Maine’s Congressional Delegation is criticizing vulgar remarks President Donald Trump made during an Oval Office meeting on Thursday during a discussion of immigration policy, reportedly using an expletive to describe Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.
Most of the responses came in written statements. Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree called Trump’s comments “racist” and “sickening.” She expressed disgust that the president “discounts people who have fled natural disasters, genocide, and poverty to start over in America.”
Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin said he’s focused on policy, and that the reported remarks “are not helpful.”
Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King called the comments “truly regrettable and inconsistent with my understanding of what America is all about.”
Speaking to reporters Friday morning, Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said the president should not denigrate citizens from other countries, and described his words as “completely inappropriate.”
“And it also does not help us come up with a bipartisan approach to immigration for him to make comments like that,” she says.
On Twitter, Trump said he did use tough language in the meeting, but seemed to deny using the expletive in question. Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who was in the meeting, said on Twitter that Trump used hate-filled, racist words repeatedly.
This story was originally published Jan. 12, 2018 at 1:05 p.m. ET.