WASHINGTON — Donald Trump, who courted global controversy with remarks on "temporarily" banning Muslims from entering the U.S., on May 12 appeared to be slightly softening his hardline stance saying the proposal was "just a suggestion" until the issue is worked out.
"We have a serious problem, it's a temporary ban, it hasn't been called for yet, nobody's done it, this is just a suggestion until we find out what's going on," Republican presumptive presidential nominee Trump told Fox Radio.
"We have radical Islamic terrorism all over the world, you can go to Paris, you can go to San Bernardino, all over the world, if they want to deny it, they can deny it, I don't choose to deny it," he said responding to a question on newly-elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Trump said he would grant exemption to the Pakistani-origin mayor to come to the U.S. under his presidency though he was critical of Khan.
"Well I assume he denies there is Islamic terrorism. There is Islamic radical terrorism all over the world right now. It's a disaster what's going on. I assume he is denying that. I assume he is like our president that's denying it’s taking place," the real estate tycoon said to a question on an interview by Khan to CNN.
"My message to Donald Trump and his team is that your views of Islam are ignorant. It is possible to be a Muslim and live in the West. It is possible to be a Muslim and love America," Khan had told CNN.
In December, Trump had called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," which had triggered global outrage.
Meanwhile, Trump refrained from giving any hint on who his vice presidential nominee would be.
He said he would reveal the name at the Cleveland convention. But he praised two senators, Bob Corker and Jeff Sessions.
"Well Corker is a great guy. I want to keep it as a total surprise. I want to surprise even you. You have such access to me and everything I do, every once in a while I like to surprise even you. But I can tell you, Sessions and Corker are fantastic people, they love the country, they love their party and they love the country," he said.
While Sessions is helping him on immigration policies, Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on foreign policy. It is Corker who has put a hold on the use of U.S. taxpayers' money for sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan.