WASHINGTON (CBSLA.com) — A proposal by Donald Trump to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. disqualifies the real estate mogul from becoming commander-in-chief, the White House said Tuesday.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest called on Republicans to reject the controversial plan from the current front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
Calling Trump a "carnival barker" with "fake hair", Earnest told AFP Trump's campaign was destined for the "dustbin of history" and "disqualifies him from serving as president."
Speaking on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO, Earnest denounced the statement released Monday by Trump's campaign calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
"There are some politicians, like Donald Trump, who are out there trying to cynically play on people's fears and anxieties and darker impulses," he said. "That is cynical, that is rooted in politics, that does not advance our national security."
Trump's proposal - which he released in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack that left 14 people dead - also drew condemnation from leaders of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
"Mr. Trump, by lumping all Muslims in the crosshairs of the terrorism crisis, only hurts the legitimate campaign against Islamist fundamentalism and demeans law-abiding American citizens," according to a joint statement from Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the center, and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean. "Such a policy would only serve to strengthen ISIS recruitment
around the world."
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Greater Los Angeles Area, said Trump is trying to "create fear and division between Americans."
"This type of harmful and `fascist' speech should not be tolerated from any individual, let along from a candidate running for the highest office in the land," Ayloush said. "Though Mr. Trump has the First Amendment right to his bigoted views, this is a time for leadership and building stronger communities, not for xenophobia."
USC law professor Edwin Smith told CBS2/KCAL9's Randy Paige that without an act of Congress, a President might be able to unilaterally exclude foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. by arguing the country is at war - and it is necessary to exclude all members of a particular religion in order to protect the American people.
"He could make that argument," said Smith. "That is exactly the argument that Franklin Roosevelt bought in imprisoning the Japanese."
On Feb. 19, 1942, Roosevelt authorized the evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland.
More than 100,000 men, women, and children of Japanese descent were moved over the following months to guarded relocation centers known as internment camps.
Despite the political firestorm caused by his comments - or perhaps because of it - Trump remains in the lead in the key state of Iowa for the Republican presidential nomination, CBS News reports.
The poll conducted by CNN contradicts a survey released earlier in the day from Monmouth University, which showed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas taking the lead.
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