Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation reacted with outrage and condemnation following news reports that President Donald Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries” during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about a potential immigration deal.
Trump on Friday pushed back against the reports about his remarks.
“(The president) must apologize for his abhorrent comments,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said on Twitter. “We are a nation of immigrants; it’s what makes us strong.”
.@POTUS must apologize for his abhorrent comments. We are a nation of immigrants; it’s what makes us strong.
— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) January 12, 2018
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman responded by celebrating the diversity of his constituents.
“I am honored to represent a diverse tapestry of immigrant communities — from El Salvador to Ethiopia, my constituents came from all over the world to pursue the American dream,” the Aurora Republican said in a statement. “They haven’t just strengthened the fabric or our entire community with their contributions. The president could learn a thing or two from them.”
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) January 12, 2018
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, said: “Every leader, no matter their party, has a responsibility to stand up against this kind of racism and ignorance. This is just not who we are.”
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, called Trump’s comments “extremely disturbing” and said his remarks show that “his ‘America First’ views are rooted in bigotry and xenophobia. Repeated rhetoric of this sort by the occupant of the White House is a disgrace to our nation.”
A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Ken Buck said the Windsor Republican does not have a response to the matter.
Every leader, no matter their party, has a responsibility to stand up against this kind of racism and ignorance. This is just not who we are. https://t.co/l0RDDcoxiu
— Polis for Colorado (@PolisForCO) January 11, 2018
Another extremely disturbing @POTUS comment on immigration that further proves his “America First” views are rooted in bigotry and xenophobia. Repeated rhetoric of this sort by the occupant of the White House is a disgrace to our nation. https://t.co/SDinDcfsZp
— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) January 12, 2018
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter called Trump’s comments unacceptable.
“Our nation is a nation of immigrants — immigrants who come from all over the globe to pursue their American Dream,” he posted on Twitter. “We welcome immigrants & embrace our diversity because that’s what makes America great.”
The Washington Post reports Trump made the comments during a meeting with federal lawmakers about a deal to protect young immigrants whose Obama-era deportation protections he put in limbo by unraveling the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals — or DACA — program.
Trump, according to the newspaper, questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway.
The Denver Post has reached out to the other members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and will update this story as they respond.