Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson on Friday called on President Donald Trump to apologize for the vulgar comment made during a closed-door meeting with lawmakers about immigration.
During the meeting Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation.
In a segment recorded Friday for the upcoming broadcast of Capital City Sunday, Johnson told moderator John Beard that the president should apologize.
"When you are in public life, I think you do really need to hold yourself to a higher standard. Children are watching. The world is watching" Johnson said. "I think the president ought to apologize."
However Johnson said he doesn’t think that will happen.
Also Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Trump's slur was "very unfortunate, unhelpful."
Trump on Friday denied using certain "language," but didn't offer more specifics. Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin said Friday that Trump "said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly."
Ryan said his ancestors were Irish and "were really looked down upon." He called immigration "a great story" and said Haitians in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, are "incredible citizens."
Ryan made his remark Friday at a public forum at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The Associated Press Contributed to this story.