Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenOne bipartisan remedy to the wave of anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks? passing the Equality Act High-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Bottom line MORE (R-Fla.) blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpWendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Senate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Former acting Defense secretary under Trump met with Jan. 6 committee: report 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 ClintonA year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low The Memo: 2024 chatter reveals Democratic nervousness Second gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House MORE won by double digits over Trump in the 2016 election, announced her retirement from Congress last April.
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.