Donald Trump's recent anti-Muslim comments, going so far as to suggest that all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States, have prompted an onslaught of backlash from within the Republican Party itself, as well as, as it turns out, the White House.
During Tuesday's press briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest bluntly stated that Trump's statements Monday disqualified him as a presidential candidate.
"The fact is, what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president," Earnest said, pointing out that every president has to take an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the U.S. Constitution.
Earnest also took the opportunity to call out those who may think about supporting Trump after his controversial statements.
"For Republican candidates for president to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying," Earnest said, according to CNN. "The question now is about the rest of the Republican Party and whether or not they're going to be dragged into the dustbin of history with him. And right now, the current trajectory is not very good.
"The Trump campaign for months now has had a dustbin-of-history-like quality to it," he added.
Within the Republican Party, Trump's comments were met by criticisms from Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, House Speaker Paul Ryan and former Vice President Dick Cheney.
"I don't agree," Priebus told the Washington Examiner regarding Trump's comments. "We need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism, but not at the expense of our American values."
"This is not conservatism," Ryan added at a news conference Tuesday. "What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for, and more importantly, it's not what this country stands for."
"His whole notion that somehow we need to say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in," Cheney told radio host Hugh Hewitt, according to NBC News.
Still, the Donald refused to back down from his statements, defending himself while being interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo. "You're going to have many more World Trade Centers if you don't solve it—many, many more and probably beyond the World Trade Center," Trump insisted.
"They want our buildings to come down; they want our cities to be crushed," he added. "They are living within our country. And many of them want to come from outside our country."
Cuomo pushed back several times, pointing out that Trump's proposed policy is not what the United States stands for, but the front-runner remained unmoved.
"We can close our eyes," Trump said. "We can put the blinders on, but I don't choose to do that.
"I have common sense. I know what has to be done, and we don't want to have a situation like Paris. And we don't want to have another World Trade Center," Trump said. "We don't want that. We need intelligence in this country. We need a certain toughness in this country or we're going to end up like a lot of the other places, and we're not going to have a country left."