President Donald Trump’s alleged use of a vulgarity to describe immigrants from Haiti and African nations as coming to the U.S. from “s—-hole countries” has brought condemnation from around the world.
The Haitian government said in a statement that “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.”
Senegal’s president says he is “shocked” by Trump’s remark, saying that “Africa and the black race merit the respect and consideration of all.”
Uganda’s state minister for international relations, Henry Okello Oryem, called Trump’s remarks “unfortunate and regrettable.”
He added that “we pray that the almighty God gives him wisdom to change his mind about people who are suffering and looking for safe haven in America.”
The president allegedly made the comment Thursday during an Oval Office meeting with democrats on a bipartisan immigration deal. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin was outlining his proposal that the visa lottery system, which Trump opposes, would be ended in return for ‘temporary protected status’ for immigrants from El Salvador and Haiti when Trump reportedly made the remark.
El Salvador sent a diplomatic protest note to the United States expressing the country’s “resounding rejection” of the remark, and said “El Salvador demands respect for its brave and dignified people.”
On Twitter, Trump denied using the vulgarity to describe some nations, tweeting, “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.”
Trump also said he might begin recording his White House meetings.
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
But Senator Durbin, the only Democrat in the room, disputed the president’s account.
“He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly,” Durbin said.
Trump is also taking criticism from his own party.
Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump’s use of the vulgarity was “very unfortunate, unhelpful.”
“I think it was stupid and irresponsible and childish,” said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. “He’s president of the United States. That’s not how a president behaves.”
The comment could torpedo immigration talks over DACA immigrants – the children of illegals – and funding for a border wall.
“I suspect the Democrats are sitting there going, ‘Why would we want to compromise with him on anything?” said Simpson, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Today as Trump signed a proclamation at the White House honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he did not respond to repeated questions about his use of the vulgarity or if he is a racist.
During the ceremony, Trump called Martin Luther King Jr. a “great American hero.”
Some are tying the resignation of U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley to the Trump remark, but the State Department says Feeley announced his resignation before the controversy.