Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump denies vulgar remarks about Haiti, African countries

Trump denies vulgar remarks about Haiti, African countries

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the only Democrat at the meeting with Trump, confirmed the vulgar comments, telling reporters the president said "things that were hate-filled, vile and racist".

The reference was to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields from deportation almost 800,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that President Trump, in a meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on immigration, referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and a handful of African nations as "shithole countries", while questioning why the United States couldn't receive more immigrants from countries like Norway.

The African Union (AU), an organisation which promotes cooperation on the continent, said it was alarmed by Trump's "very racist" comments.

"Ours is not a s**thole country, neither is Haiti or any other country in distress", said Duarte.

Trump denied he ever said "anything derogatory" about the people of Haiti. Made up by Dems. And I think that any person who claims to have an absolute wonderful relationship with Haitians would know better than to suggest any kind of comment that would result in Haitians leaving this country.

Clinton piled on, bringing up the anniversary of the devastating natural disaster that struck Haiti in 2010 and using it as a club to hit at her former rival.

A group of African ambassadors at the United Nations also issued a statement on Friday that condemned the "outrageous, racist and xenophobic" remarks by the president.

According to the Central Intelligence Agency fact book, Haiti is 95 percent black; El Salvador is 86.3 percent Mestizo - mixed race of native Indians and Spaniards - with 83.2 percent of Norway white.

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"Botswana government is wondering why Trump use such kind of disruptor as well as derogatory word when talking about countries with whom the USA has had cordial and mutual bilateral relations for so many years", reads part of the statement.

United States missions went into damage control mode. The African Union, through its member States, values the strategic partnership with the U.S.

Prominent Kenyan commentator Patrick Gathara, said that Trump's words were nothing new from a "racist and ignorant" administration, nor from the West at large. "Immigration, 'why are we taking all these people from wherever?' Well immigration is what America is based on, and generally when they emigrate is because the place where they came for had some problems".

The resolution could be embarrassing for Trump if Republican leaders of the lower house allow a vote on it. "Would not even consider to emigrate to s***hole United States of America as long as Donald Trump is president there".

Trump's comments Thursday came as two senators presented details of a bipartisan compromise that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants - and also strengthen border protections, as Trump has insisted.

Republican lawmakers who were in the Thursday meeting generally sidestepped questions about precisely what Trump said.

In an oddly-timed coincidence, the USA president on Friday signed a declaration honouring slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr, three days before the federal holiday celebrated in his honour.

Trump's remarks were remarkable even by the standards of a president who has been accused of racism by his foes and who has routinely smashed through public decorum that his modern predecessors have generally embraced.

US Ambassador Robert Woody Johnson - a Trump appointee - also explained in an article for the Evening Standard the decision to move the embassy was made in 2008 because of security fears after 9/11.

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