Trump denies ‘racist slur’ that provoked outrage


NEW YORK, Jan 12 (APP):US President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to deny he insulted Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” but admitted in a tweet that he used “tough” language during a discussion about an immigration deal with lawmakers.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” Trump tweeted Friday. “What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made a big setback for DACA!” (DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which is a kind of administrative relief from deportation which protects eligible immigrant youth from deportation. Trump cancelled the programme last year.)
On Thursday, Trump used vulgar language during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, a Democratic aide briefed on the meeting said, according to reports in American media.
The Washington Post, the New York Times, Politico and the Wall Street Journal all reported the comments on Thursday, quoting witnesses or people briefed on the meeting. The White House did not deny them.
Meanwhile, Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, who was present at the meeting and spoke to reporters Friday, confirmed the president’s remarks and said that the media reporters were accurate. In recounting the meeting, Durbin suggested that Trump’s “shitholes” slur was aimed at African nations.
Senator Durbin said that when the discussion turned to Haiti, Trump questioned why Haitians should be given specific consideration.
“Why do we need more Haitians, take them out,” he said, citing sources. Someone else in the room responded: “Because if you do, it will be obvious why.”
The White House issued a statement Thursday that did not deny the remarks. But Trump tweeted Friday that he 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 Democrats. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!” he added.
Durbin recalled that Trump asked why American needed more Haitian immigrants.
“When the question was raised about Haitians for example — we have a group that have temporary protected status in the United States because they were the victims of crises and disasters and political upheaval.
The largest group is El Salvador and the second is Honduran and the third is Haitian, and when I mentioned that fact to him, he said, ‘Haitians? Do we need more Haitians?'” Senator Durbin recounted.
“And then he went on when we started to describe the immigration from Africa that was being protected in this bipartisan measure. That’s when he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from ‘shitholes.’ The exact word used by the president, not just once, but repeatedly,” the Democratic senator said.
“…in the course of his comments, (the president) said things which were hate filled, vile and racist. I use those words advisedly. I understand how powerful they are, but I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday. You’ve seen the comments in the press; I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate.”
Senator Durbin concluded, “I cannot imagine a moment where a president sunk to that depth, that’s what breaks my heart.”
Condemnation of Trump’s earlier comments poured in from around the U.S and the world.
The U.N. human rights office said the comments, if confirmed, were “shocking and shameful” and “racist,” while Haiti’s foreign minister summoned the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Robin Diallo for clarification.
Republican Congresswoman Mia Love the daughter of Haitian immigrants released a statement Thursday saying Trump’s comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.” Love also demanded an apology from the president.
The comments attributed to him Thursday came as senators huddled in the Oval Office with the president to discuss a path forward on an immigration deal.
On Friday morning, however, Trump ripped those discussions on Twitter.
In a series of posts, Trump also slammed the immigration deal reached by a bipartisan group of senators as a “big step backwards”and reiterated his demands for such a pact.
“The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall (on the Mexican border) 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,” Trump wrote.
“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,” he continued.
“The Dems (Democrats) 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!” Trump posted.
On Thursday, a bipartisan working group of senators announced they had reached an agreement on several immigration issues, including DACA and border security.
The outline, according to multiple Republican and Democratic sources, would provide a path to citizenship that would take 10 years for DACA recipients and those who were eligible for the program but didn’t apply.
The measure would also authorize $2.8 billion for border security, including Trump’s $1.6 billion request for a border wall. The deal would change the diversity visa lottery system, with approximately 50,000 slots annually to be used for people in the country who have lost their temporary protected status and some will be used for low immigration countries.
The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), a bi-racial organization to advance justice for African Americans, accused President Trump of “continuous lowbrow, callous and unfiltered racism”. a Statement issued by NAACP said, “As our nation fights to move forward, our President falls deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of racism and xenophobia.
The United States position as a moral leader throughout the world has been thoroughly damaged by the continuous lowbrow, callous and unfiltered racism repeatedly espoused by President Trump. His decision to use profanity to describe African, Central American and Caribbean countries is not only a low mark for this President, it is a low point for our nation.
“This President’s failure to grasp simple ideas of inclusion and maturity is an open sore on our democracy that continues to fester. It is clear that the President wants to return America to its ugly past of white supremacy where immigration laws as well as all laws of society only favored individuals from European nations and European ancestry. In fact, the “President himself benefitted from those racially biased laws when his ancestors immigrated to this nation. Yet today, he wants to force the American public to pay billions to build a wall to block off our southern neighbors in exchange for the return of protections for DACA that were already guaranteed to immigrants before he came to office.