Trump denies immigration remarks as condemnation mounts

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

As news coverage of Trump's latest offensive comments continued Friday, supporters faced an all-too familiar reality: trying to defend, excuse or distance themselves from remarks that many viewed as further proof that the president is racist.

GOP leaders mostly stayed quiet but more moderate Republicans reacted sharply against President Donald Trump's incendiary comments about "shithole" countries in Africa during a White House meeting Thursday. Made up by Dems. Trump wrote, "I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!"

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was at the meeting to try to sell the president on a compromise plan to protect about 800,000 mostly younger immigrants from deportation, chimed in at the meeting to defend immigrants.

Trump said on Twitter on Friday that he merely used "tough" language when discussing a new immigration bill with a group of USA senators. "But a lot of the base accepts the content, even if they don't embrace the way it's said". He said those things. I thought about my own family.

The reported slur was directed at unspecified African countries and Haiti, according to the Post and the Times. "I do not think this way, nor do I agree with this kind of sentiment", Gov. Rick Scott said.

Lewis said that Trump had undermined 25 years of African goodwill towards the USA "to essentially give the back of his hand to 49 countries south of the Sahara creates real problems in many ways". "Because of this we have directed a note of protest to the government of the United States", the ministry said in a statement, also demanding respect for its people.

In a follow-up bipartisan meeting held on January 11, Trump questioned why the United States would want to have immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to some as "shithole countries".

"We would not deign to make comments as derogatory as that about any country that has any kind of socio-economic or other difficulties", Duarte said, adding that much like their African counterparts millions of USA citizens were affected by problems such as unemployment. A representative from Jericho Road Community Health Center said, "every person from every country has value and contributes to the community", adding that the President's alleged words only divide people. "Do we need more Haitians?" "And on the anniversary of the quake, where you have over a million people displaced, over 300,000 people dead - and that's really a conservative estimate - where over 90 percent of the buildings were destroyed, this is what you have to say?"

"Haitians slap your hand hard when they shake it".

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Farris said that the comments were "another example of him (Trump) speaking without knowing the facts".

An immigration hard-liner in Congress, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tweeted support for Trump's remarks Friday: "If those countries aren't as you described, Democrats should be happy to deport criminal aliens back to them".

"The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards".

Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, Trump cancelled his proposed London visit to inaugurate the new American Embassy, blaming it on a "bad" deal by the Obama administration for deciding to sell the "best located and finest" premises of the existing embassy for "peanuts", and "build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars".

This morning, the president took to Twitter to issue a quasi-denial.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the vulgar language was "very unfortunate, unhelpful". It's not how a president should behave.

Elsewhere in the country, South Africa Broadcasting Corporation Leanne Manas showered snark on Trump's remarks.

Day event in the Roosevelt Room, a reporter directly asked Trump to face up to his comments, the Hill reported.

Trump's contemptuous blanket description of African countries startled lawmakers in the meeting and immediately revived charges that the president is racist. President, are you a racist?' she asked in a second attempt.

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