Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at The Fox Theatre on June 15, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Donald Trump advocates for mosque surveillance
02:33 - Source: CNN

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"We have to go and we have to maybe check, respectfully, the mosques," Trump said in Atlanta

Trump set off a firestorm in November when he called for surveillance of mosques

Atlanta CNN  — 

Donald Trump on Wednesday renewed his call for surveillance of mosques in the United States, reviving a controversial policy proposal Trump has not raised in such direct terms since becoming the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Trump’s speech here was in keeping with the billionaire’s reaction to the terrorist attack in Orlando in the days since a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub early Sunday morning.

Trump again leveled biting criticism of President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and he doubled down on his controversial proposals to indefinitely ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and launch surveillance operations on U.S. mosques – which Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized as against American values of plurality and freedom of religion.

“We have to go and we have to maybe check, respectfully, the mosques. And we have to check other places. Because this is a problem that if we don’t solve it, it’s going to eat our country alive, OK? It’s going to eat our country alive,” Trump said to a crowd of supporters that nodded and cheered as he ticked down the list of problems afflicting the country.

Trump set off a firestorm in November when he called for surveillance of mosques and even floated the idea of compiling a national database of Muslims living in the U.S. He also hinted at the policy Monday on Fox News when he said “we have to be very strong in terms of looking at the mosques.”