GOP lawmaker calls Trump ‘s---hole’ remark ‘reprehensible’ and ‘racist’

Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenOvernight Energy: Proposed rule would roll back endangered species protections | House passes Interior, EPA spending | House votes to disavow carbon tax House votes to disavow carbon tax 'Paws for Celebration' event brings rescue animals to the Capitol MORE (R-Fla.) blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE for reportedly calling Haiti, El Salvador and African countries “shithole” nations, saying Trump’s remarks are “reprehensible” and “racist.”

“The statements of the president are reprehensible, they’re racist, they’re totally incorrect,” Ros-Lehtinen said in an interview with CBS Miami. “This is a pattern of racist statements.”

“This is a man who made his name in the political world doubting President Obama’s American citizenship, saying that he was born in Kenya,” she continued. “Then he launched his campaign saying that Mexicans are rapists and criminals.”

Ros-Lehtinen, who represents a district Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProminent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up 'a strong Russia' MORE won by double digits over Trump in the 2016 election, announced her retirement from Congress last April.

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The Washington Post reported Thursday that in a meeting with lawmakers, Trump referred to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as coming from “shithole countries.”

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, while discussing protections for immigrants from several countries.

Trump then reportedly said the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries like Norway.

In a statement, the White House did not deny Trump’s “shithole” comments.

But Friday morning, Trump denied saying “anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country” and said that while he used “tough language” in the meeting with lawmakers, “this was not the language used.”

Trump’s comments drew backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, media figures and foreign governments, many of whom accused Trump of racist behavior.