SCV’s reps re­spond to pres­i­dent’s com­ments

Lo­cal lead­ers, law­mak­ers crit­i­cize Trump’s re­marks at White House meet­ing

The Signal - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drew Clark Sig­nal Staff Writer See TRUMP, A9

Leg­is­la­tors, a city coun­cil­man and sev­eral can­di­dates run­ning for of­fice widely de­nounced com­ments made by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump that re­ferred to im­mi­grants com­ing from “s***hole coun­tries.”

The com­ments, which White House of­fi­cials did not deny Thurs­day but Trump de­nied say­ing them Fri­day, were made dur­ing a meet­ing be­tween Trump and con­gres­sional leg­is­la­tors on ex­tend­ing the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram.

“The lan­guage used by the pres­i­dent yes­ter­day was of­fen­sive and in­ap­pro­pri­ate,” said Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palm­dale, on so­cial me­dia Fri­day. “We must speak about im­mi­gra­tion and our poli­cies to­wards other coun­tries with

em­pa­thy and re­spect.”

The pres­i­dent de­nied mak­ing the state­ments, de­spite leg­is­la­tors present in the meet­ing telling me­dia out­lets he did.

“Never said any­thing deroga­tory about Haitians other than Haiti is, ob­vi­ously, a very poor and trou­bled coun­try,” he tweeted Fri­day. “Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a won­der­ful re­la­tion­ship with Haitians. Prob­a­bly should record fu­ture meet­ings — un­for­tu­nately, no trust!”

Knight’s three main chal­lengers in the up­com­ing midterm elec­tion in Novem­ber, all seek­ing the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion, posted sim­i­lar state­ments to Twit­ter.

“These are the types of com­ments that made Don­ald Trump pres­i­dent,” Katie Hill wrote Thurs­day. “He rose to power by ex­ploit­ing racial re­sent­ment, cul­tural anx­i­ety, and fear of dif­fer­ence. Let’s elect lead­ers who rep­re­sent the best of our coun­try, rather than the worst of it.”

Bryan Caforio added Fri­day: “.@re­alDon­aldTrump’s com­ments are dis­gust­ing and de­spi­ca­ble, but sadly not sur­pris­ing. Dr. King said it best: ‘Let us march on bal­lot boxes un­til race-baiters dis­ap­pear from the po­lit­i­cal arena.’ Amer­ica is bet­ter than this. Trump and his en­ablers must go — on­ward to Novem­ber!”

Jess Phoenix said the coun­try has wel­comed di­ver­sity from all over the world.

“One thing I love about the U.S. is how so many peo­ple from around the world have made their homes here,” she wrote Fri­day. “Trump’s words were just plain wrong, like so much of his pres­i­dency. Di­ver­sity equals strength. Noth­ing Trump or any­one else says can change that.”

Assem­bly­man Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, said Fri­day law­mak­ers should fo­cus on what unites Amer­i­cans to­gether.

“If the com­ments at­trib­uted to the pres­i­dent are ac­cu­rate, they are un­ac­cept­able,” he said. “Fo­cus on what brings us to­gether as the great­est na­tion on earth, not on what di­vides us.”

Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, noted on Face­book the forth­com­ing Martin Luther King Jr. hol­i­day.

“Amer­ica is more than just a place, it is an ideal,” he said on Face­book Fri­day. “The pres­i­dent’s com­ments yes­ter­day fall far short of the val­ues that make us great. On Mon­day, we cel­e­brate the life and ac­com­plish­ments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — a re­minder that peo­ple should be judged by the qual­ity and con­tent of their char­ac­ter... not the color of their skin.”

Santa Clarita City Coun­cil­man Cameron Smyth said Trump’s com­ments were un­ac­cept­able from a com­man­der-in-chief.

“The com­ments from the pres­i­dent to­day were truly em­bar­rass­ing,” Smyth wrote on Twit­ter Thurs­day. “Not ac­cept­able from the leader of this amaz­ing na­tion built by peo­ple from s***hole coun­tries.”

Assem­bly­man Tom Lackey, R-Palm­dale, whose district in­cludes the far northern por­tion of the Santa Clarita Val­ley, echoed Smyth’s com­ments.

“Pres­i­dent Trump’s ref­er­ence to Africa to­day was un­ac­cept­able,” he wrote on Twit­ter Thurs­day. “We ex­pect bet­ter!”

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