Donald Trump says a lot of things a lot of people consider outrageous. What is he doing?
The first thing to remember is that many of Trump's supporters, and a large part of the American public in general, support the very statements others consider outrageous. Deport 11 million illegal immigrants? Many Americans, including almost everyone in the media, think that's crazy. But many other Americans agree with Trump.
The recent brouhaha over whether Trump did or did not suggest a federal government database of all Muslims in the United States is another example. Trump didn't actually suggest it — the idea came from a reporter with Yahoo News — but he never clearly shot it down, either. Like deportations, a poll on the Muslim database question would likely show a significant number of Americans agreeing with the idea.
So maybe Trump just has a lot of outrageous ideas. Or perhaps something else, something more strategic, is going on.