President Donald Trump reportedly used vulgar language to criticize some nations during a meeting with lawmakers Thursday on a possible bipartisan immigration deal.
Trump was referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries after lawmakers floated restoring protections for immigrants from those nations. Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met with on Wednesday.
Durbin, the only Democrat in the room when President Trump made the comments, condemned it as “hate-filled, vile and racist.” Similar criticism has come from leaders in Haiti, El Salvador and the African Union continental body; Botswana’s government called Trump’s comment “reprehensible and racist” and South Africa’s ruling African National Congress called it “extremely offensive.”
Others have called it unbecoming for a president to use.
“I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that oval office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” Durbin said, referring to “the exact word used by the President not just once but repeatedly.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told CBS Miami that Trump’s comments were “reprehensible and “racist.”
“This is a man who made his name in the political world doubting President Obama’s American citizenship, saying that he was born in Kenya,” she continued. “Then he launched his campaign saying that Mexicans are rapists and criminals.”
“Personally, as someone from South Shithole, I’m offended, Mr. President,” South Africa native and “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah said Thursday.
The White House did not deny Trump’s “shithole” comments in describing countries where the majority of residents are persons of color. Trump hinted at a denial Friday morning, but still insisted Haiti is “very poor and troubled.”
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “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!” he added.
Note: syracuse.com does not typically publish expletives uncensored, but does not edit language when it comes from the president of the United States.
In previous coverage of Trump’s 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape during the election, his comments “try and f— her” and “grab them by the p—-” were typically censored because Trump was not yet president.