(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Real-estate mogul Donald Trump, caught up in yet another campaign-trail controversy, tweeted a multipronged defense of himself Saturday morning.
"Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him?" Trump asked. "I don't think so!"
The Republican presidential front-runner created a storm of backlash Thursday when he did not correct a man who accused President Barack Obama of being a Muslim and a foreigner.
Trump instead answered the second part of the man's question about Muslim "training camps" in the US.
"We're going to be looking at a lot of different things, and a lot of people are saying that and saying that bad things are happening out there. We're going to be looking at that and plenty of other things," Trump told the man.
Trump's campaign initially claimed he did not hear the first part of his question, but that did little to quell the controversy. Presidential rivals, the White House, and parts of the media criticized Trump, who used to be one of the most prominent people calling for Obama to release his birth certificate.
But the businessman fired off five tweets Saturday to argue that he should not have had to correct his conspiracy-theorist supporter in the first place.
Among other things, Trump said that he is being held to an unfair standard, that the real issue is Obama's supposedly "horrible" treatment of Christians, and that the media would have attacked him no matter how he responded to the man.
Here's Trump's response to the controversy:
Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don't think so!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2015
This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by NOT saying something.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2015
If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2015
If I would have challenged the man, the media would have accused me of interfering with that man's right of free speech. A no win situation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2015
Christians need support in our country (and around the world), their religious liberty is at stake! Obama has been horrible, I will be great— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2015
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