Following a firestorm Thursday over reports that President Donald Trump derided certain “shithole” countries during a recent meeting about immigration policy, many Republican leaders remained silent.
House Speaker Paul Ryan broke that silence Friday, calling Trump’s remarks “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful.”
He went on to tout the important role immigrants from around the world continue to play in making the U.S. a diverse nation.
“I see this as a thing to celebrate,” he said. “It’s a big part of ours strength, whether you’re coming from Haiti – we have great friends from Africa in Janesville, who are doctors and incredible citizens.”
Trump’s remarks have been labeled racist by some of his critics based on his reported mockery of African nations, among others, combined with his selection of Norway as one of the countries from which he would like to see more U.S. immigration.