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Trump’s Muslim friends don’t support his immigration ban proposal

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New York: Republican front-runner Donald Trump has said that while his Muslim friends do not support his proposal to ban Muslim immigration to the United States, they are glad the former has broached the issue of Islamic fundamentalism.

Trump made these remarks during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper which was aired on Sunday.

“I have many friends that are Muslims, and I will tell you, they are so happy that I did this because they know they have a problem,” Trump said.

When asked if they (Trump’s Muslim friends) support a ban on Muslims entering the US? Trump said, “No, they said it’s about time that somebody spoke up as to radicalism… You have radicalism in this country. It’s here, and it’s trying to come through.”

Emphasize his Muslim friends’ concern about terrorism, he said, “When my friends call me up, and they call me up very strongly, and they say — these are Muslims — and they say, ‘It’s something, Donald, that has to be talked about.”

“But they don’t support the ban?” the interviewer asked.

“Not really. I mean, why would they support the ban?” Trump replied, adding that “But without the ban, you’re not going to make the point. You’re not going to be able to make the point.”

“Again, my relationship with the Muslim community is excellent. I’ve had people call me at the highest level saying, ‘You’re doing us a favor’ because they know they have a problem very well. They really know they have a problem,” Trump said.

Trump’s proposal to ban the entry of Muslim in the US has drawn flak from various quarters.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even rejected “Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims.” Netanyahu’s statement apparently made Trump to cancel his planned trip to Israel.

When asked about Netanyahu condemnation, Trump said, “They’re not distancing themselves. I had a meeting with Natanyahu. I could be at the meeting right now.”

“He did (condemn my remarks), and that was sort of interesting. He modestly condemned them, and I thought it was sort of inappropriate that he condemned them, but that’s OK. He wanted to condemn them, that’s what he does. OK? But we have a problem,” Trump said.

“I’m not looking to be politically correct. I’m doing this to do the right thing. This and other things. When I say this — I’m running to do the right thing. I’m doing the right thing. Our country has a problem. People are in fear. They’re waiting for the next attack.”

Trump said he wished to discover from where this “total hatred” for the US was emanating and why.

“We want to find out what’s going on. Here’s what I want to ask: Why is there such hatred? Why is there such death? Where does this hatred come from?” Trump asked, adding, “I want to at least know where it’s coming from. Why is it happening? And it’s from a group of people. It’s from a specific group of people. OK? Why is there such total hatred?”

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Donald Trump Negotiates Trade Deal With Japan

Trump to negotiate the trade deal with Japan

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
FILE IMAGE- Donald Trump

The US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he is negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and that his country would only re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if its member countries offered him a deal he could not refuse.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP. But if they offered us a deal I can’t refuse on behalf of the US, I would do it. In the meantime, we are negotiating, and what I really would prefer is negotiating a one-on-one deal with Japan,” Donald Trump said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

However, Abe stressed his country’s position towards the TPP, saying that it “is the best for both countries,” although he acknowledged the US’s interest in a bilateral trade deal, Efe reported.

Trump said that should his country reach a trade agreement with Japan, there will be talks about the possibility of ending tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that Washington introduced in March to a number of countries, including Japan.

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump added that his primary concern at the moment is the “massive” trade deficit with Japan, which amounted to “from $69 billion to $100 billion a year.”

In fact, the trade deficit with Japan last year stood at $69 billion, far from the $100 billion that the US President claimed, according to the official figures by the US Department of Commerce.

The two leaders made these announcements in a joint press conference at the tycoon’s private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where Abe arrived on Tuesday to have meeting with Trump on his four-day visit to the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Last week, the White House announced that Trump had asked the US foreign trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the economic adviser Larry Kudlow to “take another look at whether or not a better deal (with the TPP) could be negotiated.”

However, Trump has shown little interest in negotiations that would further complicate the matter, since the other 11 countries that negotiated the original TPP, with the then Barack Obama administration, have already signed their own multilateral deal, the so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or TPP-11.

Shinzo Abe
FILE IMAGE- Shinzo Abe.

On the other hand, during this four-day visit Abe has a special interest in getting an exemption for Japan from the 10 per cent and 25 per cent tariffs that the Trump administration imposes on aluminum and steel imports, respectively.

Trump has granted a temporary exemption until May 1 to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the European Union.

Also Read: White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

Japan has been left out of the exempted countries despite being one of the US’s major allies, and for that reason Abe is trying to make use of his visit to secure a place on that list, although Japan barely produces aluminum and the amount of steel exported to the US stands at only around 5 percent of its total steel exports.  IANS