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Trump’s Muslim ban idea pushes GOP toward chaos


Trump’s Muslim ban idea pushes GOP toward chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States is shoving the Republican Party to the edge of chaos, abruptly pitting GOP leaders against their own presidential front-runner and jeopardizing the party's longtime drive to attract minorities.

Unbowed, Trump fired a searing warning Tuesday via Twitter to fellow Republicans carping about his proposal. A majority of his supporters, he tweeted, 'would vote for me if I departed the GOP & ran as an independent.'

The crossfire between Trump and frustrated Republicans became a furious blur the day after the billionaire businessman announced his plan. Beleaguered 2016 rivals condemned his proposal and complained that his divisive positions were dominating attention in the crowded Republican contest. Party elders, meanwhile, warned that too much criticism might indeed push him to abandon the GOP and launch a third-party bid that could hand the presidential election to the Democrats.

And Republicans up for re-election in the Senate grew terse in the Capitol hallways as they were asked again and again to respond to Trump's remarks — a glimpse of their political futures if the former reality show star captures the GOP nomination.

'This is not conservatism,' declared House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican Party's top elected leader. 'What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for. And more importantly, it's not what this country stands for.'

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