Trump denies 'shithole' remarks as condemnation mounts at home and abroad

From Reuters - January 12, 2018

(Note: Story includes language throughout that will offend some readers)

By Doina Chiacu and James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facing strong condemnation at home and abroad, U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday denied using the words**thole to describe Haiti and African countries, but kept up criticism of a Senate immigration plan that he said would force the United States to admit people from countries that are doing badly.

Trump reportedly made the remarks at a White House meeting on immigration on Thursday. U.S. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who attended the gathering, told reporters on Friday that Trump used vile, vulgar language, including repeatedly using the words**thole when speaking about African countries.

The Republican presidents comments were decried as racist by African and Haitian politicians, by the United Nations human rights office and by U.S. lawmakers from both major parties.

Trump, who has been accused of racism over several issues since he took office a year ago, sought to sought to walk back the comments on Friday, saying on Twitter, The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.

Trump also denied saying anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.

According to two sources, at Thursdays meeting Trump questioned why the United States would want to accept immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to some ass**thole countries.

A group of Republican and Democratic senators has been working for months to craft legislation that would protect 700,000 children who were brought to the United States as illegal immigrants and later given protection from deportation under a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

In a series of tweets on Friday, Trump also suggested that momentum toward a deal on maintaining such protection had stalled. The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards, he said.

The tentative deal also addresses border security, including a border wall, the diversity visa lottery and so-called chain migration, a program by which U.S. green-card holders can sponsor other family members for permanent residence in the country.

Among other objections, Trump said the plan did not provide proper funding for the proposed wall that he made a center-piece of his election campaign. He added the country would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly.


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