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Trump slammed over call to ban Muslims, 'close up' Internet

Republican presidential primary front-runner Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the United States does harm to the country and its image around the world, former Obama administration Chief of Staff Bill Daley said Tuesday.

In the wake of the San Bernardino massacre, Trump on Monday called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

"I think it's ridiculous. I think it harms our country. I think it harms who we are and how we're viewed around the world," Daley told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"But he's in a political fight, and he's trying to get as many votes as he can, and I think that's all it is."

Trump released the plan less than one week after a Muslim-American and his Pakistani-born wife killed 14 people in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, an attack President Barack Obama and law enforcement officials have since called an act of terror.

Trump's proposal was widely criticized by fellow Republicans including Speaker Paul Ryan.

"Freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle...This is not conservatism what was proposed yesterday, is not what this party stands for and more importantly it's not what this country stands for," Ryan said on Tuesday after a closed-door GOP caucus meeting.

"So if Trump's words and actions are racist, we'll call them racist. If they're sexist, we'll call them sexist. We won't shrink from the truth or be distracted by the showmanship." -Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post

His proposal also appears to be the final straw for Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post. The editor-in-chief penned an editorial piece on Monday retracting the paper's initial decision to cover Trump's campaign in its entertainment section.

"Now that Trump, aided by the media, has doubled down on the cruelty and know-nothingness that defined his campaign's early days, the 'can you believe he said that?' novelty has curdled and congealed into something repellent and threatening — laying bare a disturbing aspect of American politics," Huffington wrote. "We believe that the way we cover the campaign should reflect this shift. And part of that involves never failing to remind our audience who Trump is and what his campaign really represents."

Other critics of Trump's proposal took to Twitter to blast the presidential candidate.

The Republican presidential candidate likened his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States to policies implemented by former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt against people of Japanese, Germans and Italian descent during World War II.

"What I'm doing is no different than FDR," Trump said on ABC's "Good Morning America" program on Tuesday in one of a round of heated television interviews where he defended his plan in the wake of last week's California shooting spree by two Muslims who authorities said were radicalized.

"We have no choice but to do this," he told ABC. "We have people that want to blow up our buildings, our cities. We have figure out what's going on."

The ban on Muslims is not Trump's only proposal to defend against terrorists. At a campaign rally in South Carolina on Monday, Trump suggested that Microsoft founder Bill Gates could help censor parts of the Internet from radicalized individuals.

"We're losing a lot of people because of the internet," Trump said. "We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people."

—Reuters contributed to this report.

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