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Excerpt: "President Donald Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as 'shithole countries' during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, a Democratic aide briefed on Thursday's meeting told NBC News."

President Trump. (photo: Getty)
President Trump. (photo: Getty)

Trump Referred to Haiti and African Nations as 'Shithole' Countries

By Ali Vitali, Kasie Hunt and Frank Thorp V, NBC News

12 January 18


resident Donald Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, a Democratic aide briefed on Thursday's meeting told NBC News.

Trump's comments were first reported by The Washington Post, which said the nations referred to by Trump also included El Salvador.

The U.N. human rights office said the comments, if confirmed, were "shocking and shameful" and "racist," while Haiti's foreign minister summoned the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Robin Diallo for clarification.

Two sources briefed on the conversation say that during the portion of the conversation about Haiti — which came at the top of the exchange that led to the “shithole” comment — the president questioned why Haitians should be given specific consideration.

“Why do we need more Haitians, take them out,” he said, according to sources. Someone else in the room responded: “Because if you do, it will be obvious why.”

The White House issued a statement that did not deny the remarks, however Trump tweeted an apparent denial early Friday: "The language used by me at the ... meeting was tough, but this was not the language used."

It came as senators huddled in the Oval Office with the president to discuss a path forward on an immigration deal. Trump questioned why the United States would want people from nations such as Haiti while he was being briefed on changes to the visa lottery system.

According to the aide, when the group came to discussing immigration from Africa, Trump asked why America would want immigrants from "all these shithole countries" and that the U.S. should have more people coming in from places like Norway.

A source familiar with the meeting told NBC News the president was particularly frustrated during discussions about the visa lottery system — a program Trump has railed against repeatedly in recent months. Another White House source explained the language Trump used as his way of trying to emphasize his support for a merit-based immigration system.

Later Thursday, railed against Democrats over ongoing talks on an immigration deal. "The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process. It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain. USA!" he wrote.

Botswana's government on Friday said Trump had been "reprehensible and racist," and said it has summoned the U.S. ambassador to clarify whether the nation is regarded as, to use Trump's word, a "shithole" country.

U.N. human rights office spokesman Robert Colville told reporters that the remarks could "potentially damage and disrupt the lives of many people."

The "shocking and shameful" remark "legitimizes the targeting of people based on who they are," he said, adding: "I'm sorry, but there's no other word one can use but racist."

Haiti Ambassador to the U.S. Paul G. Altidor called Trump's comments “regrettable” and based on “clichés and stereotypes rather than actual fact.”

The ambassador underscored the indelicate timing of the comment, pointing out that Friday is the eighth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which is estimated to have killed well over 200,000 people.

Altidor said that since the reports of Trump's remarks, he had been “bombarded by emails from the American public apologizing” and said he knew Trump's comments were “not the views of the American public.”

The African Union said it was "alarmed" by Trump's statement. "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," spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said, adding that it was “particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity."

In Lagos, Nigeria, IT worker Mayowa Okuwade said: “I think every African country should just learn from this and probably just stay in their country and work with their resources … I am very much sure things will get better."

Others quickly decided to own Trump's language or throw it back in his face. "Good morning from the greatest most beautiful 'shithole country' in the world!!!" South African Broadcasting Corporation anchor Leanne Manas tweeted.

Republican Rep. Mia Love of Utah — the daughter of Haitian immigrants — released a statement saying Trump's comments were "unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation's values" and demanding an apology from the president.

And Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said in a tweet that the reported remark "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".

It’s not the first time reports have surfaced of Trump speaking unfavorably about immigrants, and Haitians in particular. The New York Times reported in December that Trump said Haitian immigrants "all have AIDS," during a summer 2017 meeting about immigration.

According to the Times, Trump also targeted Nigerian immigrants during that meeting, complaining that once they came the United States they would never "go back to their huts." The White House vigorously denied the claims in the story at the time. your social media marketing partner


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+15 # BetaTheta 2018-01-12 09:52
Umm...Just why would anyone from Norway WANT to come to Trump's America? They have a perfectly fine democracy with relatively sane, humane policies, and a government that looks after the interests of its citizens.
+13 # hiker 2018-01-12 11:30
Just what you would expect from a champion SHIT-HEAD.
And why on earth would someone from Norway want to come to this shithole?
+10 # chrisconno 2018-01-12 12:02
Well the imbecile-n-chie f has created yet another smoke screen for republicans to pass vile and damaging legislation while we are all aghast at his bald faced lies and his extreme racism. Do we really have to wait until Nov to kick them out? That seems an eternity.
+11 # elizabethblock 2018-01-12 12:21
Amy Goodman, on Democracy Now today, spoke to Edwidge Danticat (born in Haiti), and asked her what she'd say to Trump if she had the chance.
I would ask him: "Didn't your mother teach you any manners?" [We know his father didn't!]

As for wanting more immigrants from Norway - why would anyone living in Norway want to come to the United States?
+6 # wilhelmscream 2018-01-12 13:10
This is going 2B all over SNL (if not a repeated broadcast)
+10 # LindaChicago 2018-01-12 13:13
First of all, trumpty-dumpty, exactly how many Norwegians, I wonder, are lining up to leave their gorgeous, civilized country to come here? Secondly, t-d, you prove what a travesty you are by saying all those disgusting and vulgar things about people of color around the world. But never fear, your "base" (and they are truly base) worships you still because that is what they believe and how they talk. You speak for them and they love you, so all is OK in your world.
+7 # kyzipster 2018-01-12 13:27
Trump is the typical Trump supporter without enough common sense to put a filter between his thoughts and his speech. Except he's the President of the United States.
+6 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-01-12 13:45
Yes they they are shameful and Trump should be pressured by all to apologize for his comment and to apologize for US policies toward these nations going back 200 years.

But the comments are not shocking. In fact, this statement is standard issue neo-con policy since the 1970s. Arch Zionist and neo-con Michael Ledeen who advised Reagan is famous for the comment, "from time to time, the US needs to pick up some little shithole country and throw it against the wall just to show we mean business." This was in the context of Reagans wars against El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatamela, Panama, and many others in Latin America.

This is exactly how neo-cons view most other nations of the earth. Trump's comment show a lot about the company he keeps. Trump is a racists and a bully so he fits right in with this company. We know this is how these people talk in private. Trump just thought he was talking in private among his white, neo-con friends.
+14 # Wise woman 2018-01-12 14:12
This president has the ethics and grace of a gutter snipe. He is a disgrace to America. The Nowegians he refers to probably wouldn't step foot in the US. Their country is so much more highly evolved in every way. Trumps bad mouthing of the "others" will be his downfall. He is a classic racist, mysogenist, bully, all around uninformed jerk and embarrassment.
+2 # lfeuille 2018-01-12 20:12
"The consensus here in Washington is that Mr. Wolff has perhaps been a little too credulous with his sources, particularly with Steve Bannon, who has since recanted."

Bannon only recanted to save his ass. He has lost his job over this after having lost his patrons, the Mercers over his calling for higher taxes on the rich. He is now a man without a platform.
+3 # candida 2018-01-13 02:03
May the Goddess save us from this shithole of a "president"and the deplorables who follow him. Hillary was so right! To think how roundly she was condemned for saying the truth using much less offensive language while those who condemned her still continue to defend Trump's insanity!!!
+1 # chapdrum 2018-01-13 19:41
This reminds me of the comment made by Larry Summers, who was then president of the World Bank. At a summit, one of the topics was what to do with the increasing amount of First World trash. Ol' Larry suggested Africa as a likely repository because "it's underpolluted."

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