The vulgar word President Donald Trump allegedly used during a discussion with legislators to describe immigration from several African countries and Haiti created a firestorm this week in the political sphere and beyond.
In his comments, Mr. Trump suggested the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries such as Norway, media outlets reported.
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who represents Shelter Island, has been a staunch supporter of Mr. Trump dating back to early in his campaign. Mr. Zeldin shared his thoughts Thursday night on the president’s latest controversy on his unofficial Facebook and Twitter pages. Mr. Zeldin defended the president and wrote that he “wasn’t elected for his ability or willingness to be politically correct.”
Mr. Trump on Friday denied saying the specific vulgar word, a claim immediately rebuked by Senator Dick Durbin (D-llinois), who said the language was used repeatedly, calling it “vile” and “hate-filled,” according to Newsday.
“The fact is that there are many nations in the world struggling mightily … politically and economically, with poor infrastructure, schools, physical security and more,” Mr. Zeldin wrote. “These third world nations have some of the worst possible challenges imaginable. They also have certain aspects of culture, tradition, values, and religion, that can be emulated the world over.”
Mr. Zeldin said the United States should help where it can, but also prioritize challenges it faces at home.
“Our immigration policies must get stronger, our limited resources spent wiser, and our priorities placed smarter,” he continued.
“I’m not though here to call for the President’s mouth to be washed out with soap and then for him to be physically removed from office,” Mr. Zeldin continued. “He’s not perfect, but no President has ever been perfect. I’m still very strongly rooting for his success and America’s success in this great new year.”
Mr. Trump tweeted Friday: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”
Over the weekend, several lawmakers had spoken out against the president’s comments. Others said he had never used the profane language, while others defended him for his point of view.