Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, on Sunday said he doesn’t regret recent language he’s used to describe President Trump, which has included calling Mr. Trump the “grand wizard” of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I don’t regret the use of the language, but I do think we need to move forward,” Mr. Jeffries, New York Democrat, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Mr. Jeffries made the comment last week at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event.
“We have a hater in the White House, the birther-in-chief, the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” Mr. Jeffries said then, referring to a leadership designation in the Ku Klux Klan. “One of the things that we’ve learned is that while Jim Crow may be dead, he’s still got some nieces and nephews that are alive and well.”
Mr. Jeffries and other Democrats have also referred to Mr. Trump as “Individual 1” — a moniker given to Mr. Trump in recent court filings in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, including one in which longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen implicated the president in a scheme to pay hush money to women who have alleged affairs with Mr. Trump.
“Listen, it’s colorful language and I think the president is going to have to own his pattern of behavior that’s taken place — not year after year, but decade after decade,” Mr. Jeffries said.
“Listen, America is a great country. We’ve come a long way on the question of race. We still have a long way to go,” Mr. Jeffries said. “At the end of the day, we’re a nation of immigrants — some voluntary, others involuntary.”
“I think it was Dr. King who said we all came on different ships, but we’re in the same boat right now — I think that’s the way to proceed,” he said.