Trump denies calling Haiti, African nations ‘shithole countries’
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Trump denies calling Haiti, African nations ‘shithole countries’

US president admits to using 'tough language,' slams bipartisan immigration proposal which would allow entry to 'people from high crime countries'

US President Donald Trump shakes hands after signing a proclamation during an event about Martin Luther King Jr. in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. ( AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski)
US President Donald Trump shakes hands after signing a proclamation during an event about Martin Luther King Jr. in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. ( AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski)

US President Donald Trump said “this was not the language used” after reports that he referred to “shithole” African nations in a meeting.

Trump tweeted Friday amid criticism over his comments during a White House meeting Wednesday. The White House has not denied the language, nor have the several Republican lawmakers in the meeting.

Three people briefed on the conversation said Trump questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway. The people were not authorized to describe the conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump said Friday, “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made — a big setback for DACA!”

He added that a bipartisan immigration proposal was “a big step backwards.” He tweeted that it would force the US “to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly.”

Trump said the “so-called bipartisan” deal “was a big step backwards” because it doesn’t fund a wall along the Mexican border.

He added, “I want a merit-based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs.”

Trump also  denied making “derogatory” comments about the people of Haiti.

“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,” tweeted the president.

“Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings — unfortunately, no trust!” he said.

Trump’s alleged comments drew widespread condemnation Friday, with a United Nations spokesman slamming his purported words as “shocking and shameful,” and “racist.”

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “you cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes.’”

Colville said that the comments, if confirmed, were “shocking and shameful” and “I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but racist.”

He also took issue with Trump’s reported suggestion that the United States should welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose population is overwhelmingly white, instead of from African countries and Haiti.

“The positive comment on Norway makes the underlying sentiment very clear,” Colville said.

He said Trump’s reported comment could endanger lives by potentially fanning xenophobia.

“Like the earlier comments made vilifying Mexicans and Muslims, the policy proposals targeting entire groups on grounds of nationality or religion, and the reluctance to clearly condemn the anti-Semitic and racist actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville — all of these go against the universal values the world has been striving so hard to establish since World War II and the Holocaust,” he said.

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