Sen. John McCainPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE should “respect” that immigrants “from everywhere have made America great.” John Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: ‘Who the hell are you’ to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) on Friday said
McCain was responding to Trump’s reported comment that Haiti, El Salvador and other African nations are “shithole countries.” He referenced Trump’s campaign motto “make America great again.”
“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,” McCain said in a statement.
“To believe otherwise is to oppose the very idea of America,” he continued. “People have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great. Our immigration policy should reflect that truth, and our elected officials, including our President, should respect it.”
Trump made the reported comments on Thursday during a private meeting with lawmakers to discuss a possible deal on immigration policy.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to The Washington Post.
Several top GOP lawmakers reacted to the president’s alleged comments, including House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: ‘I worry about both sides’ of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges ‘entitlement reform’ next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (Wis.) who called Trump’s remarks “very unhelpful.”
McCain has been a consistent proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, as well as an increasingly frequent critic of against Trump-backed legislation, including a proposal to implement merit-based immigration policies.