Washington, Jan 12 US President Donald Trump, who reportedly slammed presence of migrants from “s**thole” countries, on Friday denied having used derogatory language against Haiti and African countries.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” Trump tweeted after reports of his remarks sparked international outrage with the UN’s human rights office calling them “racist” and “shameful”.
“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said ‘take them out’. Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
Reports earlier quoted Trump, in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday, as asking why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “s**thole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway. “Why do we need more Haitians… Take them out,” Trump was quoted as saying.
Trump’s reported remark came as both Republican and Democratic lawmakers visited him on Thursday to propose a deal on immigration, the BBC reported.
In Thursday’s meeting, lawmakers were reportedly proposing restoring the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) permits for certain countries, while offering $1.5bn for a wall that Trump wants built on the US border with Mexico.
Reacting to Trump’s remarks on Thursday, Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democratic lawmaker, tweeted: “I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency.”
Mia Love, a Utah Republican and the only Haitian-American in Congress, demanded Trump apologise for the “unkind, divisive, elitist” comments.
The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) accused the president of falling “deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of racism and xenophobia”, the BBC reported.
Three weeks ago, The New York Times reported that Trump had said Haitians “all have Aids” during a similar June meeting.