Trump brushes aside appearance in group's video

Republican presidential frontrunner unfazed by his comments appearing in Al-Shabaab video, says "they use other people too".

Elad Benari,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Sunday brushed aside the fact that a terrorist group used his remarks against Muslims in a recruitment video.

On Saturday, the SITE Intelligence Group reported that the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, the Somali affiliate of Al-Qaeda, used a soundbite from Trump’s speech in December calling for a temporary ban of Muslims entering the U.S.

In an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation”, the host John Dickerson played a portion of the Al-Shabaab video for Trump, then added, "And then the video goes on and says the West will eventually turn against its Muslim citizens. It's saying to Muslims, 'You either join jihad or you leave the United States because of what Mr. Trump is proposing.'"

"Look, there's a problem," Trump responded. "I bring it up. Other people have called me and said, 'You have guts to bring it up because frankly, it's true but nobody wants to get involved. Now people are getting involved.

"People that are on different persuasions than me right now John are saying, you know maybe Trump isn't wrong. We want to examine it," he continued.

Dickerson then asked, "Does it concern you at all that you're being used in essentially a recruitment video by a terrorist organization?"

"They use other people, too," Trump replied, according to CBS. "What am I going to do? I have to say what I have to say. And you [know] what I have to say? There's a problem. We have to find out what is a problem. And we have to solve that problem."

Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim entry over security concerns was widely condemned, with White House press secretary Josh Earnest saying the proposal was "disqualifying", and Secretary of State John Kerry claiming the comments “endanger national security”.

Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton recently warned following the controversial comments that his words were playing into the hands of extremist groups.

During a Democratic debate last month, Clinton accused Trump of being "ISIS's best recruiter," referring to the Islamic State group, and said the radical jihadists were "going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists."

Trump later hit back, accusing Clinton of lying, though the former Secretary of State’s spokeswoman insisted that his remarks were "being used in social media by ISIS as propaganda... to help recruiting," sourcing the information to groups that monitor IS's online activities.

At the time, U.S. media outlets were unable to find any footage evidence to back up Clinton's initial claim.