Trump denies "shithole countries" comments

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One upon departure from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One upon departure from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland

Various media outlets reported that Mr Trump made the comments - specifically that he asked why he would want "all these people from shithole countries", in reference to some African countries and Haiti, instead of taking immigrants from countries such as Norway - during the meeting in the White House on Thursday.

He reportedly insulted Haitian and African nations by questioning why the USA would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa rather than places like Norway.

Trump's response Friday morning was particularly notable after White House spokesperson Raj Shah did not deny the "shithole" remark on Thursday evening. Mahama's tweet used an altered image of an Oval Office meeting featuring Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to mock that mistake.

Haiti's ambassador in Washington has also asked for an apology, as Trump reportedly specifically questioned the protections granted to Haitian immigrants after the natural disaster.

Despite the back and forth regarding Trump's reported remarks, several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have decried the language and condemned the comments.

If my job is to report the truth - the truth is, what the president said was hurtful.

The ANC is not in a position to stop any president from any country from saying anything they wish, she said.

Democrats have dismissed Trump's denial of the offensive comments, with Senator Dick Durbin, who attended the meeting, disputing Trump's account.

Trump previously told Haitian-Americans: "I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion", while he was campaigning previous year in Miami's Little Haiti.

"He was very kind to the Haitians, he was very eloquent to them, and he was the first president to (have) ever visited Haitians, and he said he was going to be the champion of Haitians", Haitian-American Georges Sami Saati said.

In an earlier tweet, Mahama said that Trump's comments showed he was "nothing but a racist". "Sorry, but there is no other word one can use but ´racist´", Rupert Colville, spokesman for the United Nations human rights office, told reporters in Geneva.

He said that Trump should focus on the substance of the immigration reform bill and making sure it includes funding for policies he has long advocated for, including a border wall and enhanced border security.

As Haitian-Americans gathered later in the day in Little Haiti to commemorate the 8-year anniversary of the devastating quake that hit Haiti, many expressed their outrage about the president's comment.

The controversial comments were brought up while the president argued against opening the United States borders to Haitians and Africans fleeing poverty, starvation, and violence in their homelands. "Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and US would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime. countries which are doing badly".

Rep. Mia Love, R-UT, herself a daughter of Haitian immigrants, issued a statement asking for the president to apologize for his "unkind, divisive and elitist" language.

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