President Donald Trump was under fire today after his comments calling political opponents ‘vermin’ were met with strong rebuke from both Republicans and Democrats. The comments were made during a speech at the White House, where Trump accused unnamed “enemies of the people” of unfairly trying to undermine him.
Trump’s remarks, coming during an attempt to accuse his critics of engaging in a ‘coordinated attack’ against him and his administration, were widely criticized as being overly inflammatory and inappropriate. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders condemned the rhetoric, saying that the President “has always supported civil political debates and a respect for all parties involved.”
Likewise, several prominent Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan and Governor John Kasich, have all spoken out against the language, with many Republican lawmakers condemning the comments as well. “This is not language befitting of the office of the President,” McConnell said. “This kind of attacks on opponents go beyond what American politics should be about and will only create division among us.”
The remarks have drawn widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum, with many believing that they have crossed a line. Critics point out that such language is typically used to vilify and dehumanize those who are perceived to pose a threat to political or social power or prestige.
In the face of such criticism, Trump has doubled down, arguing that his remarks were ‘not meant to be taken literally.’ However, the White House and many members of Congress stand firm in their belief that the comments were inappropriate and not worthy of a President.