Trump denies 's********' countries remark, as world rejects president

Trump denies 's********' countries remark, as world rejects president
Donald Trump has denied he described African countries and Haiti as 's********', as world voices disgust at president's alleged statements on immigration.
3 min read
13 January, 2018
US President Donald Trump has denied he described African countries and Haiti as "s********", after a backlash at home and abroad over the alleged racist statements.

Trump wrote in a tweet that reports he made the comments during a White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform were false.

"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," Trump said.

"Made up by Dems," he tweeted. "I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians!"

The reports that Trump called for less immigration from Africa and more from countries "like Norway" have led to a diplomatic crisis for the US.

Countries across the world have slammed the alleged comments, while 54 African countries have demanded a "retraction and an apology" from the president.

The African Group of UN ambassadors, which said it was "extremely appalled" at the "racist and xenophobic remarks" and thanked Americans who have spoken out against the remarks.

Despite the claims by Trump that he never made the comments, at least one lawmaker present in the meeting has insisted the president did make the "s********" comment.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Trump had repeatedly used "vile and racist" language during the meeting.

Thursday's White House huddle was held to discuss a bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, restrict the green card visa lottery and boost border security.

In exchange the US would shield hundreds of thousands of young people known as "Dreamers" from deportation.

Trump scrapped an Obama-era programme that gave the 800,000 young immigrants legal protection, setting a March deadline for Congress to offer a fix - though it has been reinstated by a court, for now.

After lawmakers raised the issue of protections for immigrants from African nations, Haiti and El Salvador, the president reportedly demanded to know why the United States should accept immigrants from "shithole countries," rather than - for instance - wealthy and overwhelmingly white Norway.

Durbin said Trump specifically asked, "Do we need more Haitians?" before launching into a diatribe about African immigration.

Trump then "said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist", Durbin said, adding that "shithole" was "the exact word used by the president, not just once but repeatedly".

Trump denied he ever said "anything derogatory" about the people of Haiti.

But the government of Haiti - which Friday marked the eighth anniversary of a devastating earthquake that killed at least 200,000 people - declared itself "outraged and shocked" by the "racist" slur.

The State Department was left scrambling to contain the damage, with a top official saying that - while Trump denies using the language attributed to him - diplomats had been briefed to convey Washington's respect if summoned to explain themselves, as they were in Haiti and Botswana.

US missions went into damage control mode. The embassy in South Africa said the US "deeply respects" the people of Africa, and "there has been no change in our dedication to partners & friends".