CLOSE

President Trump is drawing an angry response, after using an expletive to describe the countries that many immigrants in the U.S. came from. One critic is Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who says Trump has a long history of making racist statements. (Jan. 12)
AP

President Trump’s purported crude comments about immigrants provoked a global backlash Friday from the United Nations, African nations and other countries against his “racist” remarks.

The torrent of criticism began within hours of reports that Trump, meeting with several lawmakers to discuss immigration Thursday, questioned why the United States would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway.

On Friday, Trump appeared to deny he had used those exact words. Sen. Dick Durbin, D.-Ill., who was in the room for the meeting, confirmed that the president had, in fact, employed the vulgar phrase several times.

Officials and representatives of the target countries responded quickly and sharply.

UNITED NATIONS

Rupert Colville, a human rights spokesman for the international organization, said: “If confirmed these are shocking and shameful comments from the president of the United States, I’m sorry but there is no other word for this but racist.”

“You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes,’ whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome,” he said in Geneva.

The U.S. State Department tried to calm things down after Trump’s vulgar remark, tweeting from the department’s Bureau of African Affairs that “the United States will continue to robustly, enthusiastically and forcefully engage in #Africa, promoting this vital relationship, and to listen and build on the trust and views we share with our African partners.”