Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE on Monday refuted suggestions he could turn Muslims against the United States, saying many already hold the country in low esteem.

"We are not exactly loved by many Muslims," the celebrity real estate tycoon said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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Trump was responding to a charge from Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden's debate performance renews questions of health At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Meghan McCain swipes at Sanders: 'Don't you dare lecture Biden about cancer' MORE (R-Ariz.), who said Sunday that Trump's divisive rhetoric was turning Muslims around the world against the U.S.

Trump pointed to fans cheering "God is great" in Arabic during a soccer match in Turkey earlier this month during a moment of silence in the wake of the Paris attacks.

"I think John McCain is incorrect," Trump said on MSNBC. "I think we have to be strong. I think we have to be vigilant."

"I have many Muslim friends, they're wonderful people, but nevertheless, we have to be extremely vigilant and extremely strong and we have to understand what the problem is," Trump said.