Trump used hate-filled language, says senator
President denies claim but admits he did some ‘tough’ talking in Oval Office
A senator has rejected Donald Trump’s effort to distance himself from claims that he used vulgar language to describe African countries, claiming the president “said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly”.
The president has been accused of questioning why the US should accept more immigrants from Haiti and “**** hole countries” in Africa, during a meeting on immigration.
He said on Twitter yesterday that his language during the meeting was “tough” but insisted: “This was not the language used.”
However, Illinois senator Dick Durbin, who was present at the Oval Office meeting, said “**** holes” was “the exact word used by the president not just once but repeatedly”.
He added: “When the question was asked about Haitians ... he said, ‘Haitians? Do we need more Haitians?”’
Mr Trump’s contemptuous description of an entire continent startled legislators at a meeting about a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the conversation, and immediately revived charges that the president is racist.
The White House did not deny his remark but issued a statement saying Mr Trump supports immigration policies that welcome “those who can contribute to our society”.
Yesterday, Mr Trump also tweeted: “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,” and claimed: “I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians.”
He denied suggestions in a report in the Washington Post that he had said “take them out”, in reference to Haitians.
Mr Trump said the bipartisan immigration proposal is “a big step backwards” because it does not fund a wall along the Mexican border, and claimed it would force the US “to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly”.
Mr Trump’s reported comments were remarkable even by the standards of a president who has been accused by his foes of racist attitudes and has routinely smashed through public decorum that his modern predecessors have generally embraced.
Members of the media film the Madame Tussauds waxwork figure of US President Donald Trump outside the new US Embassy in Nine Elms, London, after Mr Trump confirmed he will not open the building.