SIOUX CITY | A day after President Donald Trump used graphic language to describe Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations, Rep. Steve King defended the Republican president, suggesting in a Tweet Friday that Democrats "should be happy to deport criminal aliens back" to those countries if they aren't as bad as Trump described.
At a meeting on immigration with Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House on Thursday, Trump reportedly questioned why the U.S. should take in more immigrants from "s***hole countries" in Africa, according to a report from the Washington Post. Trump then suggested a better strategy would be to accept more people from countries such as Norway.
Trump's comments drew a chorus of criticism from members of Congress and world leaders. King, an outspoken critic of America's immigration policies, took a different approach.
"Hang in there Mr. President," the 4th District congressman Tweeted on his official account. "If those countries aren’t as you described, Democrats should be happy to deport criminal aliens back to them and end #AnchorBabies too.”
Anchor Babies is a term some immigration critics use to describe children born in the United States to non-citizen mothers.
Trump took to Twitter Friday to say he used "tough language" about the countries, but not the reported profanity. Trump denied saying “anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country."
In one other tweet, the president wrote, "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!"
DACA refers to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which King has called an "unconstitutional" program set up by former President Barack Obama "for illegal aliens that undermines the rule of law in America."
Starting in 2012, an estimated 1.2 million undocumented young adults were allowed to live and work in the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was barred from deporting those covered to their home countries.
Trump rescinded the program in September and gave the GOP-controlled Congress until March 5 to agree on legislation that would offer similar protections to those covered by DACA.
King, of Kiron, has repeatedly urged Trump not to agree to a congressional deal to reinstate the program.
After defending Trump's vulgar comments Friday, the eight-term congressman then sparred on Twitter with actor and comedian George Lopez.
In a reply to King's defense of Trump, Lopez tweeted on his verified account, "hey Steve king : f**k you too !"
King then responded with a tweet saying, "hey George Lopez: To paraphrase you, I’ll Flush you too! You are too foul for public consumption. u r dumped."