US President Donald Trump used an expletive to describe foreign countries in an Oval Office meeting.
Trump has denied he said “anything derogatory” about Haitians, in an apparent renouncement of saying that any countries are “shitholes.”
However, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who was in the room at a private meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration, said Mr. Trump used “racist” language, and used the word “shitholes.”
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The Washington Post, the New York Times, Politico and the Wall Street Journal all quoted witnesses or people briefed on the meeting in reporting the comment. The White House has not officially denied the story.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” said Trump, according to the Washington Post, in remarks about the countries Haiti and El Salvador, and the entire continent Africa.
In context, the remark was a critique of the practice of granting temporary residency to citizens of countries hit by natural disasters, epidemics or war. The President instead proposed that the US should be taking in migrants from countries “like Norway.”
Trump’s reported remarks were made as Republican and Democratic lawmakers visited him on Thursday to work out a deal on immigration.
Members of the U.S. Military responded on Twitter:
You have nothing to apologize for Sir. I am #Haitian #American US #veteran I totally agree with you. Haiti is a shit hole. Every single Haitian friend I talked to agree. The Clintons since the 1994 invasion that brought Aristide to Haiti made #Haiti the #shithole that it is.
— Jewel (@Jewel1111111) January 12, 2018
— Matt Beddoe (@mlbeddoe) January 14, 2018
— H. Douglas Hunt Jr. (@PalmersHtg) January 13, 2018
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