A member of Donald Trump's Republican party used the n-word in conversation with a pair of black colleagues, it has emerged.
State Senator Frank Artiles used the racist epithet during a private conversation with fellow senators Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston, which they then relayed to the Miami Herald.
During a conversation at the private Governors Club, Artiles told the senators that Senate President Joe Negron was a "pussy" and had attained his regional leadership position because "six n*****s" had voted for him in the Republican caucus.
Artiles later suggested to Gibson and Thurston that he'd used the word "nigga" thinking it was an accepted form of slang and hadn't meant any offence, the Herald reports.
However he also called Gibson a "f*****g asshole," a "bitch" and a girl" during the conversation.
Artiles has since released a statement, saying “In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me. There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologised to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”
However the Florida Democratic Party has urged Artiles to resign, with Negron saying he was "appalled" by what the senator had said.