US President Donald Trump’s Thursday reference to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House continues to draw wild criticism with many critics saying Trump’s remark was a new diplomatic low for US’s global relations.
NBC reported that two sources briefed on the conversation said that during the portion of the conversation about Haiti — which came at the top of the exchange that led to the “shithole” comment — the president questioned why Haitians should be given specific consideration.
“Why do we need more Haitians, take them out,” he said, according to NBC sources.
Someone else in the room responded: “Because if you do, it will be obvious why.”
The comments came as US senators huddled in the Oval Office with Trump to discuss a path forward on an immigration deal. Trump questioned why the United States would want people from nations such as Haiti while he was being briefed on changes to the visa lottery system.
When the group came to discussing immigration from Africa, Trump asked why America would want immigrants from “all these shithole countries” and that the U.S. should have more people coming in from places like Norway.
But White House explained the language Trump used was his way of trying to emphasize his support for a merit-based immigration system.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah was quoted by NBC Thursday.
This was part of a lengthy statement that did not directly dispute the language reportedly used in the meeting, NBC stated.
“He (Trump) will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway,” the statement added.
The Trump remark has irked a cross section of social media users and Update Kenya features some of the most prominent protests seen via Twitter on Friday.
It’s so sad to hear our countries described as #shitholecountries for whether our homes are built with marble or mud, we know and understand that every human being has inestimable worth & dignity.So if there are precious human beings living in them, then they are not #shitholes . pic.twitter.com/ARmjOXzkZT
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) January 12, 2018
Three weeks ago @realDonaldTrump said that Haitians all have AIDS & Nigerians live in dirty muddy huts, is the world surprised he's referred Africa & Haiti as #Shitholes? One can only quote James Baldwin:
"IGNORANCE ALLIED WITH POWER IS THE MOST FEROCIOUS ENEMY JUSTICE CAN HAVE"
— Sandrah Njoki (@Sandrahnk) January 12, 2018
— Lisa 🏈🐘🐘🏈 (@BamaFan135) January 11, 2018
The President calling #African countries and Haiti #shitholes is wrong. As a proud African, let me say this – shame on all of those who are equivocating and cannot #speaktruth and call these remarks offensive/insulting/racist/outrageous. Take your pick. https://t.co/17Xkxw5McS
— Isha Sesay (@IshaSesayCNN) January 12, 2018
To call #African countries #shitholes is so wrong and unacceptable and it's utter disrespect for us Africans. I protest, and yes this is nothing short of just being ourightly racist! #speaktruth https://t.co/5gpOf8cG8H
— #OneNation (@EAukot) January 12, 2018
Two weeks ago a 26-year old soldier raced repeatedly into a burning Bronx apartment building, saving four people before he died in the flames. His name was Pvt. Emmanuel Mensah and he immigrated from Ghana, a country Donald Trump apparently thinks produces very subpar immigrants.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 12, 2018