McCain: Trump should respect that 'people from everywhere have made America great'
© Camille Fine

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Rand Paul’s Russia visit displays advancement of peace through diplomacy MORE (R-Ariz.) on Friday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE should "respect" that immigrants "from everywhere have made America great."

McCain was responding to Trump's reported comment that Haiti, El Salvador and other African nations are "shithole countries." He referenced Trump's campaign motto "make America great again."

“Respect for the God-given dignity of every human being, no matter their race, ethnicity or other circumstances of their birth, is the essence of American patriotism," McCain said in a statement.

"To believe otherwise is to oppose the very idea of America," he continued. "People have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great. Our immigration policy should reflect that truth, and our elected officials, including our President, should respect it.”

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Trump made the reported comments on Thursday during a private meeting with lawmakers to discuss a possible deal on immigration policy.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to The Washington Post.

Several top GOP lawmakers reacted to the president's alleged comments, including House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNew Dem ad uses Paterno, KKK, affair allegations to tar GOP leaders House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (Wis.) who called Trump's remarks "very unhelpful." 

McCain has been a consistent proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, as well as an increasingly frequent critic of Trump-backed legislation, including a proposal to implement merit-based immigration policies.