Trump denies using foul language to describe African countries
President Donald Trump on Friday denied using profane language to describe African countries during an immigration meeting the day before in the Oval Office.
Two people briefed on the closed-door meeting said the president had asked why the United States would want more people to immigrate from “s***hole countries” after he was told Haiti and Africa could benefit from a lottery for visas.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Trump, the two attendees said, added that more immigrants from places such as Norway would be better. He had met with that country’s prime minister this week.
The White House did not deny his remark, instead issued a statement saying Trump supported immigration policies that welcome “those who can contribute to our society.”
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle reacted to the alleged comments.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tweeted:
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said on Twitter, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Donald Trump is a racist.”
Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), whose parents are from Haiti, tweeted in a statement, “The President’s comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.
“This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation.”
Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), said in a statement, “If these comments are accurate, they are disappointing.”
The meeting that included Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), focused on a bipartisan compromise on immigration that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants — known as “DREAMers,” and also strengthen border protections.
Earlier in the day, a bipartisan deal in the Senate had reportedly been reached on a bill for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The White House rejected the plan.
The Associated Press contribute to this report.