Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) scolded President Donald Trump for his reported “s**thole” comment, but the lawmaker offered a similar descriptor just a few years ago.
Trump has taken a lot of heat — with critiques from CNN anchors and entertainers — for allegedly describing African nations as “s**thole countries” during a bipartisan White House meeting, where he and a handful of senators discussed immigration reform.
Graham told reporters Friday, “I said my piece directly to him yesterday.”
However, in 2013, the South Carolina senator offered a similar characterization of Latin American countries. He called them “hellholes” during a Senate hearing on immigration and securing the border:
"The people coming across the southern border live in hellholes. They don't like that. They want to come here. Our problem is we can't have everybody in the world who lives in a hellhole come into America. We're just gonna have to create order out of chaos.
So you've got to do something on the southern border you don't do on the northern border, but if you don't agree that the difference is jobs, then we just don't agree. There are 11 million people coming through the southern border because they come from countries where they can't find work and life is miserable."
It’s worth noting that, shortly after Graham made the comment, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), now the U.S. attorney general, rebuked his Republican colleague for the description.
“It's not a hellhole. There are some great things going on in Mexico. We are proud of the people of Mexico,” Sessions said. “It does have some difficult areas, as I know you know, but I just want to say there are good people, a lot of progress has been made.”
Lindsey Graham, at the time, responded, “You're right.”
For his part, Trump has denied reports about his comments, saying the characterization of the remarks was “made up” by Democrats.
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