Gov. Nikki Haley on Trump’s Immigration Comments: ‘We Need to Be Very Conscious of Our Tone’

By Melanie Arter | July 13, 2015 | 12:07 PM EDT

South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley (AP Photo)

( – South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that she understands GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s frustration over illegal immigration, but she took issue with his “tone.”

“I understand his frustration. The frustration that he has about illegal immigration a lot of people have. The difference is we need to be very conscious of our tone. We need to be very conscious of how we communicate. There are a lot of legal immigrants that have made this country the place it is today,” said Haley, one of two sitting Indian-American U.S. governors and the daughter of two immigrants.

During his presidential kickoff speech, Trump said “when Mexican sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”

In response to Trump’s comments, several companies have distanced themselves, including: NASCAR, NBC, Univision, Televisa, Macy’s, PGA of America, USGA, LPGA Tour, and PGA Tour.

“I've got to ask you, you're the daughter of two immigrants. What do you make of Donald Trump's rhetoric?” host Chuck Todd asked.

“We need to make sure that we're always communicating in a way that's got respect and dignity, and that's what so much was about with South Carolina was, when we saw all of this happen, people respected each other. They may have disagreed, but they respected each other. That tone is important for the country,” Haley said.

“So it's okay to be frustrated. It's not okay to have a harsh tone in the way that you communicate that, because it hurts people, and it's just not necessary, she said.

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