- The Washington Times - Friday, January 12, 2018

Rep. Jim Renacci on Friday defended President Trump’s controversial remarks about “s–hole” countries.

“The president many times says what people are thinking,” Mr. Renacci, Ohio Republican, said on Fox News. “It’s difficult, I know it’s difficult for the president, because many times you want to say what you are thinking, but in the end, I know a lot of times he is saying what people are thinking.”

Mr. Trump’s alleged comments from a closed-door meeting with lawmakers leaked late Thursday. The president reportedly called certain countries “s–hole” places when discussing immigration issues from those areas. He defended himself on Twitter Friday morning, arguing that he used “tough” language but did not make those exact comments.

Mr. Renacci’s campaign said his comments were not in response to the report, but rather he was speaking generally to Mr. Trump’s tweets overall.

“This morning Jim simply reiterated something he and countless others in the public and the press have said many times before, which is that in general sense, President Trump has given voice to what millions of Americans think and feel on a range of issues,” Mr. Renacci’s campaign responded in a statement adding that he was “pleased” to hear Mr. Trump denied making the disparaging remark.

Mr. Renacci decided to drop out of the governor’s race and instead run for the Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown after getting a call from the Trump administration.

“The White House did call on Tuesday. I was there on Wednesday, and, look, they asked me to jump into this race,” he said.

He added that he’s been a longtime supporter of the president and supported him during the Ohio primary, even though the state’s governor, John Kasich, was in the presidential race.

“The president knows that I’ve supported his agenda from then all the way through to today,” Mr. Renacci said.

He said he’d like Mr. Trump to join him on the campaign trail, adding that he and the president have similar viewpoints that relate to the working-class people of Ohio.

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