Republican Rep. Mia Love deplored President Donald Trump for reportedly criticizing immigrants coming to the United States from what he called “shithole countries.”
“I can’t defend the indefensible. You have to understand that there are countries that struggle out there. But their people, their people are good people and they’re part of us. We’re Americans,” Love, who represents Utah and is the first Haitian-American elected to Congress, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Referring to immigrants from African countries, Trump asked lawmakers during an Oval Office meeting on immigration reform, “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” a source briefed on the meeting told CNN.
The President has denied making the comment.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!” Trump tweeted on Friday.
Love, whose parents immigrated from Haiti, told “State of the Union” that she thinks the President’s comments were racist.
“I think they were, yes. I think they were unfortunate. I don’t know if they were taken – I wasn’t in the room. I know the comments were made. I don’t know in which context they were made,” she said. “I’m looking forward to finding out what happened, but more importantly, I’m looking forward to fixing the problem.”
Love also told “State of the Union” that she was contacted by the White House to discuss immigration reform. “I don’t know if those comments would be made if I was in the room,” she said.
Love had called on Trump to apologize for his comments earlier this week.
“The (President’s) comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” Love said in a statement Thursday night. “The President must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.”
CNN’s Caroline Kenny contributed to this report.