In a statement released today, Republican candidate Donald Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States until "our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
"Mr. Trump stated, Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life," the statement read.
Trump tweeted shortly after releasing his statement:
Just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred & danger coming into our country. We must be vigilant!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
When asked which Muslims would be banned from entering, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowki told ABC News’ Tom Llamas "the ban applies to everyone."
White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes called Trump’s suggestion “totally contrary” to America’s values and security.
“It's totally contrary to our values as Americans. You know, we have in our Bill of Rights respect for the freedom of religion. Muslim-Americans have made extraordinary contributions to our country, but it's also contrary to our security," Rhodes told CNN this afternoon.
"The fact of the matter is ISIL wants to frame this as a war between the United States and Islam. And if we look like we're applying religious tests who comes into this country, we're sending a message that essentially we're embracing that frame. And that is going to make it very difficult to partner with Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world to prevent this scourge of radicalization that we need to be focused on.
“We should be making it harder for ISIL to portray this as a war between the United States and Islam, not easier,” he added, using another acronym for ISIS, or the Islamic State.
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley was the first to jump on Trump’s statement, tweeting that Trump is running for office as a “fascist demagogue.”
.@realdonaldtrump removes all doubt: he is running for President as a fascist demagogue.— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) December 7, 2015
In a phone interview with MSNBC today, O'Malley said he thought Trump's language was "absolutely appalling" and that "all of us have the responsibility to speak out against it."
"Who is he going to start with? You’re going to start with Muslim-Americans in our armed forces? What, they can't come home? Who is he talking about? Is he talking about engineers that do business abroad? It's just outrageous behavior," O'Malley argued.
Sen. Bernie Sanders also tweeted at Trump.
The U.S. is a strong nation when we stand together. We are weak when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us. cc: @realDonaldTrump— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 7, 2015
Hillary Clinton rebuked Trump's policy as "prejudiced and divisive."
Republican presidential contender Chris Christie repudiated the comments in a radio interview with Michael Medved today. Christie called Trump’s proposal “ridiculous.”
“This is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about. We do not need to resort to this kind of activity, nor should we,” Christie said. “To ban Muslims from entering the country is just to me someone who’s speaking from no experience.”
Jeb Bush called Trump "unhinged."
Donald Trump is unhinged. His "policy" proposals are not serious.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 7, 2015
In response to Trump’s calling for a halt to Muslim entry into the United States, Ben Carson would "never select a group based on their religion," but does say all people coming into the country should be "registered and monitored," according to his campaign.
"He [Carson] believes all of them need to be registered and monitored during their stay in the United States but would never select a group based on their religion," Carson communications director Doug Watts told ABC News. "He does not agree with selecting people based on their religion. He believes if they come from Ireland, New Zealand, Syria or Russia that they should all be monitored and registered in the United States, but selecting people based on religion, no."
Ohio governor and 2016 presidential hopeful John Kasich also reacted to Trump today with a statement: “This is just more of the outrageous divisiveness that characterizes his every breath and another reason why he is entirely unsuited to lead the United States.”
His spokesman, Chris Schrimpf, also tweeted a Web video the campaign has previously released suggesting Trump is fascist:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has been vocal against Trump’s comments on Hispanics, also condemned Trump’s statement in several tweets.
.@Realdonaldtrump has gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 7, 2015
He’s putting at risk the lives of interpreters, American supporters, diplomats, & the troops in the region by making these bigoted comments— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 7, 2015
The Council on American-Islamic Relations put out a paper statement today condemning Trump’s newest policy.
"It’s really incredible that the leading Republican party presidential candidate would make what amounts to almost a fascist statement seeking to bar all Muslims from the United States," the statement read. "It would have been beyond belief sometime back but now it seems to be routine in terms of Donald Trump trying to one up himself with his Islamophobic rhetoric."