by Countable | 1.12.18
During an immigration meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday, President Donald Trump reportedly dismissed Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as "s***hole countries."
"Why are we having all these people from s****hole countries come here?" Trump said, according to several people briefed on the meeting.
People in the meeting, outside the meeting, and purportedly referenced in the meeting had much to say.
First, here’s what the White House – and president – said about the comment.
After the Washington Post first reported on Trump’s remarks, White House spokesman Raj Shah issued a statement neither confirming nor denying the president’s statements:
"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people."
However, on Friday morning Trump tweeted:
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
Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who was in the meeting with Trump, confirmed the president’s "s***hole" remark:
I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday. President Trump said things that were hate-filled, vile, and racist. He used those words repeatedly. pic.twitter.com/6gHW5cLVvU— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) January 12, 2018
Given the various accounts of the meeting, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) tweeted:
As for the other Congressional members in the meeting, Manu Raju, Senior Congressional Correspondent for CNN, tweeted a summary of their responses:
So for those keeping track of those who were in Trump mtg:— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 12, 2018
Durbin: Trump said "shithole" countries
Graham: publicly silent, but confirmed comments to Tim Scott
Diaz-Balart: Skirts comments in stmt
Cotton: Does not recall
Perdue: Does not recall
Haitian-American GOP Rep. Mia Love of Utah issued a statement, saying Trump’s comments were "unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values."
Here is my statement on the President’s comments today: pic.twitter.com/EdtsFjc2zL— Rep. Mia Love (@RepMiaLove) January 11, 2018
Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Paul G. Altidor, also condemned the president’s remarks.
"In the spirit of the people of Haiti we feel in the statements, if they were made, the president was either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people."
Ebba Kalondo, the spokeswoman for the African Union, shared similar sentiments:
"The African Union Commission is frankly alarmed at statements by the president of the United States when referring to migrants of African countries and others in such contemptuous terms. Considering the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the U.S. during the Atlantic slave trade, this flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice."
Other world leaders chimed in as well, though none as abrasive as former Mexican president Vicente Fox:
.@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) January 11, 2018
Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, tweeted: "I am shocked by President Trump’s comments on Haiti and Africa. I reject them and condemn them vigorously. Africa and black people deserve the respect and consideration of all."
Je suis choqué par les propos du Président Trump sur Haïti et sur l'Afrique. Je les rejette et les condamne vigoureusement. L'Afrique et la race noire mérite le respect et la considération de tous. MS— Macky SALL (@Macky_Sall) January 12, 2018
Botswana’s government issued a statement calling the president’s remark:
"highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist."
Salvador Sánchez, the president of El Salvador, tweeted Trump’s words had "struck at the dignity of Salvadorans".
La declaración del Presidente de #EstadosUnidos golpea la dignidad del pueblo salvadoreño.— Salvador Sánchez (@sanchezceren) January 12, 2018
Back in the U.S., the Congressional Black Caucus tweeted out a comment from its chairman, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA):
GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah tweeted he looked forward "to getting a more detailed explanation":
HATCH: "I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments. Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin." #utpol— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 11, 2018
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the lone African American Republican in the upper chamber, said in a statement:
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) shared Scott’s concerns, commenting:
"If these comments are accurate, they are disappointing. I would not talk about nations like this, because I believe the people of those countries are made in the image of God and have worth and human dignity."
Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, tweeted:
America is better than this and our president should be too. https://t.co/RIhRpMd7If— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) January 11, 2018
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California tweeted:
Immigrants from countries across the globe - including and especially those from Haiti and all parts of Africa - have helped build this country. They should be welcomed and celebrated, not demeaned and insulted.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 11, 2018
But not everyone condemned the president’s reported remarks. Conservative author Ann Coulter fawned:
He's trying to win me back. https://t.co/JEmlyqd7ZY— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 11, 2018
Now that you know what they’re saying, what do you have to say? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your un-asterisked thoughts below.
Written by Countable