Inflammatory remarks attributed to U.S. President Donald Trump are provoking outrage in the U.S. and around the world.
It happened during an immigration policy meeting in Washington, D.C. And once again, Trump finds himself on the defensive.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman has more on this latest controversy.
During a Thursday meeting at the White House with lawmakers about immigration, U.S. President Donald Trump allegedly made vulgar remarks while referring to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.
According to a report from The Washington Post, he said: “Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?”
Trump now denies saying the crude word but admits he used “tough” language.
On Twitter, he wrote: “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!”
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin was in the room and said Trump did use the vulgar term.
“I think back to presidents throughout history, and I cannot imagine a moment where a president sunk to that depth. That’s what breaks my heart,” Durbin said.
Strong condemnation of the remarks is pouring in from around the world.
“I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but ‘racist,’” Rupert Colville, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said. “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as s***holes whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”
The Haitian government has summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain the comments and requested an apology. South Africa’s ruling party has called the language “extremely offensive.”
Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for the African Union said: “Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice.”
And it’s not just government officials reacting. People in the countries Trump cited are expressing outrage.
“We call for him to immediately apologize and retract his racist statement about this continent,” said Abdifatah Ali, a resident of Mogadishu.
Using vulgar language, U.S. President Trump on Thursday questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and “s***-hole countries” in Africa – rather than places like Norway. Though he has since denied the language, global response has been swift.