Trump Slammed for Crude Immigration Comments
During a meeting with lawmakers about a proposed bipartisan deal on immigration, the president reportedly questioned why the U.S. would want to admit more people from "s---hole countries."
In an extraordinary Oval Office exchange, President Donald Trump on Thursday questioned why the U.S. should permit immigrants from "shithole countries" as he rejected a plan by a bipartisan group of senators that would have changed rules affecting entrants from Africa and Haiti, according to three people briefed on the conversation. The White House did not deny the comment.
Trump made the remark in a meeting as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was explaining the outlines of an agreement that six senators had reached to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation and bolster border security, the people said.
Durbin explained that as part of that deal, a lottery for visas that has benefited people from African and other diverse nations would be ended. In exchange, Durbin said people would be allowed to stay in the U.S. who fled here after disasters hit their homes in places including El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti.
Trump specifically questioned why the U.S. would want to admit more people from Haiti. He also mentioned Africa and asked why more people from "shithole countries" should be allowed into the U.S., the sources said.
Asked about the remarks, White House spokesman Raj Shad defended the president but did not directly deny his remarks.
"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people," Shad said.
The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly describe the conversation.
On Friday morning, Trump posted a tweet in which he indicated that he didn't say "shithole countries" and later added that he "never said anything derogatory about Haitians."
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
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
Still, politicians immediately criticized Trump's remarks on Thursday. See some of the responses below.
I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency. I will always fight for the vulnerable among us and against bigotry in all its forms. https://t.co/uffsZkgnfy— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) January 11, 2018
Immigrants from countries across the globe - including and especially those from Haiti and all parts of Africa - have helped build this country. They should be welcomed and celebrated, not demeaned and insulted.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 11, 2018
Once again, @POTUS has made a fool of himself & our nation on a worldwide stage. He’s showing his bigoted tendencies in ways that would make Archie Bunker blush. White House statement makes it even more obvious that this president needs some help - what a national disgrace! https://t.co/j0N4K4c495— Bill Pascrell Jr. (@BillPascrell) January 11, 2018
All human beings have value Mr President. It's just that not all could receive $millions to set them up in life. Your derogatory term for certain countries perhaps underscores how a different situation might lead others to seek the better life you were privileged with at birth.— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) January 11, 2018
Mr. President, what makes America great is the sum of ALL our parts. We were all strangers once. The world respects us because of our diversity, openness, and respect for all humankind. Stop messing that up!— Robin Kelly (@RepRobinKelly) January 11, 2018
Jan. 12, 5:44 a.m. This story has been updated with Trump's tweet suggesting he didn't say "shithole countries"