Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom called on President Trump to step down in response to reports that the president used a vulgar phrase when talking about immigrants from Africa, Central America and the Caribbean.
“You're a joke and a racist, President Donald J. Trump. Resign,” Newsom wrote on Facebook.
“What do we want Haitians here for?” the president asked, according to the reports. “Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?"
The president added that the United States should take more immigrants from countries like Norway.
The White House did not deny Trump made the slur on Thursday, but Trump tweeted on Friday that he did not make the remarks. However, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), a participant in the meeting, confirmed Friday that he heard the remarks, while two Republican senators in the meeting said they could not recall the president making the statement.
Another Democrat running for governor of California, Antonio Villaraigosa, pointed to Trump’s statement as he called on his Twitter followers to sign a petition urging Congress to provide relief for so-called Dreamers.
“Sad to report - this is not fake news. Another reminder - we must speak as one to protect immigrants. Join us,” the former Los Angeles mayor wrote.