Rand Paul reacts to Trump's anti-Muslim comments

Katie Couric
Global Anchor

By Sarah B. Boxer

In the wake of Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, “I think stricter scrutiny is a good idea.”

Paul said he disagreed with having a religious test. “But I think if we want to say there is no religious aspect to this war, I think that’s a big mistake,” he told Couric.  

Trump’s plan, which was released Tuesday, calls for a “total and complete shutdown” of all Muslims entering the U.S.

“I think there are a lot of people hell-bent on attacking us, and we do have to review who is coming, and how many people come, and where they come from,” said Paul. “I’m no big fan of Donald Trump. … But I also think it’s unfair to say he’s the biggest recruiter for ISIS.”

Paul sponsored the Stop Extremists Coming Under Refugee Entry (SECURE) Act, which called for a pause on immigration from 34 countries he says have a “high risk” of terrorism. Fellow presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voted for the act.  Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voted against it, and it failed 10-89 on Dec. 3.

“Right now, all of Europe can come and visit our country with no visa,” he told Couric. “I think that’s a recipe for disaster and we are eventually going to be attacked by people who come from Europe. Why? Because Europe has a significant population now of those who believe that violence is justified.”

Paul said he would still begrudgingly support Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee. “I won’t be enthusiastic about it, I won’t be excited about it, but what I have said is I will support the nominee.”

Paul blamed the media, polling and debates for Trump’s lead in the GOP race.  “Really we have nobody to blame but ourselves if this ends up happening, that he is the nominee.”