Saturday, 20 October, 2018

World stands up for Haiti, Africa after Trump's "shithole" comment

US President Donald Trump is seen ahead of the College Football Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta Georgia Norwegians tell Trump: We don't want to come to your s***hole country
Ellis Copeland | 21 January, 2018, 01:58

The president has denied making the disparaging remarks but Democrat Senator Richard Durbin, who was in the White House meeting, said Mr Trump had used the term.

In a meeting with a group of senators on Thursday, Trump had questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and people briefed on the remarkable conversation.

According to multiple reports, including testimony from Senator Dick Durbin of IL, who was present at the meeting, Trump questioned why the United States attracted a large number of immigrants and refugees from "shithole countries" such as Haiti.

The president has said any deal must include funding for the wall as well as changes to make the immigration system a more merit-based structure. "They don't want to stop drugs. and they want to take money away from our military, which we can not do".

Trump was said to have uttered "shithole" during last Thursday's conversation to describe countries in Africa during immigration talks with senators in the Oval Office, a version supported by Sen.

But nearly immediately a senator who attended the meeting at which Mr Trump was alleged to have used the description said it was "the exact word used by the president - not just once but repeatedly". The president also questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the United States, according to people who were briefed on the conversation but were not authorised to describe the meeting publicly. He told reporters: "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. The president and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel", he said. "Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!"

"I was very proud of him", Durbin said.

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President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders hold a news conference last month on White House grounds. "And I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation".

Trump has sought to move off the defensive by accusing Democrats of sabotaging a bipartisan bid to reach a deal on immigration reform.

The comments drew immediate and intense backlash from leaders around the globe. Graham, to his credit, rebuffed Trump at the meeting, and has backed up Durbin's story. "Why don't we get more people from Norway?'" Durbin said.

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, the first black woman Republican in Congress and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, denounced Trump's comments as racist and called on him to apologize. "They were not made", he told the press pool.

Cotton told CBS' "Face the Nation" that he "didn't hear" the word used - "and I was sitting no further away from Donald Trump than Dick Durbin was".

President Trump ordered an end to the program in September and gave lawmakers until March of this year to come up with a legislative fix.

As condemnation of Trump's latest comments poured in from around the world Friday, the president canceled a planned visit to London, where opposition to his presence has increased.

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