Donald Trump’s transition team has blasted as “absolutely reprehensible” remarks made by a man who served as a co-chairman in Trump’s New York State election campaign. Carl Paladino said his wish for 2017 is for President Obama to die and for Michelle Obama to go back to Africa to live with a gorilla.

“Carl’s comments are absolutely reprehensible, and they serve no place in our public discourse,” the transition team said in a statement about the Buffalo, NY developer and school board member. Too late — the remarks were making the media rounds today because they were so reprehensible and this is 2016.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also called the remarks made by Paladino — who once ran against him — “reprehensible,” “racist” and “ugly.”

It all started when with alternative weekly newspaper ArtVoice asked 42 locals, including Paladino, for their 2017 wish lists. Paladino said he hoped President Obama contracted mad cow disease and died and First Lady Michelle Obama was “let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe” to live “in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

Buffalo News reported Paladino said he made the statements because of what he considered Obama’s ineffective response to the crisis in Aleppo. He called Obama the worst president in the history of the United States and criticized him for “putting criminals back on the streets.”

“Yeah, I’m not politically correct,” he said. “They asked what I want and I told them.”

In a statement made after his 2017 wish list caused quite the backlash, Paladino said “it has nothing to do with race” and insisted “that the typical stance of the press when they can’t otherwise defend the acts of the person being attacked.”

He added: “And yes, it’s about a little deprecating humor which America lost for a long time. Merry Christmas and tough luck if you don’t like my answer.”