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Trump's Call to Bar Muslims Harms National Security, White House Says

Sean Rayford/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump's proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States is "harmful" to the country's national security, top Obama administration officials said Tuesday about the Republican front-runner.

“We certainly do believe that this is harmful to the country and it’s contrary to our values," White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest said.

In an interview on MSNBC, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Trump's comments are damaging law enforcement and intelligence efforts to protect national security.

"We're now in a phase, through the use of social media, internet, groups such as ISIL hope to inspire somebody in our homeland to commit a terrorist attack, which has made our efforts to build bridges to Muslim communities all the more important. That's what we've been doing," Johnson said. "We encounter suspicion every once in a while. But we also encounter a lot of hope, willingness to work with us. It requires that we build trust."

Speaking in Paris on Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said Trump's comments aren't "constructive."

"As I travel around the world it is clear to me and how both our friends and our adversaries watch and listen to the discourse in the U.S. and I believe that comments such as those that we just heard are not constructive and I would say that is putting it diplomatically," he said.

Trump Monday called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims traveling to the United States. The comment drew criticism from the White House and many of his GOP rivals.

"What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president," Earnest said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Earnest also said GOP presidential candidates should be disqualified if they continue to say they would support Trump if he becomes the GOP presidential nominee.

"They should say right now that they would not support Donald Trump for president," Earnest said.

Earnest's comments came hours after House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would still support Trump if he earned the nomination, despite disagreeing with his recent comments.

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