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John Lewis on Trump 's---hole' comment: Racism 'must be in his DNA'

Rep. John LewisJohn LewisThis week: Congressional leaders to meet with Biden amid GOP reckoning Democrats hit crucial stretch as filibuster fight looms Advocates sound alarm as restrictive voting laws pile up MORE (D-Ga.) slammed President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE on Friday for his comment about “shithole countries," suggesting racism “must be in his DNA.”

“I think the words and his actions tend to speak like one who knows something about being a racist,” Lewis said in an MSNBC interview. “It must be in his DNA, in his makeup, but it’s frightening to have someone in the office of the president in 2018 speaking the way that he’s speaking.”

Lewis said that the comments were “unreal” and “unbelievable,” and added that the president is “not really in tune” with the American people.

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“We’re one people, we’re one family, we all live in the same house,” he said. “I don’t think language like this is in keeping with the future of our country or the future of the planet.”

Lewis said that the comments were “incompatible” with Trump signing a proclamation Friday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

“You cannot speak the words of tolerance and peace and love … and then put down a group of people, a nation of people because of the color of their skin or what part of the world they may come from,” Lewis said.

Trump’s comments, made during a private meeting with lawmakers in reference to immigrants from Haiti and some African countries, have prompted backlash from lawmakers and world leaders.

While critics have referred to Trump’s comments about immigration in the past as being “racially charged” or “insensitive,” many from both parties are now calling the president racist

Some of the harshest criticism came from Lewis's fellow Democrats. Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinIf you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap Lawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' MORE (Calif.) accused Trump of “promoting a homogenous, white society” with the remarks.

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinAmazon blocks 10B listings in crackdown on counterfeits DOJ faces big decision on home confinement America's Jewish communities are under attack — Here are 3 things Congress can do MORE (D-Ill.), who was present at the Thursday meeting, confirmed the comments.

The White House initially did not deny them, but Trump tweeted Friday morning that it was “not the language used” in the meeting. Two GOP lawmakers at the meeting said they did not recall the comments.