Washington: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s statement calling for a temporary ban on all Muslims from entering the United States drew flak from White House on Tuesday.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that Trump’s remarks in this regard disqualifies from being president.
“The fact is what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president,” Earnest said in Tuesday’s press briefing.
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Earnest said that every president is required to take an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the US Constitution, and his statement disqualifies Trump from being president.
Trump sent shock waves through the political establishment on Monday with a call to bar Muslims from entering the US until lawmakers figure out what is going on.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said.
Trump, who has previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the US, made his controversial call in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in California by a Pakistani-origin couple.
Republican candidate Ben Carson called Trump’s proposal seeking ban on Muslims unconstitutional.
“It’s just not who we are,” said Carson. “We are not a people who react in a fearful way. You know, when you talk about prejudice, prejudice is usually born out of fear and ignorance. That’s not who we are… We do not discriminate on people based on religion — that’s constitutional, that’s in the First Amendment, so we would never want to do that.
However, at the same time he said that all visitors to the US should register and be monitored.
“Anybody who’s going to be coming to our country — we need to know why they’re coming,” Carson said.
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(With inputs from agencies)