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Paul Ryan's primary challenger says U.S. should debate deporting Muslims

Trump comments' impact on GOP
How Trump's latest controversial comments impact GOP 03:07

Speaker Paul Ryan's primary challenger said this week that the U.S. should debate deporting all Muslims from the country.

Paul Nehlen, who faces Ryan in Wisconsin's primary next week, made the comment in an interview with 560AM's "Morning Answer" in Chicago when he was asked if he had suggested that the U.S. deport all Muslims.

"I'm suggesting we have a discussion about it -- that's for sure. I am absolutely suggesting we figure out...," Nehlen said. "Here's what we should be doing. We should be monitoring every mosque. We should be monitoring social media. We've got about three million Muslims in the United States."

How Trump-Khan war of words unfolded 02:05

Nehlen suggested it wasn't appropriate for Democrats to put a spotlight on the Khan family because Muslims have committed terror attacks since Humayun Khan's death in 2004, citing the shootings at Fort Hood and in San Bernardino.

"Circumstances have clearly dramatically changed since Captain Khan's death," Nehlen said. "Muslim Americans have been fighting on both sides of the war. In fact, more Muslim Americans, 20, have been killed since 9/11 fighting for ISIS than have been killed fighting for America, 14."

Nehlen was then asked if he supports former Speaker Newt Gingrich's suggestion last month that the U.S. hold a religious test for Muslims and deport those who support Sharia law.

"I support that," said Nehlen, who claimed later in the interview that, "Islam is not a religion. It's a political system. It has a different set of rules."

On Thursday, Ryan told another radio station in Wisconsin that Nehlen "has been making stuff up" and hoping it will stick with voters in Wisconsin.

"He's running this sort of make-it-up-as-you-go campaign," Ryan said.

This comes as Donald Trump faces blowback from his comments about the Khan family and his plan to block Muslims from entering the U.S., which he proposed last December. He recently said he's expanding the plan to prevent immigration from any country compromised by terrorism, which could include Turkey, France and Belgium.

Earlier this week, Trump praised Nehlen and said he's "not quite there yet" as far as endorsing Ryan for reelection.

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