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Donald Trump has catapulted to the front of the GOP presidential race mostly by stoking the fires of xenophobia and fear among American citizens regarding Islam and Muslims. The business mogul doubled down with his anti-Islamic rhetoric once more in a discussion with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday.

“I think Islam hates us,” said Trump after answering Cooper’s question regarding if Islam is at war with the West. “There’s something there — there’s a tremendous hatred there, We have to get to the bottom of it.”

More from CNN:

Asked if the hate was “in Islam itself,” Trump would only say that was for the media to figure out.

“You’re gonna have to figure that out, OK?” he told Cooper. “We have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States.”

Trump made headlines in December when he called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Despite widespread condemnation of the remarks, Trump has stood by the proposal.

In speaking with Cooper, Trump added that “there can be no doctrine” when asked to outline how he would project power overseas.

Trump continues to be the GOP frontrunner on the campaign trail, but a surging Sen. Ted Cruz and a steady showing by Sen. Marco Rubio threatens Trump’s position at the top.

Watch Part 1 of Anderson Cooper’s one-on-one with Donald Trump in the clip below. See the following pages for more.

Photo: screen cap

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