All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation reacted swiftly and with scorn to President Donald Trump’s racially charged comment questioning why the United States allows immigrants from “shithole countries.”

[Trump acknowledges ‘tough’ language but appears to deny ‘shithole’ remark]

The condemnations came as Trump found himself at the center of an international firestorm Friday, a day after he reportedly made the comment during a meeting with lawmakers at the White House. Trump tweeted Friday that reports about what he said were inaccurate but did not specify how.

Maine’s congressional delegation united on the issue.

“These comments are highly inappropriate and out of bounds and could hurt efforts for a bipartisan immigration agreement,” tweeted Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins. “The president should not denigrate other countries.”

U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, tweeted an excerpt from an interview with WCSH that the comment was “truly regrettable and inconsistent with my understanding of what America is all about.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin said in a brief written statement to the media Thursday that the comments, as reported, were “not helpful” to the goal of immigration reform and securing U.S. borders.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree called the comment “racist,” “frightening” and “absolutely sickening, even for him.”

“His words are slanderous to our legacy as a nation of immigrants,” Pingree said in a written statement.

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Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.