Bernice King urges GOP lawmaker to study father 'more comprehensively'
Trump religious adviser defends 's---hole' comments
Pastor Robert Jeffress defended President Trump's reported remark referring to Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations as "shithole countries," saying in a statement that the president got the "sentiment" right.
The Texas evangelical megachurch pastor said Friday that Trump was "right on target" when he reportedly questioned why the U.S. accepts immigrants from "shithole countries" during a bipartisan meeting Thursday with lawmakers on immigration reform.
"Apart from the vocabulary attributed to him, President Trump is right on target in his sentiment," Jeffress told CBN News. "As commander-in-chief, President Trump has a responsibility to place the interests of our nation above the needs of other countries."
Trump's comments sparked a wave of bipartisan criticism across Capitol Hill, and an initial statement from the White House Thursday night did not deny the remarks, saying only that Trump would continue to "fight" for Americans while other lawmakers fought for "foreign countries."
"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people," White House spokesman Raj Shah said.
Trump himself denied the comments Friday morning, accusing Democrats of making them up and touting his relationship with the Haitian people.
"Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said 'take them out.' Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians," Trump tweeted Friday.
Jeffress, who oversees the First Baptist Church in Dallas, spoke at Trump's inauguration last January and has in the past made his own controversial statements, largely aimed at LGBT Americans.