President Donald Trump referred to immigrants from Haiti and African countries as coming from “shithole countries” on Thursday, according to The Washington Post. But has denied saying it.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to multiple people briefed on the meeting.
Trump reportedly suggested that the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries “like Norway.”
From The Post:
The comments left lawmakers taken aback, according to people familiar with their reactions. Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) proposed cutting the visa lottery program by 50 percent and then prioritizing countries already in the system, a White House official said.
Trump has been quoted criticizing immigrants from these countries in the past. The New York Times reported in December that he once suggested that Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS,” and that Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” if granted entrance to the U.S. The White House denied those allegations.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it would end Temporary Protected Status for more than 260,000 immigrants from El Salvador.
Trump campaigned on a hard-line immigration stance, and has tried enforce limits through his travel ban, which has been challenged multiple times in courts.
The White House doesn’t deny Trump said it.
— Stefan Becket (@becket) January 11, 2018
But senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat was in the meeting, contradicted him in to local Chicago press on Friday morning. He said the president “in the course of his comments said things which were hateful, vile and racist”.
“He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly,” Durbin said.
“I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and the Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” he continued. “I’ve seen the comments in the press and I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate.”