SHAFAQNA -Â Donald Trump has sparked outrage after failing to condemn a call to purge the US of Muslims and claims that President Barack Obama is not an American.
The controversial Republican presidential candidate raised eyebrows when confronted with an outspoken questioner at the start of a town hall rally in New Hampshire last night.
As questions from the audience got underway, a man stood up and told the billionaire: â€œWe have a problem in this country.Â Itâ€™s called Muslims.
“We know our current president is one.Â You know heâ€™s not even an American.Â Birth certificate, man.â€
Interjecting, Mr Trump said â€œwe need this question.Â This is the first questionâ€, before the audience member continued.
The man said: â€œBut, anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us.
“Thatâ€™s my question: When can we get rid of them?â€
Asked about the comments after the event, Mr Trumpâ€™s team said: â€œChristians need support in this country.Â Their religious liberty is at stake.â€
Before adding: â€œMr Trump was referring to the need to protect Christiansâ€™ religious liberties as his previous statement says and nothing more.
“To be clear, Mr Trump’s response to the question regarding training camps in this country was ‘we will look into it’.”
But Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton condemned Mr Trumpâ€™s response to the questioner.
She tweeted: â€œDonald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS [President of the US] and hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing and just plain wrong.Â Cut it out.â€
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz branded Mr Trump a racist,Â according to CNN.
â€œGOP frontrunner Donald Trumpâ€™s racism knows no bounds,â€ she said.
â€œThis is certainly horrendous, but unfortunately unsurprising given what we have seen already.â€
Mr Trump was asked to explain his comments on the issue after the rally by several journalists, but reportedly did not answer.
Corey Lewandowski, Mr Trumpâ€™s campaign manager, later told CNN that the candidate did not hear the claim that President Obama – a Christian born to a Kenyan father and American mother in Hawaii – was a Muslim.
â€œAll he heard was a question about training camps, which he said we have to look into,â€ he said.
â€œThe media want to make this an issue about Obama, but itâ€™s about him waging a war on Christianity.â€
Mr Trumpâ€™s comments came days after Muslim teenagerÂ Ahmed Mohamed received an outpouring of support, from those including President Obama, following his arrest when teachers mistook his homemade clock for a bomb.