Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has threaten to leave the Republican Party as international outrage continued to mount over his call to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the US.
Trump shows almost 70 per cent of his supporters would still vote for him if he ran as an independent candidate.
“A new poll indicates that 68% of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP,” he wrote on Facebook.
Trump tried to defend himself from the onslaught of criticism after releasing a statement proposing a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on“ regarding alleged support for Islamist terrorism.
The Independent reported that Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Prince of Jordan, called the suggestion “grossly irresponsible”, warning that it plays into the hands of extremist groups at the expense of ordinary Muslims who are also ”eligible targets“ of the extremists.
The inflammatory statement could affect Trump’s visit to Jordan reportedly scheduled for the end of this month, which the Associated Press said would take place after he tours Israel.
Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said the UN Secretary-General strongly opposed Trump’s statement, while David Cameron, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and the Canadian government also condemned the real-estate mogul’s comments.
Trump said his ideas were no worse than those of then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who oversaw the internment of more than 110,000 people in U.S. government camps after Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941.
“We have no choice but to do this,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America programme.
“We have people that want to blow up our buildings, our cities. We have to figure out what’s going on.”
His call to block all Muslims, including international heads of state from entering America, came in response to a mass shooting in California by a couple who reportedly supported Isis.
Trump was additionally ridiculed for a claim made on MSNBC that parts of London were “so radicalised” that police were “afraid for their own lives”.
Boris Johnson dismissed Mr Trump’s “ill-informed” comments as “nonsense”, while the Muslim Council of Britain invited him to lunch – “should he be allowed to enter the UK”.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Trump’s comments disqualify him from being President and said other Republican candidates should disavow him “right now.”