Members of the U.S. House and Senate flooded Twitter to condemn President Donald Trump’s reported description of some developing nations as “s—hole countries” at a White House meeting on immigration Thursday.
Trump was meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to hash out a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The six senators in attendance announced that a deal in principle had been reached, before reports of Trump’s profane comments surfaced.
The Washington Post reported that Trump also asked “Why do we need more Haitians?” and suggested the U.S. should “take them out.”
Trump responded fiercely in a series of tweets Friday morning, appearing to deny the reports while simultaneously rejecting the DACA deal that was announced the day before. The White House did not immediately respond to a request to clarify the president’s tweets.
Politicians from both parties were quick to respond to the president’s reported comments from the meeting. One of the first statements came from Republican Rep. Mia Love of Utah, who herself is Haitian-American.
“The President’ comments today are unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” Love tweeted. She demanded that Trump should apologize to the U.S. and “the nations he so wantonly maligned.”
Mia Love tweet
Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., called Trump’s derisive comments “completely inappropriate.” Minnesota has cultivated a reputation for its openness to immigrants and refugees during the Syrian refugee crisis in recent years.
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Even GOP representatives from swing states, such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., voiced their opposition to the president’s words.
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Some GOP responses, however, were more circumspect. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio focused less on Trump’s vulgar words than on their policy implications.
Marco Rubio tweet
And Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said he looked forward “to getting a more detailed explanation” regarding Trump’s “s—hole” comments.
Orrin Hatch tweet
Democrats, on the other hand, excoriated Trump in blistering terms for his remarks — a number of them accusing him of racism.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., admonished the president not to “judge people based on the color of their skin” in a CNN interview.
Bernie Sanders tweet
The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., said the reports “are further proof that his Make America Great Again Agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda.”
California Rep. Karen Bass said Trump is “unable to see people of color, American or otherwise, as equals.”
Karen Bass tweet
On Friday morning, Trump sent a series of tweets addressing the proposed DACA deal and the specific off-color remarks he reportedly said.
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