U.S. Sen. Tim Scott said America is a product of immigrants as he expressed disappointment President Donald Trump reportedly used the phrase "shithole countries" in the Oval Office on Thursday as part of a discussion on immigration reform.
The comments allegedly covered Trump referencing immigration from Africa and Haiti.
"If these comments are the president's words they are disappointing to say the least," Scott, R-S.C., said in a statement attributed to CNN on Thursday evening.
"The American family was born from immigrants fleeing persecution and poverty and searching for a better future," he continued. "Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world.
"To deny these facts would be to ignore the brightest part of our history," he ended.
The Washington Post reported Trump became frustrated with lawmakers in the Oval Office when they brought up the idea of restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a the ongoing bipartisan immigration discussions.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said.
The newspaper sourced two people briefed on the meeting.
Trump then suggested the U.S. should instead allow more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday.
According to the Post, the comments stunned lawmakers who were present, including Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill.
Graham's office in South Carolina confirmed he was at the White House on Thursday but his spokesman would not answer questions about Graham and the president's reported utterings.