Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said comments made at a rally for U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday — including the crowd chanting “send her back” — were “hurtful, wrong and completely unacceptable.”
“I want everyone in Canada to know that those comments are completely unacceptable and should not be allowed, encouraged in Canada,” he told reporters Thursday.
Trudeau was holding a joint news conference with European Council President Donald Tusk, who is in Canada along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for a summit on trade.
WATCH: Donald Tusk takes swipe at Trump — ‘I didn’t hear anyone shouting send him back’
At Wednesday’s rally, attendees chanted “send her back” when Trump referred to Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is Somali-American. Trump said Thursday that he disagreed with the message.
Tusk also weighed in on the comments, quipping that he’s happy that while he’s been in Montreal, no one has shouted: “send him back.”
Tusk said that if something is totally unacceptable, it has to be called out despite the impact it might have on business and trade between Europe and the United States.
On Sunday, Trump set off a torrent of criticism by tweeting about a group of progressive Democrats, understood to be Omar and fellow representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
WATCH: Crowd chants ‘send her back’ as Trump continues assail of Ilhan Omar
He said the lawmakers, who are all women of colour, should return to the countries “from which they came” and fix their problems.
All are American citizens, and only Omar was born outside the U.S.
Despite a strong rebuke from Democrats and others, who called the comments racist and xenophobic, Trump has not backed down.
WATCH: Canada, EU leaders say Xenophobia could threaten western society
—With files from the Canadian Press