The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination has 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”.
An advisory by the campaign of Donald Trump said there is "great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population".
Mr Trump said in a statement: “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine.
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for president, we are going to make America great again.”
A senior adviser to Mr Trump, Daniel Scavino, confirmed the authenticity of the statement on Twitter, while Mr Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the Associated Press that the candidate's plan would apply to Muslims seeking entry to the country on tourist as well as immigration visas.
An unnamed campaign spokeswoman also confirmed the authenticity of the announcement to The New York Times, which asked what led Mr Trump to his decision.
“Death,” the spokeswoman replied.
A Monmouth University poll just hours before Mr Trump's statement suggested his rival for the Republican nomination, Ted Cruz, had taken the lead in the early-voting state of Iowa.
In the poll of likely caucus-goers in Iowa, which in February 2016 will hold the first contest in the Republican presidential nomination process, Mr Cruz had the support of 24 per cent. Mr Trump was in second place with 19 per cent, followed by Marco Rubio with 17 per cent and Ben Carson at 13 per cent.
Mr Cruz, a US senator from Texas, has benefited from a decline in support for Mr Carson. Both Republicans have a strong base of support with evangelical voters, who make up a large bloc among likely caucus-goers in Iowa.
As recently as October, Mr Carson was leading in the Monmouth poll, with the support of 32 per cent of caucus-goers. In August, he was tied with Mr Trump at 23 per cent.
The poll surveyed 425 likely Iowa caucus-goers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 per cent.