A Maryland pastor blasted President Trump for his alleged "shithole countries" comment Sunday, leaving Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the service, reportedly "red-faced."
“I stand today as your pastor to vehemently denounce and reject any such characterizations of the nations of Africa and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti," Rev. Maurice Watson told his congregation at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Largo, Md.
“And I further say: Whoever made such a statement, whoever used such a visceral, disrespectful, dehumanizing adjective to characterize the nations of Africa, whoever said it, is wrong. And they ought to be held accountable,” Watson continued to a standing ovation and applause.
A video of the sermon was posted on the church's Facebook page.
Watson said his message was not in reaction to Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence's presence.
"I felt I needed to speak up, and I would have spoken up regardless to whether the vice president came or not,” Watson told NBC, adding that many of the church's worshippers were from the African continent or Haiti.
“It wasn't about his being there. This was about trying to be a responsible pastor to speak up for God's people," he concluded.
The White House confirmed to NBC Pence was at the service, but did not respond to questions about the contents of the sermon.
“He was welcomed by the Pastor and the congregation received him with open arms," the statement from the vice president's office read.
It was reported Thursday Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as "shithole countries" in a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of senators while discussing immigration reform.
Lawmakers in the Oval Office for the meeting have since shared conflicting recollections of the conversation.