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GOP lawmaker calls Trump ‘s---hole’ remark ‘reprehensible’ and ‘racist’

Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenDemocrats have a long history of supporting Israel GOP group makes late play in Iowa seat once seen as lost Dems outraising Republicans in final stretch of midterms MORE (R-Fla.) blasted 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 for reportedly calling Haiti, El Salvador and African countries “shithole” nations, saying Trump’s remarks are “reprehensible” and “racist.”

“The statements of the president are reprehensible, they’re racist, they’re totally incorrect,” Ros-Lehtinen said in an interview with CBS Miami. “This is a pattern of racist statements.”

“This is a man who made his name in the political world doubting President Obama’s American citizenship, saying that he was born in Kenya,” she continued. “Then he launched his campaign saying that Mexicans are rapists and criminals.”

Ros-Lehtinen, who represents a district Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US Republicans cancel airtime in swing Vegas district The Democratic Donald Trump is coming MORE won by double digits over Trump in the 2016 election, announced her retirement from Congress last April.

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The Washington Post reported Thursday that in a meeting with lawmakers, Trump referred to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as coming from “shithole countries.”

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, while discussing protections for immigrants from several countries.

Trump then reportedly said the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries like Norway.

In a statement, the White House did not deny Trump’s “shithole” comments.

But Friday morning, Trump denied saying “anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country” and said that while he used “tough language” in the meeting with lawmakers, “this was not the language used.”

Trump’s comments drew backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, media figures and foreign governments, many of whom accused Trump of racist behavior.