US presidential candidate Donald Trump seem to have changed his strict stance on immigration and is now calling for “extreme vetting” of people coming from questionable areas, said Emmy Award-winning journalist Betsy Martin.
The US elections expert took part in question-and-answer session on Facebook with Bangladeshi citizens on Tuesday, where she addressed selected questions posted on the Facebook page of the US embassy in Dhaka.
One participant asked how the relationship between the US and Muslim countries – like Bangladesh – would fare if Donald Trump became president, given that he had called for a ban on Muslims from entering the US.
Calling it “a valid concern,” Martin said Trump seemed to be trying to soften his rhetoric on this front. “In his big interview with 60 minutes on Sunday he called for 'extreme vetting' of persons from 'territories' with a history of terror as opposed to his previous position of banning all Muslims from entering the US.”
The session ran for an hour starting from 7pm local time, where 75 Facebook users posted comments and queries on the election under the tag #RoadtotheWhiteHouse.
Discussing the chances of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump winning the elections, Martin said both still had decent chances of winning.
But Hillary is a little ahead in the running so far. According to the latest poll from NBC News – Martin's former employer – Clinton is leading Trump by 46% to 41%, she said.
However, she pointed out that the anything could happen before the elections were held in November. “There are several factors that can suddenly influence an election,” she said.
Asked how the American people was going to decide between Clinton, who has a long career in politics, and Trump, who is a business tycoon, Martin said: “The Trump campaign makes the argument that the American people are looking for something new and different and that all that experience translates into an inability to institute change. They make the case that what the country needs is a new way of thinking, fresh ideas and the ability to do 'big things.'”
Martin currently co-hosts “Masters in Politics” podcast at Bllomberg Politics, and has previously worked as senior executive producer and managing editor of NBC News Political Programming. She is also a contributing editor for Washington for MORE Magazine.