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

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcConnell: GOP could try to repeal ObamaCare again after midterms Comey donates maximum amount to Democratic challenger in Virginia House race Live coverage: McSally clashes with Sinema in Arizona Senate debate MORE (R-Ariz.) on Friday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US 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 RyanThe Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns 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.