Harris slams Trump for 'hateful words' amid immigration debate

Harris slams Trump for 'hateful words' amid immigration debate
© Camille Fine

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe American experience is incomplete without its neighbor – The argument for Americanism Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday night ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE's reported comments referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries," calling them hateful.

"On this eve of MLK weekend, where we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, it's an interesting coincidence of timing, frankly, that the president of the United States would speak the words, the hateful words that he spoke at a time that we are honoring a man that lived and died with the spirit of saying we are one people and human rights and humanity should be the priority for all of us," Harris told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. 

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"The words of a president are very powerful words and unfortunately this president has used his words to demean and belittle, instead of uplifting people. And it is deeply troubling. It is unfortunate and it is irresponsible, simply irresponsible," she said. 

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump had made the comments during an Oval Office meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The White House did not deny that Trump made the comments, which were reported by multiple other outlets.

Trump on Friday denied that he said "anything derogatory" about Haitians, saying in a tweet he simply used "tough" language in the immigration meeting.