House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked about President Trump’s comments during an interview Friday.
“I read those comments later last night, so first thing that came to my mind was, very unfortunate, unhelpful,” said Ryan.
He did not call on the president to apologize for the remarks.
Ryan said he thought about his own ancestors who came to the United States from Ireland and faced discrimination.
Senator Dianne Feinstein suggested President Trump should resign in the wake of his vulgar Oval Office comments Thursday.
In a tweet, the California Democrat said there was “no room for racism in the Oval Office.”
If the president can?t control himself and lead this country with the authority, dignity and leadership it requires, then he shouldn?t be the president. There?s no room for racism in the Oval Office.— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) January 12, 2018
President Trump’s former presidential campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, slammed Trump’s “racist” views in a blunt tweet Friday.
Clinton lamented that Trump’s comments came so close to the eighth anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
The anniversary of the devastating earthquake 8 years ago is a day to remember the tragedy, honor the resilient people of Haiti, & affirm America?s commitment to helping our neighbors. Instead, we?re subjected to Trump?s ignorant, racist views of anyone who doesn?t look like him.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 12, 2018
Senator John McCain, a frequent Trump critic and Republican from Arizona, did not mention Trump by name Friday but spoke out in defense of diversity in the United States, calling the opposition to those values an opposition to “the very idea of America.”
Respect for the God-given dignity of every human being, no matter their race, ethnicity or other circumstances of their birth, is the essence of American patriotism. To believe otherwise is to oppose the very idea of America.— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) January 12, 2018
Representative Mia Love, a Republican from Utah and a Haitian-American, condemned the remarks and called on Trump to apologize.
“The President’s comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” she wrote on Twitter.
Here is my statement on the President?s comments today: pic.twitter.com/EdtsFjc2zL— Rep. Mia Love (@RepMiaLove) January 11, 2018
Joe Biden, the former vice president and subject of speculation about his interest in a possible presidential run in 2020, tweeted Friday that Trump’s remarks were “not how a president should behave.”
It?s not how a president should speak. It?s not how a president should behave. Most of all, it?s not what a president should believe. We?re better than this.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 12, 2018
Bill Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, tweeted the story of 28-year-old Emmanuel Mensah, a Ghanaian immigrant and member of the Army National Guard who died after rescuing his neighbors from a deadly fire in the Bronx last month.
Two weeks ago a 26-year old soldier raced repeatedly into a burning Bronx apartment building, saving four people before he died in the flames. His name was Pvt. Emmanuel Mensah and he immigrated from Ghana, a country Donald Trump apparently thinks produces very subpar immigrants.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 12, 2018
‘‘As someone from South Shithole, Trevor is deeply offended by the president’s remarks,’’ The Daily Show tweeted of its South African-born host, Trevor Noah.
Pastor stands by Trump
A prominent evangelical supporter of Trump’s is standing by him after Trump used a vulgarity to describe African countries.
The Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas says that, apart from the reported choice of words, ‘‘Trump is right on target in his policy.’’
Jeffress says Trump has a constitutional responsibility as commander in chief to protect the U.S. ‘‘above the needs of other countries.’’ Jeffress says Trump has courage and deserved gratitude for his leadership.
Jeffress sent out the statement as many evangelical leaders condemned the remarks as offensive and racist.
People briefed on the Oval Office conversation on immigration reform Thursday said Trump questioned why the United States would accept more immigrants from Haiti and what he called “shithole countries’’ in Africa.