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Donald Trump backtracks on Muslim ban, says it was 'just a suggestion'

Donald Trump demanded a "complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" in December only to deny it on Wednesday, saying the plan was "only a suggestion."

"We have a serious problem and it's a temporary ban — it hasn't been called for yet, nobody's done it, this is just a suggestion until we find out what's going on," Trump told Fox News just five months after releasing a statement that explicitly said, "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

CNN points out that the timing of Trump's backtracking is strategic, as the presumptive Republican nominee is due to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday morning. Ryan, as well as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, condemned Trump's Muslim ban last December; Ryan had called it "not who we are as a party" and said the ban violated the Constitution.

Trump has also been highly criticized for his proposed ban by the global community, including by London's new Muslim mayor.