Trump call for Muslim ban back on website after ‘glitch’
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Trump call for Muslim ban back on website after ‘glitch’

Controversial statement briefly disappears from campaign site, but spokesperson says issue technical, dashing hopes of policy change

A Malaysian Muslim schoolgirl poses for a photograph with a cut-out of President-elect Donald Trump during an event organized to follow the election results in Kuala Lumpur on November 9, 2016. (AFP/Manan Vatsyayana)
A Malaysian Muslim schoolgirl poses for a photograph with a cut-out of President-elect Donald Trump during an event organized to follow the election results in Kuala Lumpur on November 9, 2016. (AFP/Manan Vatsyayana)

A statement by President-elect Donald Trump that he would ban Muslims from entering the US briefly disappeared from his website Thursday, with his spokesperson blaming a computer glitch.

The controversial December 7 statement vanished from the website Early Thursday, but was back later in the day, along with another statement on his possible picks for Supreme Court justices which had also disappeared.

The links had instead sent visitors to a donations page.

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told the Reuters news agency that the issue was a technical mistake.

“The website was temporarily redirecting all specific press release pages to the home page,” Cheung said in email.

According to The Independent, the page on Trump’s website linking to the statement was still available on Tuesday, the morning of the election, and was removed as voting results came in, showing Trump beating his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

The call by Trump for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” which should continue “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” drew intense condemnation throughout the campaign, though the candidate later seemed to slightly temper his position.

Some saw the disappearance of the statement as a sign that Trump would pull back from the controversial policy as president.

When asked at a press conference Thursday if he would ask Congress to ban Muslims, Trump said “Thank you everybody,” and walked away.

AP contributed to this report.

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