Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s nephew called President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE> "racially ignorant and racially uninformed" on Friday, one day after reports surfaced that Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and various African nations as "shithole countries."
"I don't think the Present Trump is a racist in the traditional sense as we know in this country," Isaac Newton Farris Jr. told CNN.
Farris Jr. went on to say Trump's remarks were "another example of him [Trump] speaking without knowing the facts."
Farris Jr. made the comments after participating in a White House event on Friday, during which Trump signed a proclamation honoring civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. The event comes as the U.S. prepares to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.
Trump has denied reports that he referred to some immigrants as coming from "shithole countries" during a heated Oval Office meeting on Thursday. In a series of tweets early Friday, he said that was not the language he used.
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
However, the president's reported comments have garnered outrage on both sides of the political aisle.
Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems seize on Kavanaugh emails to question role in terrorism response Trump gives thumbs up to prison sentencing reform bill at pivotal meeting Overnight Defense: Officials make show of force on election security | Dems want probe into Air Force One tours | Pentagon believes Korean War remains 'consistent' with Americans MORE> (D-Ill.), who was present during the Oval Office meeting, confirmed that Trump made the comments.
“I cannot believe in this history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” Durbin said early Friday.
Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who is one of Trump's political allies, also blasted the comments, calling them "absolutely wrong."
“If this report is true, it is absolutely wrong to say or think this,” the governor said. “I do not think this way, nor do I agree with this kind of sentiment. I represent Florida, and we are an amazing melting pot where over 250 languages are spoken.”
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