By Joseph Ditzler

The Bulletin

President Donald Trump’s comments on Haitian and African immigrants on Thursday were “offensive and unnecessary,” said U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River.

“We all need to watch our words,” said Walden, visiting Deschutes Brewery in Bend Friday, to reporters.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump, during a meeting with lawmakers on work toward a bipartisan immigration deal, used disparaging language.

“Why are we having all these people from s---hole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the Post account. One lawmaker present, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Illinois, on Friday challenged Trump’s denial of that report, according to the Post.

Walden said the president’s remarks may hinder progress on immigration reform, at least temporarily.

“It doesn’t help when you’re trying to bring people together on a difficult issue for our country and our Congress to resolve,” he said.

Walden paired Trump’s remarks with those attributed Thursday to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who reportedly said that “five white guys” are leading talks on immigration reform, with no involvement by minority members of Congress, according to Politico.com.

“I know Nancy Pelosi got in trouble the other day for saying it was just four white guys sitting around talking about immigration reform, and Steny Hoyer, the Democrat whip of the House, was very offended by that,” Walden said.

Another Oregon Republican criticized Trump’s remark. State Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, a GOP candidate for governor, said: “​The ​United States of America​ is a nation of diverse immigrants who, like my grandparents, fled poverty and discrimination for liberty and opportunity. The president’s words are not consistent with the values of our great nation.​“​

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, whose parents and grandparents fled Nazi Germany, while relatives died in the Holocaust, also weighed in on Twitter: “Donald Trump’s disgraceful comments prove that he does not even know what makes America great.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com

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