CNN's Beinart: World Leaders Should Avoid US If Trump Bans Muslim Immigration

Appearing as a guest on Sunday's CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield, liberal CNN political commentator Peter Beinart -- also a contributor for The Atlantic -- went over the top as he made known his view that, if "profoundly bigoted" Donald Trump is elected President and implements a ban on Muslim immigration, world leaders and other "people of conscience" should refuse to travel to the United States.



At about 4:45 p.m. ET, host Fredricka Whitfield asked Beinart what "people on the world stage" are "thinking and feeling about" the possibility of Trump being elected. Beinart lambasted the GOP candidate as he began:

I think people don't really know whether to laugh or cry. I mean, they don't know whether this is just some big joke that America is playing, or whether a man that's profoundly ignorant and profoundly bigoted and profoundly reckless could actually be the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Were that to actually happen, it would be very unpredictable. Were he to try to put any version of that Muslim ban into place, the consequences in terms of America's relationships with Muslim countries would be totally hard to predict but very, very, very dangerous.

Moments later, when Whitfield wondered if there was an "anti-Trump movement" around the world similar to the one in the U.S., Beinart encouraged essentially a boycott of his own country by world leaders:

Well, it will be interesting to see, I mean, were he actually to win how people abroad would react. I mean, what I think is so interesting about the new London mayor saying that he would not come to the United States, even if Donald Trump granted him an exception from Trump's Muslim ban, is that I would think that -- and hope, frankly -- that a lot of foreign leaders and dignitaries would say, "No, if you are going to have a religious test, and ban members of one religious group from the United States, which represents a kind of horrifying betrayal of America's core values of religious liberty, then, no, we are not going to come to the United States either."

So I would hope it would not only be London's Muslim mayor but other people of conscience as well would say, "If you are not going to allow Muslims into the United States, then we're not coming either."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, May 15, CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield:

4:45 p.m. ET
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD: What are people on the world stage thinking and feeling about a possible Donald Trump in the White House?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, given the reporting, I think people don't really know whether to laugh or cry. I mean, they don't know whether this is just some big joke that America is playing, or whether a man that's profoundly ignorant and profoundly bigoted and profoundly reckless could actually be the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Were that to actually happen, it would be very unpredictable. Were he to try to put any version of that Muslim ban into place, the consequences in terms of America's relationships with Muslim countries would be totally hard to predict but very, very, very dangerous.

And I think it would be a horrifying spectacle were he to try to put his, you know, 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods into place. That would really threaten the world economy. Were he to try to renegotiate America's debt like he suggested, that would also threaten the world economy. So I think people are frightened, and they have a right to be frightened.

(...)

WHITFIELD: And, you know, you've got this anti-Trump kind of movement within the United States, is there an equivalency as it pertains to the world stage?

BEINART: Well, it will be interesting to see, I mean, were he actually to win how people abroad would react. I mean, what I think is so interesting about the new London mayor saying that he would not come to the United States, even if Donald Trump granted him an exception from Trump's Muslim ban, is that I would think that -- and hope, frankly -- that a lot of foreign leaders and dignitaries would say, "No, if you are going to have a religious test, and ban members of one religious group from the United States, which represents a kind of horrifying betrayal of America's core values of religious liberty, then, no, we are not going to come to the United States either."

So I would hope it would not only be London's Muslim mayor but other people of conscience as well would say, "If you are not going to allow Muslims into the United States, then we're not coming either."

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