillance. And you know what? We've had it before, and we'll have it again."

The New York real estate mogul pointed to his experiences after Sept. 11, 2001, as a reason for added scrutiny over the Islamic houses of worship.

How the 2016 candidates would deal with Syrian refugees 01:37

"I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down," Trump said. "And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering. So something's going on. We've gotta find out what it is."

Responding to the terror attacks in Paris, the GOP contender for the White House also rallied around the Republican-backed call to ramp up security screening for Syrian refugees fleeing to U.S. soil.

"I will absolutely take database on the people coming in from Syria if we can't stop it," Trump told a cheering crowd. He promised, however, that "we're going to" block Syrian refugees from arriving in the first place.

"And if I win -- I've made it known -- they're going back," he added. "We can't have them."

Trump further clarified reports that he supported a nationwide database of Muslims, claiming that his comments on the issue had been misconstrued.

Coming off a tirade bashing journalists as "terrible people," the billionaire said that when he was asked by an NBC reporter -- "some little wise guy," according to Trump -- about backing a database on Muslims, he had been distracted by "music playing in the background" and signing autographs.

"The database -- I said, yeah, it's all right. Fine," Trump said. "But they also said the wall, and I said the wall, and I was referring to the wall. But database is OK. And watch list is OK. And surveillance is OK."

Of Syrian refugees, he added, "I want to surveil. I want surveillance of these people that are coming in. The Trojan horse. I want know who the hell they are."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.