Rep. Cedric Richmond says Make America Great Again is code for Make America White Again

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Cedric Richmond (R-LA) (L) questions Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. Despite the lack of evidence against him, Koskinen is facing impeachment threats from conservatives in the House of Representatives for his role in the destruction of computer backups containing thousands of emails sought by Congress in its investigation of political targeting. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON —  New Orleans Congressman Cedric Richmond has released a fiery response to a Washington Post report that says President Donald Trump decried immigrants from “s***hole countries” behind closed doors.

Trump apparently uttered the shocking remark as lawmakers discussed reinstating protections for Haitians, Salvadorans and residents of African nations who immigrated to the United States under temporary protected status.

“Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the paper, which cited two people briefed on the Thursday Oval Office meeting with lawmakers. The Post says White House officials did not dispute the quote.

Richmond, a New Orleans Democrat who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said Trump’s comments validate the caucus’ reservations about negotiating with the president on immigration.

“President Trump’s comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views,” Richmond said in a prepared statement. “It also reinforces the concerns that we hear every day, that the President’s slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again.

“Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that we can negotiate in good faith with a person who holds such vile and reprehensible beliefs,” Richmond continued.

The remarks were made during the same Oval Office meeting in which President Donald Trump rejected a pitch from a bipartisan team of senators on a compromise immigration deal to protect “Dreamers” while increasing border security.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham met with Trump to discuss a compromise plan from a small group of six senators, but were rebuffed and told to keep working, Durbin said.

CNN contributed to this report.