President Trump Denies Making ‘Shithole Countries’ Comment


President Trump Denies Making ‘Shithole Countries’ Comment

by Aysha Qamar

President Trump described Haiti, El Salvador and parts of Africa as “shithole countries” in a meeting with lawmakers in the White House,  in a report first published by the Washington Post.

During a discussion on a potential immigration deal- a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programTrump grew frustrated at the suggestion that he restore protections for immigrants from countries who had temporary protected status, which he had revoked. He

Earlier this month, the Trump Administration announced it was revoking protections that allowed some 200,000 Salvadorans to live and work in the US many for more than 20 years. In November, it revoked similar protections for nearly 60,000 Haitians.

Temporary protected status is granted to citizens of certain countries that are facing manmade or natural disaster. For El Salvador, it was a deadly civil war while for Haiti, it was an earthquake.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” he said, suggesting the US bring more immigrants from places like Norway, according to the Washington Post.

Now after being called a racist and facing the anger of many citizens and countries worldwide, Trump is denying have made this comment.

In December, the White House also denied a New York Times report that stated Trump said that the Haitians “all have AIDS” and that Nigerians would never “go back to their huts” once they saw the US.

Trump is not only denying have made the “shithole countries” comment but also denying demanding that Haitians be removed from negotiations about protected status for people from certain countries.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s response was particularly notable after White House spokesperson Raj Shah did not deny the “shithole” remark on Thursday evening, which prompted senators who were present at the meeting to answer questions Friday about their recollections of the startling remarks.

Trump later tweeted Friday morning that he “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!”

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, was amongst those who confirmed the remarks, saying Trump “said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly.”

Durbin, a key negotiator in DACA talks, recalled the meeting to reporters, “He said, ‘Haitians. Do we need more Haitians?’ Then he went on and started to describe the immigration from Africa that was being protected in this bipartisan measure. That’s when he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from ‘shitholes.’ The exact word used by the President. Not just once but repeatedly. That was the nature of this conversation.”

But two immigration hard-liners, Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue, said they “do not recall the President saying these comments specifically.”

“I’ve seen the comments in the press,” Durbin said. “I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate.

This only adds to the racist comments made by Trump throughout his campaign and time in office. Trump has repeatedly said and denied comments against various races, cultures and identifying groups.

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