Trump Denies ‘Shithole’ Comment, But Not After Backlash Across The World
US President Donald Trump has denied using crude words attributed to him about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.
Reports that he had called them “shithole countries” in an Oval Office meeting generated a backlash worldwide.
One UN official called the remarks racist and said they opened “the door to humanity’s worst side”.
But Mr Trump has tweeted that “this was not the language” he used in a meeting about immigration.
He wrote that the language he used was “tough, but this was not the language used”.
Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail the comment of President Donald Trump on Thursday while questioning the reason the U.S. should allow more immigrants from “shithole countries” after senators discussed revamping rules affecting entrants from Africa and Haiti.
The reactions are coming from across the world and the lawmakers from the US who described Trumps comments as unfortunate and comment no expected of a leader of a great country like America.
“President Trump’s comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views. It also reinforces the concerns that we hear every day, that the President’s slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again.” — Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“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.” — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
Trump’s comments are “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values. This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation.” — Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, whose family came from Haiti.
“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.” — Statement from the NAACP.
“President Trump has been consistently honest about the white nationalism behind his immigration policies. His latest salvo is directly contrary to the decision Congress made in 1965 to do away with the racist per-country quotas of the past and bring our immigration policies in line with the civil rights era.” — Lorella Praeli, American Civil Liberties Union director of immigration policy and campaigns.
“Immigrants from countries across the globe — including and especially those from Haiti and all parts of Africa — have helped build this country. They should be welcomed and celebrated, not demeaned and insulted.” — Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
“We can now we say with 100% confidence that the President is a racist who does not share the values enshrined in our Constitution or Declaration of Independence.” — Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.
“He’s demonstrated himself to be unfit, unknowledgeable about the history of this country and the history of contributions that immigrants, particularly Haitian immigrants, have made to this country.” — Illinois state Sen. Kwame Raoul, whose Haitian parents who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1950s.
“He’s trying to win me back.” — Conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
Many have called for Mr Trump to apologise over his remarks which they say are racist.
The United Nations human rights office called the reported comments “shocking and shameful”.
“I’m sorry but there is no other word for this but racist”, a spokesman in Geneva said.
The African Union (AU) said it was “frankly alarmed” by Mr Trump’s statement.
“Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice,” AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo told the Associated Press news agency.
Rene Civil, a left-wing activist in Haiti, demanded the US president apologise “before the entire African continent, as well as before Haiti, the country whose blood has been used by ancestors who have served with their minds and bodies to liberate the United States itself from slavery”.
In Nigeria, one resident in Lagos told Reuters news agency: “Calling [every] African country shithole is really, really, very bad and I think every African country should just learn from this and probably just stay in their country and work with their resources.”
In South Africa, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said: “Ours is not a shithole country and neither is Haiti or any other country in distress. And it is extremely offensive for President Trump to make statements about other countries that are really not complimentary of the US’s position or policy positions on those countries. ”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May does not agree with Mr Trump’s reported characterisation of nations in Africa as “shithole countries”, her office said.
A spokesman declined to comment on “alleged private remarks”. But asked if Ms May viewed the countries Mr Trump was referring to as “shitholes”, the spokesman replied: “No.”