Lawmaker says Trump made disparaging remarks, although U.S. president denies
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin on Friday told reporters that Trump had "repeatedly" made the "hate-filled" remarks although the U.S. president denied that he had described African and other states as "shithole countries" during a meeting with legislators over immigration.
President Donald Trump on Friday denied using derogatory and vulgar language to describe immigration from Latin American and African countries after widespread condemnation of his reported remarks.
"Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country," Trump wrote on Twitter in a series of posts. "Never said 'take them out.' Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!"
The denial followed the publication of comments by the Washington Post in which Trump was quoted as asking lawmakers during a meeting on immigration: "Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?"
He was reportedly referring to El Salvador, Haiti and some African countries. Of Haitians specifically, Trump reportedly said the U.S. should "take them out" of the country.
"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, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he ended.
The denials, however, were dealt a setback by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin who was present during the meeting and told reporters Trump "repeatedly" made the "hate-filled" remarks.
"I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday," Durbin said. "You've seen the comments in the press. I've not read one of them that's inaccurate."
Trump made the comments after he grew frustrated about negotiations about renewing protections for people brought to the country illegally as children, known as "Dreamers", the Washington Post reported citing people familiar with the discussions. Some lawmakers had sought to include protections for Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of the negotiation.
"Why do we need more Haitians?" Trump asked, according to the post.
One reason might be Trump. His ritzy Mar-a-Lago Club in the state of Florida reportedly hires most of its seasonal workers from Haiti, CNBC reported.
In all, the club received 70 H-2B visas for foreign workers, according to the finance-focused media network.
Trump is slated to head to the resort this weekend.
He will do so as the fallout continues to mount over his remarks. Already, U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley reportedly resigned from his post telling the State Department in a letter he can no longer serve the Trump administration on principle.
The president has a long history of derogatory remarks about Haitians, Mexicans, Nigerians and Syrian refugees, among others.