Vulnerable Republican: 'I can't defend what the president reportedly said'

Vulnerable Republican: 'I can't defend what the president reportedly said'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers GOP lawmaker introduces bill to stop revolving door Ex-lawmakers face new scrutiny over lobbying MORE (R-Va.), a top Democratic target in next fall's midterm elections, said Friday that she “can’t defend” President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE’s reported comments calling Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The United States is a nation of immigrants, and our families and forebears have come from all over the world. This diversity is our strength and uniquely American,” Comstock, who represents a district in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, said in a statement.

“What we need now is not division or discord, but finding a way we can come together and agree, as well as civilly disagree, as we tackle our diverse American challenges.”

Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE defeated Trump by 10 points in Comstock's district in the 2016 race, making the incumbent one of the Democratic Party's main targets in a midterm election where they hope to win back the House majority. A crowded Democratic field has already emerged to vie for Comstock's seat.

Trump during a White House meeting Thursday with lawmakers from both parties questioned why the United States should accept refugees from "shithole countries," The Washington Post reported.

Trump on Friday denied using the language, but Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinNegotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Senate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions Schumer calls for delay on passage of defense bill amid Iran tensions MORE (D-Ill.), who attended the meeting, said he had made the "hateful" remarks.