WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on President Trump and immigration (all times local):
Sen. John McCain says all elected officials, including the president, must respect that people from all over the world have “made America great.”
The Arizona Republican’s statement comes a day after President Donald Trump referred to African nations as “shithole” countries during Oval Office talks with lawmakers about immigration.
McCain says respecting all people “is the essence of American patriotism.” He says rejecting that “is to oppose the very idea of America.”
McCain did not specifically mention Trump or the profanity he used. He did employ a variant of Trump’s campaign theme, “Make America Great Again.”
Trump’s vulgarity was described by Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin, who attended the White House meeting, and three others briefed on the session.
McCain is in Arizona being treated for brain cancer.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says he “said my piece” to Donald Trump after the president’s comments about Africa and Haiti that have stirred such controversy. But Graham isn’t confirming exactly what Trump said.
In a statement Friday, the South Carolina lawmaker says, “Following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him.” Graham also says diversity is “our strength, not our weakness.”
Graham released his statement a day after an Oval Office immigration meeting at which Trump referred to African nations with a vulgar term. Trump’s words have prompted an uproar and were relayed by Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois – who was at the session – and three others familiar with the meeting.
Trump disputes the accounts of the language he used, but he has not denied the most controversial word he is said to have uttered.
The State Department says American diplomats will have to work “extra hard” to send the message that the United States cares about other countries after President Donald Trump used the word “shithole” to describe Africa nations.
Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein says it’s Trump’s right to “make whatever remark he chooses.” He says that’s the benefit of being president.