Donald Trump has been forced to deny calling Central American and African nations “s***holes”, as he is branded a “racist” and faces fierce backlash.
According to reports from The Washington Post, Trump allegedly referred to El Salvador and Haiti as “s***hole countries” during a heated meeting at the White House on Thursday.
Trump reportedly became frustrated during the Oval Office meeting, asking: “Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” He then allegedly suggested America take immigrants from Norway instead, whose prime minister Trump had met with the previous day.
But following angry backlash, Trump took to Twitter to deny the claims. He wrote: “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!”
A few hours earlier he wrote: “The language used by me at the Daca meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”
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
However, the backlash only continued. In a very strongly-worded statement following the alleged comments, the UN’s spokesman on human rights told reporters: “There is no other word one can use but racist.”
And Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, who was in the meeting at the time, insisted Trump did say the words. According to the Guardian, he told local Chicago press that Trump “said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist”. He added: “He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.”
The US is working on changes to its immigration system, with both Republican and Democrat senators suggesting cutting the visa lottery program by 50 per cent and prioritising countries already in the system.
The White House did not deny Trump’s comments in the meeting initially, instead referring to the presidents nationalistic views. “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesperson Raj Shah said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the President has been given a clean bill of health after a recent exam, according to Reuters. Trump spent about three hours with military doctors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Maryland, an exam that White House doctor Ronny Jackson said went “exceptionally well.”
“The president is in excellent health and I look forward to briefing some of the details on Tuesday,” he said in a statement released by the White House.
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