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 ComstockProgressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers GOP lawmaker introduces bill to stop revolving door MORE (R-Va.), a top Democratic target in next fall's midterm elections, said Friday that she “can’t defend” President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE’s reported comments calling Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries.”

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“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 ClintonChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report A question for Robert Mueller 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 DurbinDemocrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations MORE (D-Ill.), who attended the meeting, said he had made the "hateful" remarks.