Trump`s statement on "preventing Muslim immigration" drew swift and fierce blowback from many directions, including the White House, rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican former Vice President Dick Cheney, who said the idea "goes against everything we stand for and believe in."
"Donald Trump is unhinged. His `policy` proposals are not serious," Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said in a tweet.
Other social media reaction led hashtags such as #racism, #fascism and #bigot to trend heavily.
Withering reaction also came from Ohio Governor John Kasich, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
Trump, the billionaire developer and former reality TV star who frequently uses racially charged rhetoric, called for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States "until our country`s representatives can figure out what is going on."
"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," Trump said.
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, asked in an email if the shutdown would apply specifically to immigration or more broadly to student visas, tourists and other travelers to the United States, replied: “Everyone.”
In Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Trump dismissed his critics. He told a rally that mosques in the United States should also be scrutinized. "We have to see what`s happening," he said.