President in new racism wran­gle over claims he called na­tions ‘s**tholes’

The Herald - - NEWS - MICHAEL SET­TLE

OUT­RAGE has been sparked across the globe as Don­ald Trump al­legedly branded a num­ber of c ountr ie s “s**tholes”.

While the US President in­sisted at a pri­vate meet­ing in the Oval Of­fice he did not say any­thing deroga­tory about Haitians and ap­peared to deny call­ing any coun­tries “s**tholes”, Demo­cratic Se­na­tor Dick Durbin, who was present, in­sisted he had re­peat­edly “said things which are hate­filled, vile and racist”.

He claimed Mr Trump did in­deed call some African na­tions “s**tholes”.

On Thurs­day, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Politico and the Wall Street Jour­nal all re­ported the al­leged com­ments, quot­ing wit­nesses or peo­ple briefed on the meet­ing. The White House ini­tially did not deny them.

At the meet­ing to dis­cuss im­mi­gra­tion re­form, which was at­tended by Demo­crat and Repub­li­can law­mak­ers, the President was said to have ar­gued that in­stead of grant­ing tem­po­rary res­i­dency to cit­i­zens of coun­tries hit by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, war or epi­demics, Amer­ica should in­stead be tak­ing in mi­grants from coun­tries like Nor­way.

“Why are we hav­ing all these peo­ple from s**thole coun­tries come here?” the Washington Post quoted him as say­ing, in re­marks thought to be about Haiti, El Sal­vador and Africa. Mr Durbin said when Mr Trump was told that the largest groups of im­mi­grants with tem­po­rary pro­tected sta­tus were from Haiti, Hon­duras and El Sal­vador, the President replied: “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.

“Why do we want all these peo­ple from Africa here?”

How­ever, Mr Trump took to Twit­ter to deny the claim, say­ing: “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!”

The African Union said it was frankly alarmed by the words attr ibuted to the President, while Haiti claimed they re­flected a “racist view” of its coun­try.

Bot s wana sum­moned t he US am­bas­sador to ex­press its dis­plea­sure at “highly ir­re­spon­si­ble, rep­re­hen­si­ble and racist” com­ments.

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