House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) addresses his comments during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event where he referred to President Trump as the "grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Asked if he regrets the comment in a Wednesday interview on CNN he said, "not at all," adding that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the one day of the year when "it is perhaps appropriate for us to be able to have that difficult discussion."
"Let me say three things," he explained. "First of all, our top priority has to be to reopen the government and end this reckless Trump Shutdown. Put Americans back to work and then have a mature conversation about border security."
"Second, we as House Democrats are going to continue to focus on lowering healthcare costs, infrastructure, cleaning up corruption, and kitchen table pocketbook issues."
"Third, with respect to the comments of a few days ago," he said. "We've got to have an opportunity for at least one day a year to have a candid, if sometimes uncomfortable, conversation about race. It seems to me we can't have that conversation of Valentines Day, we can't have that conversation on St. Patrick's Day, it is perhaps appropriate for us to be able to have that difficult discussion on MLK Day, when we're celebrating the life and legacy of a champion for social justice."