Democrats were quick to denounce President Donald Trump after reports that he referred to Haiti and some African commonwealths as “shithole countries” while discussing immigration reform with lawmakers at the White House.
Most Republicans, on the other hand, were notably silent on the president’s shockingly vulgar remark, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell( R-Ky .) and GOP chair Ronna McDaniel.
But by Friday morning, long after Trump reportedly asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here, ” most GOP lawmakers had still not said anything publicly about the president’s racially charged remark. He was said to have attained the comment when lawmakers pressed to restore protections for migrants from Haiti, El Salvador and multiple African nations.
In a series of early morning tweets, Trump denied applying such speech, while continuing to belittle some nations. But Sen. Dick Durbin( D-Ill .) — who was in the room at the time — swiftly contradicted him, saying that the president had in fact “said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly.”
Under the immigration plan being discussed, the U.S. “would be forced to take large numbers of people from high misdemeanour countries which are doing severely, ” Trump tweeted.He added that “language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”
At least one GOP congressman even applied the moment to attack Democrats. “The rhetoric coming from leaders in both parties does nothing to advanced the kind of reforms that are best for America, ” Rep. Rodney Davis( R-Ill .) tweeted on Thursday, without specifying what was said by Democrat that was as offensive as Trump’s statements. HuffPost’s requests for commentary from Davis’ office were not returned.
Sens. Tom Cotton( R-Ark .) and David Perdue( R-Ga .), who both attended Thursday’s meeting, said in a joint statement Friday that they didn’t recall Trump “saying these comments specifically.”
“What he did call out was the imbalance in our present immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest, ” they said.
Sen. Tim Scott( R-S.C .) said Sen. Lindsey Graham( R-S.C .) — who likewise attended the meeting — confirmed that reporting of Trump’s statements was “basically accurate.”
“We is not likely to disparage any other commonwealth, frankly, ” Scott told The Post and Courier newspaper on Friday. “Thinking about the success of America. It is the melting pot. It’s the ability to weave together multiple communities together for one nation.”
Here are the other Republicans who spoke out against Trump for his reported statement 😛 TAGEND
Rep. Mia Love( R-Utah)
Rep. Mia Love was one of the first Republicans in Congress to issue an official statement demanding the president apologize. Adoration induced history in 2014, when she became the first Haitian-American woman and first black Republican woman elected to Congress.
“This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation, ” Love, whose mothers immigrated from Haiti to the U.S ., said in a statement Thursday.
“My mothers came from one of those countries but proudly took the oath of devotion to the United States and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with, ” she added. “They never took a thing from our federal government.”
Rep. Carlos Curbelo( R-Fla .)
Rep. Carlos Curbelo took a softer approach, tweeting his support for individuals under temporary protected status and asking the White House to explain the context behind Trump’s comment.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen( R-Fla .)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen took to her local media to air frustrations with Trump’s commentaries. She tweeted:“The president calling #Haiti a’ shithole country’ discounts its own contribution thousands of Haitians made to our #SoFla community and nation.”
She later told CBS Miami that “no country deserves to be called a ’shithole.” Speaking to WSVN 7 news, Ros-Lehtinen said that Trump “needs to understand that lives are at stake when he makes such reckless comments.” According to her tweets, she invoked an inscription on the Statue of Liberty: ”’Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses hankering to breathe free, ’ not’ go back to your shithole.’”
She told Univision 23 Miami, a Spanish-language news channel, that Trump’s statements on Haiti “do not reflect our country.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch( R-Utah)
Without denouncing Trump’s insult, Sen. Orrin Hatch called for the White House to explain what Trump meant with his remark.
Rep. Mike Coffman( R-Colo .)
Rep. Mike Coffman issued a statement late Thursday celebrating the accomplishments of Colorado’s diverse immigrant communities, “from El Salvador to Ethiopia.”
“The President could read a thing or two from them, ” Coffman said.
Rep. Erik Paulsen( R-Minn .)
Rep. Erik Paulsen called Trump’s statements “completely inappropriate” and said here White House should issue an apology.
The White House didn’t deny Trump’s remark. Instead, the administration said in a statement that Trump is focused on “American people.”
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people, ” White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement, according to CBS News.
The president “will ever spurn temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures with a view threaten the well-being of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who strive a high quality of life in the United States through a legal pathway, ” Shah added.
Sen. Jeff Flake( R-Ariz .)
Sen. Jeff Flake on Friday tweeted his annoyance with Trump’s choice of words.
Though the president may have been trying to be “tough, ” his statement was instead “abhorrent and repulsive, ” Flake said.
Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele
Michael Steele, a conservative pundit who frequently appears on cable news, harshly rebuked Trump on Friday, saying the “evidence is incontrovertible” that the president is racist.
“There are a whole lot of folks like Donald Trump, ” Steele said on MSNBC. “White folks in this country who have a problem with the browning of America. When they talk about[ craving] their country back, they are talking about a country that was very safely white, less brown and less fully committed to that browning process.”
This article has been updated to include additional Republican commenting on Trump’s statements, and Durbin’s assertion that Trump employed those specific words.
CORRECTION : em > strong >< em> A previous version referred to Rep. Mia Love as the first black Republican in Congress. She is the first black Republican woman in Congress.