WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's dismissal of Haiti and certain African countries with a vulgar expression has created a furor.
Trump made the remark Thursday during a White House meeting after senators discussed revamping immigration rules.
That's according to three people who were briefed on the conversation but weren't authorized to describe it publicly.
Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa rather than places like Norway, as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal.
Trump's contemptuous description of an entire continent startled lawmakers in the meeting and immediately revived charges that the president is racist.
The White House did not deny his remark but issued a statement saying Trump supports immigration policies that welcome "those who can contribute to our society."
The president calling #Haiti a "shithole country" ignores the contributions thousands of Haitians have made to our #SoFla community and nation. Language like that shouldn't be heard in locker rooms and it shouldn't be heard in the White House— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) January 11, 2018
Donald Trump is not only a bad president, he is a bad person. There should be no place for his vile comments in our public discourse.— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) January 11, 2018
These repulsive comments are inexcusable, disrespectful and so far below the office of the President of the United States. Shameful slurs like this offend our friends and diminish our standing in the world. https://t.co/Qlcfroo08Q— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) January 12, 2018
Under no circumstances is it acceptable to degrade, denigrate, or dehumanize #TPS immigrants. The White House must immediately explain the situation and leave no doubt regarding what was said and in what context.— Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) January 11, 2018
President Trump’s comments about Haiti and African countries were offensive and below the dignity of the office of the President. His ignorant, misguided view of the world was on full display tonight. https://t.co/Loo1sUtWe3— Alcee L. Hastings (@RepHastingsFL) January 12, 2018