Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s biggest financial backer ever, on Wednesday told The Wrap that given the Paris terror attacks Muslims should now be monitored more carefully.
But Thursday evening, Saban insisted that he “misspoke” and only meant that all refugees from certain countries needed increased screening before they enter the United States.
Well, that was a close call.
Now, Clinton and her super PACs don’t need to return his donations, which total slightly more than $2 million for all her campaigns since 2000.
When first asked about the Paris terror attacks during a wide-ranging interview, Saban offered a twist on the classic leftist line in opposition to the Cold War, “Better red than dead.”
The Hollywood media magnate and Univision chairman lamented that, “Many members of the Hollywood community are very liberal and they value their civil liberties more than they value life. I disagree with that. You want to be free and dead? I’d rather be not free and alive. The reality is that certain things that are unacceptable in times of peace — such as profiling, listening in on anyone and everybody who looks suspicious, or interviewing Muslims in a more intense way than interviewing Christian refugees — is all acceptable [during war]. Why? Because we value life more than our civil liberties and it’s temporary until the problem goes away.
“But to say this is shameful — I disagree. [ISIS] said, ‘We’re going to Paris,’ and they went to Paris. They’re saying they’re now going to Washington. Watch out, they might. I’m not suggesting we put Muslims through some kind of a torture room to get them to admit that they are or they’re not terrorists. But I am saying we should have more scrutiny.”
This kind of realism is a big no-no for Democrats. Not surprisingly, Saban quickly scurried to go on record against religious profiling.
In a statement to the Wrap Thursday night, he said, “I misspoke. I believe that all refugees coming from Syria — a war-torn country that ISIS calls home — regardless of religion require additional scrutiny before entering the United States,” Saban said. “At this moment in time, with hundreds killed in Paris and thousands more around the world, freedom as we know it is under existential threat.”
“I regret making a religious distinction as opposed to a geographical one: it’s about scrutinizing every single individual coming from a country with ISIS strongholds.”
Saban, who has also donated $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, is an Israeli immigrant.
But maybe it is Clinton’s Muslim American donors who need increased scrutiny. In 2000, Clinton was embarrassed into returning $1,000 for her Senate campaign from American Muslim Council board member Abdurahman Alamoudi, an outspoken Hamas supporter.
In 2004, he pleaded guilty of financing a Libyan plot to kill then-Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.