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Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Trump’s Racist Remark Sparks Global Outrage

During a Thursday meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform, Trump said that “why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”—in a reference to African countries, Haiti and El Salvador

Trump’s Racist Remark Sparks Global Outrage

Outrage mounted on Friday over US President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as "shithole" countries, with the United Nations slamming his comments as "racist".
During a Thursday meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform, Trump demanded to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries, according to comments first reported by the Washington Post, AFP reported.
The reported comments angered both Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks.
They also spurred a harsh reaction from the UN, with rights office spokesman Rupert Colville describing them as "shocking and shameful."
"Sorry, but there is no other word one can use but 'racist'," he told reporters in Geneva.
"You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 'shitholes' whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome", he added.
Trump met with lawmakers at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to people briefed on the meeting who spoke with The Washington Post.
The New York Times later reported the same comment, citing unnamed people with direct knowledge of the meeting.
The president was referring to African countries and Haiti, both newspapers said, with the Post including El Salvador on its list.
Trump then suggested the United States should instead welcome immigrants from places like Norway, whose prime minister met Trump on Wednesday and whose population is overwhelmingly white.
"The positive comment on Norway makes the underlying sentiment very clear," Colville said, warning that Trump's comments should not merely be brushed aside as "vulgar language."
"It's about opening the door wider to humanity's worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy the lives of many people," he warned.
It was seen to be backtracking against the global backlash, Trump later tweeted that he did not use that language during the meeting.
"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 comments come as a bipartisan group of senators works to reach a deal to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients as part of a government funding bill.
***Frankly Alarmed
The African Union said it was "frankly alarmed".
"Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice," said AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo.
South Africa's ruling ANC party said Trump's comments were "extremely offensive", with a spokeswoman saying the party would never deign to make such derogatory remarks.
Republican politician Mia Love, who is of Haitian descent, said that "the president's comments are unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation's values."
Democratic State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry said on Twitter, "I have to first express how demoralizing & upsetting it is to have to register my outrage again and again over hateful remarks made by my own president."
She then posted a statement saying "I'm very disappointed in us, the people of the United States, who saw fit to elect an ignorant, mean-spirited, white supremacist to the most powerful office in the world."
South Carolina's Tim Scott, the only black Republican senator, said that if Trump really did use those words it would be "disappointing".
Trump has previously raised eyebrows with his stance on sensitive race issues.
He has denounced NFL players who kneel during the national anthem in protest at police brutality against African Americans, and made questionable comments about a white supremacist rally in Virginia that turned violent.
The New York Times recently reported that Trump had said in a separate June meeting on immigration that Haitians "all have AIDS", citing a person who attended the meeting. The White House denied those comments.

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