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Ayotte Says Trump Is Wrong On Muslims, But Won't Rule Out Supporting Him

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire’s top Republican elected official, says she disagrees with GOP candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“I do not believe that there should be a religious test in terms of how we decide who’s coming to our country," Ayotte said. "There needs to be a factual, risk-based assessment. We’ve not had a religious test for this and that certainly seems inconsistent with the First Amendment to me.”

But when asked whether she would support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination, Ayotte didn't rule it out.

“Well, at this point, we’re going to let the people of New Hampshire sort this out," she said. "I’ll support the Republican nominee.”

Trump faced heavy criticism Tuesday from both sides of the aisle for his controversial proposal.

New Hampshire Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Horn called Trump’s comments un-American, but some of his supporters in the state are defending the idea.

Londonderry State Representative Al Baldasaro, who co-chairs Trump’s New Hampshire Veterans Coalition, likened Trump’s proposal to the policy used against Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Trump is scheduled to be in Portsmouth on Thursday. 

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.
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