Trump referred to immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as coming from “s******e countries”, in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers Thursday, insisting the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries such as Norway.
“Why are we having all these people from s******e countries come here?” Trump said.
“Why do we need more Haitians?….. “Take them out.” he added insisting they be taken out if any bipartisan immigration deal.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) were present at the meeting.
In a statement, the White House did not deny Trump’s “s******e” comments.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said.
“The president will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration — two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country,” he continued. “Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”
Trump’s remarks sparked outrage from both sides of the aisle, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) calling on Trump to give a “detailed explanation” for his remarks and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) calling Trump’s comment “racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy.”
“I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments. Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin,” Hatch said in a tweet from his office.
Hatch is the senior most Republican to call on Trump to explain his comments from an Oval Office meeting Thursday with lawmakers discussing protections for immigrants from several countries, which were first reported by The Washington Post and confirmed by multiple other outlets.
The NAACP said in a statement, “The United States’ position as a moral leader throughout the world has been thoroughly damaged by the continuous lowbrow, callous and unfiltered racism repeatedly espoused by President Trump. His decision to use profanity to describe African, Central American and Caribbean countries is not only a low mark for this president, it is a low point for our nation.”
Rattled by the US president’s offensive comments, many current and former residents of nations maligned by Trump have responded angrily and demanded an apology.
Trump’s divisive language has been equally criticized inside the US itself with Republican Congresswoman Dina Titus describing Trump as a “vile stain” on America’s reputation.
Cedric Richmond, Democratic representative and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, slammed the president’s comments as “yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views.
Mia Love, a Republican Representative of Haitian descent dismissed Trump’s comments as “unkind, divisive, elitist” and demanded an apology to the American people and the nations he “wantonly maligned.”
In an angry tweet, the former Haitian President Laurent Lamothe minced no words saying that Trump’s remark “shows a lack of respect and ignorance.”
An equally incensed former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has never been a fan of the current occupant of the White House, wrote that “America’s greatness was built on diversity.”
The government of Botswana asked the US government to clarify if Botswana was regarded as a “s******e country” and called his comments “irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.”
“The Government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump, must use this descriptor and derogatory word, when talking about countries with whom the US has had cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations for so many years,” the Botswana government said in a statement condemning his remarks.
The African nation said it had accepted US citizens over the years, including senior government officials, which is “why we view the utterances by the current American President as highly irresponsible, reprehensible, and racist.”
The government of El Salvador issued a “letter of protest” to the US government over Trump’s remarks, demanding respect for its citizens and noting their contribution in rebuilding the Pentagon after 9/11 and in the reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
South Africa’s ruling party issued a statement from its deputy secretary general, saying, “It’s offensive for President Trump to make derogatory statements about countries that do not share policy positions with the US.”
he government of Haiti said in a statement it was “deeply shocked and outraged” by Trump’s remark — and called it “racist.”
“These insulting and reprehensible statements in no way reflect the virtues of wisdom, restraint and discernment that must be cultivated by any high political authority,” the statement said, adding that Trump’s remark “reflects a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community and its contribution to the United States.”
The president of Senegal said in a tweet that he was “shocked” by Trump’s comments about Haiti and African nations. “I reject them and condemn them vigorously. Africa and the black race deserves the respect and consideration of all,” he said.
Vicente Fox Quesada, a former Mexican President, who served from 2000-2006 and a successful ex-top manager of Coca-Cola Mexico, gave a withering response to these words, attributed to the US president.
“.@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest s******e in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?” @VicenteFoxQue tweeted.
This is already the second time in a month that Trump has been accused of making racially charged remarks during private meetings.
In December, Trump reportedly said that immigrants from Nigeria would never “go back to their huts” in Africa after experiencing life in the United States.
Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill) said Thursday that a group of six senators has locked down an agreement amongst themselves on a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with a border security package.
The deal clinched by a bipartisan group of Senators to provide protection to juvenile immigrants known as Dreamers is facing pushback from Trump