GOP rep calls on White House to clarify Trump's 's---hole' comments

GOP rep calls on White House to clarify Trump's 's---hole' comments
© Greg Nash

A House Republican is calling on the White House to clarify remarks President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE reportedly made during an Oval Office meeting Thursday referring to Haiti and several African nations as "shithole" countries.

In a tweet  posted Thursday evening, Florida Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz Disinvited GOP lawmaker turns up at Dem hearing MORE defended immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who have been allowed to remain in the United States due to armed conflict or environmental disaster in their home countries.

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"The men and women who have status under the TPS program are among the most humble and hard working in our country. They improve quality of life in our communities and many Americans depend on them to support family life," Curbelo tweeted.

"Under no circumstances is it acceptable to degrade, denigrate, or dehumanize #TPS immigrants," he added. "The White House must immediately explain the situation and leave no doubt regarding what was said and in what context."

In a third tweet, the lawmaker added that any immigration deal reached between Democrats and Republicans must include a "permanent solution" for TPS immigrants.

Curbelo is a top Democratic target in this year's elections. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Trump says he's not prepared to lose in 2020 MORE carried his heavily Hispanic district by 16 points in 2016, even as Curbelo cruised to reelection.

The White House issued a brief statement Thursday in response to The Washington Post story that quoted the president referring to Haiti and some African countries as "shithole" nations. He allegedly made the remark during a meeting on immigration reform with lawmakers in the Oval Office.

The statement from the White House did not deny Trump's use of the term.

“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 has reportedly made questionable assertions about Haitian and African immigrants in the past. In December, The New York Times reported Trump said Haitian immigrants "all have AIDS," and Nigerian immigrants would never "go back to their huts" if granted entrance to the U.S. The White House denies Trump said those things.