SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Trump is responding after the intense fallout from his reported disparaging comments about immigrants in the Oval Office.
The comment is making waves across the country, around the world, and even right here in our region.
(Photo Credit: DoD / CC BY 2.0 / MGN)
“It was very offensive and it's an embarrassment for us as Americans,” David Lechelt from Minneapolis said.
People walking around downtown Sioux Falls had some harsh words for the President.
And those were echoed by officials with the South Dakota Democratic Party.
“To be honest was not that surprised,” South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Parkinson said. “That being said, totally inappropriate, an adult let alone, I mean, the leader of the free world, should not be talking like this.”
According to Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois, the President made the comment during a meeting with lawmakers while hashing out a DACA agreement. Trump questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and expletive countries in Africa rather than places like Norway.
“In the context of the conversation we knew that he was directly talking about African American countries and talking about the people there. And that just adds to the fact of the past comments he said that lead us to believe that's a racist statement,” Parkinson said.
President Trump is also taking heat from Congress.
While Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley didn't have much to say about it...
“I don't pay much attention because I’ve got my job to do and you can't spend all your time just worrying about what the President's doing,” Grassley said.
Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota criticized the comment.
“Very important part of our economic plans is to do business with these countries because they're growing economies. They're not perfect now, but they're growing economies, and China knows that. They're putting trains all over Africa and so when you use words like this it just goes all over the world,” Klobuchar said.
In a tweet Friday President Trump defended his comments saying he never said anything derogatory about Haitians.
KSFY News reached out to South Dakota's Republican Party multiple times for comment and never heard back. KSFY also contacted Senator Thune, Rounds and Congresswoman Noem.
None of South Dakota’s congressional leaders responded to the request for comment.