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

Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenThe women in white and the trails they blaze Lobbying World Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop MORE (R-Fla.) blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: 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 ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run 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.