Reports that President Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries” and disparaged Haitians during an immigration meeting on Thursday prompted outcry from some lawmakers, but his comments were followed by notable silence from others. Here’s how Republicans in the House leadership, the Senate and other lawmakers who attended the meeting have responded:
Denounced the President’s Comments
Some lawmakers specifically criticized the president, while others countered the sentiment of his remarks.
Senator John Boozman Ark.
“Our country is made of immigrants. This diversity is what makes our country great and something all citizens should be proud of. No matter where people come from, they all deserve dignity and respect.”
Senator Susan Collins Maine
Senator Lindsey Graham S.C. AT THE MEETING
Senator Orrin G. Hatch Utah
Senator Johnny Isakson Ga.
Senator James Lankford Okla.
“If these comments are accurate, they are disappointing. I would not talk about nations like this, because the people of those countries are made in the image of God and have worth and human dignity. The United States should lead the world in respect for all people.”
Senator Mike Lee Utah
“The comments attributed to the president are insulting and distracting.”
Senator Rob Portman Ohio
“I wasn’t there, but if he said those things, it’s wrong and indefensible.”
Senator Tim Scott S.C.
“If these comments are the president’s words, they are disappointing to say the least. The American family was born from immigrants fleeing persecution and poverty and searching for a better future. Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world.”
Senator Patrick J. Toomey Pa.
“I hope the president retracts the suggestion, attributed to him yesterday, that America should not want immigrants from countries which he was accused of describing disparagingly. There are great people — many of whom would make great Americans — in every country on the face of the earth.”
Senator John McCain Ariz.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan Wis.
“I think it's a big part of our strength, whether you're coming from Haiti — we've got great friends from Africa in Janesville who are doctors who are just incredible citizens. And I just think it's important that we celebrate that.”
Sidestepped or Did Not Denounce the President’s Comments
A handful of Republican lawmakers who attended the immigration meeting at the White House either said they did not recall the president’s comments or did not directly address them.
Senator David Perdue Ga. AT THE MEETING
Representative Mario Diaz-Balart Fla. AT THE MEETING
No Known Public Statements
The remaining Republican senators and key House members have made no known public statements responding to the comments. The New York Times has reached out to each of their offices.
Senator Lamar Alexander Tenn.
Senator John Barrasso Wyo.
Senator Richard M. Burr N.C.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito W.Va.
Senator Thad Cochran Miss.
Senator Michael D. Crapo Idaho
Senator Steve Daines Mont.
Senator Michael B. Enzi Wyo.
Senator Cory Gardner Colo.
Senator Charles E. Grassley Iowa
Senator James M. Inhofe Okla.
Senator Mitch McConnell Ky.
Senator Lisa Murkowski Alaska
Senator James E. Risch Idaho
Senator Michael Rounds S.D.
Senator Richard C. Shelby Ala.
Senator Dan Sullivan Alaska
Senator Roger Wicker Miss.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Calif. AT THE MEETING
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise La.
Representative Robert W. Goodlatte Va. AT THE MEETING