Ex-Def Sec Panetta: Trump's 'sh*thole' comment ironic given that he's 'the grandson of immigrants' and married to one
Former Defense secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta. Image via screengrab.

In light of President Donald Trump's "vulgar and disparaging remark" in which he said people from some brown and black nations come from "sh*thole countries," former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a message for Americans: "This is not who we are."

Discussing his CNN editorial published just prior to his interview with host Wolf Blitzer, Panetta explained why Trump doesn't speak for most Americans.

"I honestly believe that the vast majority of Americans understand that we are a land of immigrants," the Defense department veteran said. 

Panetta and Blitzer discussed how they both came from immigrant backgrounds — and how the president himself has large ties to immigrant communities.

"President Trump, who himself is the grandson of immigrants and is married to an immigrant, nevertheless has criticized those who would seek the same opportunity to better themselves as his own family did," Panetta wrote in his editorial.

"We are a land that has always welcomed immigrants to our country," the former defense secretary said, "and it's for that reason that I think it's important for the world to know that we truly do believe we are a land of immigrants and we'll welcome those to our country so they too can enjoy the American dream."

Watch below, via CNN: