Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has provoked condemnation from across the political spectrum, by sayingMuslims should be banned from entering the US.
Republicans, Democrats, Muslim leaders, the UN and foreign leaders criticised the call as dangerous and divisive.
Mr Trump said many Muslims nursed a "hatred" towards America.
He said they should be banned "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".
His campaign manager said that would apply to "everybody" - would-be immigrants and tourists. But Mr Trump told Fox News it would "not apply to people living in the country", adding that Muslims serving in the US military would "come home".
Mr Trump's statement was delivered as the US comes to terms with its deadliest terror attack since 9/11.
Last week a Muslim couple, believed to have been radicalised, opened fire and killed 14 people at a health centre in San Bernardino.
Mr Trump's proposed ban prompted a horrified reaction from Republicans and others.
Rival candidate Jeb Bush called Mr Trump "unhinged", while former US Vice-President Dick Cheney said it "goes against everything we stand for and believe in".
Mr Trump's comments were contrary to US values and its national security interests, a statement from the White House said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest later challenged the Republican party to denounce the leading candidate, and said that the proposal "disqualifies him from serving as president".
Mr Earnest said that the Trump campaign had a "dustbin of history" quality to it, calling the candidate a "carnival barker" with "fake hair".
The UK's Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron said they were "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong".