Donald Trump denied Tuesday an Associated Press report that said the Republican presidential hopeful will be visiting Muslim-majority Jordan this month, following his anti-Muslim remarks. A U.S. official told AP that the government was arranging Trump’s trip to the Middle Eastern country at the campaign’s request.
According to AP, another U.S. official told the news agency, on the condition of anonymity, that Trump’s campaign contacted the U.S. embassy in Amman about the visit and the State Department was figuring out ways to speed up the trip by Tuesday afternoon and make security arrangements for him. The department does not provide Trump, a private citizen, the same level of aid an administrative official or Congress would get, the official told AP.
Trump refuted the AP report on Twitter.
Despite my great respect for King Abdullah II, I will not be visiting Jordan at this time. This is in response to the false @AP report.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015
The republican candidate has faced backlash for calling on "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on." The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Republicans and Democrats, all condemned Trump’s anti-Muslim remarks.
A CAIR representative said that Trump miscategorized American Muslims. “This is exactly what ISIS wants, to turn Americans against one another,” the representative said.
Republican presidential candidates criticizing Trump included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Among the Democratic candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley denounced the anti-Muslim comments.
However, Trump responded to the criticism saying “I. Don’t. Care.” “By the way, I have friends who are Muslims. They are great people. But they know we have a problem because something is going on, and we can’t put up with it, folks, we can’t put up with it,” Trump said.