Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE aligned himself with the countries insulted by President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE in comments leaked from an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers on immigration.
Perez, whose parents are from the Dominican Republic, said his parents came from a country similar to those mentioned by Trump in a tweet responding to the president.
My parents came from one of those countries. https://t.co/tfRRghQflJ— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) January 11, 2018
During the meeting with lawmakers on Thursday, Trump said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” according to a report from The Washington Post.
The Post said Trump was referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, and that his remarks took lawmakers aback.
The White House did not deny Trump's remarks in a statement released after the report.
The statement said that while Trump's opponents "choose to fight for foreign countries," the president will always "fight for the American people.”
Trump has been quoted attacking immigrants from Haiti in the past.
In December, The New York Times reported that Trump once suggested all immigrants from Haiti "have AIDS," and that Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” if granted entrance to the U.S.
The White House denied that Trump made those statements, calling the charges "outrageous."
"[Chief of staff] Gen. [John] Kelly, [national security adviser] Gen. [H.R.] McMaster, Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson, [Homeland Security] Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims and it's both sad and telling The New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous 'sources' anyway," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time.