Nation & World

Trump denies ‘shithole countries’ comment and says Haiti slurs were ‘made up by Dems’

Trump denies 'shithole' comment but Illinois senator confirms the remarks

President Donald Trump denied in a tweet on Thursday that he asked during a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than people from places like Norway. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) responded to the tweet on
Up Next
President Donald Trump denied in a tweet on Thursday that he asked during a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than people from places like Norway. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) responded to the tweet on

President Donald Trump woke up to a s---storm Friday morning after he reportedly asked lawmakers hours earlier in the Oval Office, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

By 7:45 a.m., the president took to his favorite platform, Twitter, to address his reported comment.

Over the course of five rapid-fire tweets, followed by one more 40 minutes later about Haiti, he denied the reported language choice, while doubling down on his immigration stance.

“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!”

He specifically addressed the report that said he singled out Haiti during the meeting, telling lawmakers that immigrants from the island nation must be left out of any deal. “Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump reportedly said. “Take them out.”

“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!”

Trump sandwiched his version of a mea culpa in between statements that clearly blamed Democrats for, well, making him angry enough to refer to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as people from “shithole countries” who want to come to the United States.

A day after President Donald Trump apparently described African countries as "shithole countries" in White House meetings, the president repeated the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: "that no matter what the color of our skin, or the place of

Despite Trump’s denial, Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois said he was in the room and that media accounts of what Trump said are accurate. He heard the president use “hate-filled, vile and racist” language when talking about immigrants from Haiti and Africa.

“He said these hateful things and he said them repeatedly,” Durbin said.

Trump’s entire statement:

“The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime … countries which are doing badly. I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs. I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund … Because of the Democrats not being interested in life and safety, DACA has now taken a big step backwards. The Dems will threaten ‘shutdown,’ but what they are really doing is shutting down our military, at a time we need it most. Get smart, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

“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!

“Sadly, Democrats want to stop paying our troops and government workers in order to give a sweetheart deal, not a fair deal, for DACA. Take care of our Military, and our Country, FIRST!

“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 Washington Post reported Thursday that a frustrated Trump said: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” He suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with on Wednesday.

The White House did not deny Thursday that the president used the phrase, and the comments drew sharp criticism from U.S. politicians, including Miami Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who called the remarks racist, among other things.

“The president calling #Haiti a ‘shithole country’ ignores the contributions thousands of Haitians have made to our #SoFla community and nation,” Ros-Lehtinen posted on Twitter. “Language like that shouldn’t be heard in locker rooms and it shouldn’t be heard in the White House.”

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments