In September 2015, Trump said he would allow some Syrian refugees into the United States: "Something has to be done," the Times reported. "It's an unbelievable humanitarian problem."
In December, after the Islamic State-inspired attack in San Bernardino, Calif., Mr. Trump proposed the religious test, the "total and complete shutdown." A day later, he explained how this would occur. Customs agents would ask inbound travelers if they are Muslim, and those who said yes would be turned away.
In May, now as the Republican nominee, he retreated, calling the ban merely an idea. "It's a temporary ban, it hasn't been called for yet," he said, adding, "This is just a suggestion until we find out what's going on."
On June 13, Mr. Trump offered a new twist: The ban would be geographical, not religious, applying to "areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies." But not just any kind of terrorism, he clarified on Twitter two hours later: The ban was only for nations "tied to Islamic terror." However, he also insinuated in these remarks that "American Muslims were all but complicit in acts of domestic terrorism for failing to report attacks in advance, asserting without evidence that they had warnings of shootings" like the one in a gay nightclub in Orlando.
Then, in Scotland in late June, Mr. Trump said he would allow Muslims from allies like the United Kingdom to enter the United States.
Then in August, Trump called for "extreme vetting of people looking to immigrate to or visit the United States, including an ideological screening test to weed out those who don't share our values and respect our people," according to the Washington Post.
Now, Mike Pence says that Donald Trump has backed away from a total ban once and for all, but the extreme vetting strategy and geographical bans appear to stand.