January 12, 2018 / 6:13 PM / 6 months ago

House Speaker Ryan - Trump's comments 'unfortunate, unhelpful': CNN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Friday that President Donald Trump’s reported comments on African nations and Haiti at Thursday’s bipartisan immigration meeting were unfortunate and unhelpful, adding that any immigration reforms will be separate from spending bill negotiations.

House Speaker Paul Ryan listens during a media availability following a closed House Republicans conference meeting in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“The first thing that came to mind was very unfortunate and unhelpful,” Ryan said in an interview on CNN speaking about reports that fellow Republican Trump had referred to them as “shithole countries.”

Trump has denied the remarks.

Asked about how Trump’s comments could impact a congressional deal on immigration reform, Ryan said: “We just have to get it done.”

Ryan also said that he is confident that there will not be a government shutdown next week, as lawmakers scramble to negotiate spending legislation to keep it operating.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Lisa Lambert

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