The White House has said Donald Trump’s comments on Muslims being denied entry to the United States disqualifies him for the office of president.
In a statement, the Republican presidential candidate said a "total and complete shutdown" of all Muslims entering the US should be put into place until Congress can act.
He said that polling shows a "hatred" by Muslims toward Americans that could result in more attacks.
The White House said the Trump campaign has a "dustbin of history" quality to it and Republican presidential candidates should say "right now" that they would not support Mr Trump as president.
Mr Trump has defended his comments and compared his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US to the World War II detainment of Japanese-Americans and others.
US leaders of both political parties along with the prime ministers of France and the UK, the United Nations and Muslim leaders have all denounced Mr Trump's statement.
But the real-estate tycoon said his ideas were no worse than those of former President Franklin D Roosevelt, who oversaw the detention of more than 110,000 people in US government camps after Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941.
"What I'm doing is no different than FDR," Mr Trump said on ABC's Good Morning America.
"We have no choice but to do this," he said. "We have people that want to blow up our buildings, our cities. We have to figure out what's going on."
Senior White House officials earlier condemned Mr Trump's proposal, saying it was contrary to US values and interests.
"You're being generous by describing it as a proposal," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
"I think what Mr Trump is doing is something that he's been doing over the course of his entire campaign, which is ... to play on people's fears in order to build support for his campaign."
"I think what he's doing, he's dividing America in a really cynical way," Mr Earnest said.
Mr Trump's comments come in the wake of a mass shooting in California that saw a married couple kill 14 people and were denounced by many in his own party.
"It's entirely inconsistent with the kinds of values that were central to the founding of this country," Mr Earnest said.
One of President Barack Obama's top foreign policy aides, Ben Rhodes, told CNN that the plan was also "contrary to our security".
"The fact of the matter is [the so-called Islamic State militant group] wants to frame this as a war between the United States and Islam," he added.
"And if we look like we apply religious tests to who comes into to this country, we are sending a message that essentially we are embracing that."
Mr Rhodes added that Mr Trump’s plan, if acted upon, would also call into question the United States' ability to work with Muslim communities to counter radicalisation.
Vote on tightening visa waiver programme passed overwhelmingly
The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to tighten restrictions on travel to the US by citizens of the 38 nations who are allowed to enter the country without obtaining a visa.
The bill, the second major piece of security legislation approved in the chamber since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, passed by 407 to 19.
Among other things, the measure would require visitors from the visa waiver countries, which include much of western Europe, to obtain a visa to travel to the United States if they had been to Syria, Iraq, Iran or Sudan during the past five years.
It also would also require countries participating in the programme to share information with US authorities about suspected terrorists.
Backing for the other security bill passed in the House, imposing tough new screening requirements on refugees from Syria and Iraq, was far more partisan.
Just 47 Democrats joined the 242 Republicans who voted for it and President Barack Obama, a Democrat, promised a veto.
The Senate has not scheduled a vote on either measure, and both could be included in a trillion-dollar spending bill that Congress must pass in the next few days in order to keep the government open.
The White House has expressed support for tightening the visa waiver programme.