Donald Trump denies he used vulgarity to describe African countries

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In bluntly vulgar language, President Donald Trump questioned Thursday why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway, as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation. Trump on Friday denied using that language.

Trump’s contemptuous description of an entire continent startled lawmakers in the meeting and immediately revived charges that the president is racist. The White House did not deny his remark but issued a statement saying Trump supports immigration policies that welcome “those who can contribute to our society.”

Yet Trump himself tweeted Friday: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.” He went on to criticize the immigration deal, saying: “What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about the president’s tweet.

Trump’s comments Thursday came as two senators presented details of a bipartisan compromise that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants — and also strengthen border protections, as Trump has insisted.

The lawmakers had hoped Trump would back their accord, an agreement among six senators evenly split among Republicans and Democrats, ending a monthslong, bitter dispute over protecting the “dreamers.” But the White House later rejected it, plunging the issue back into uncertainty just eight days before a deadline that threatens a government shutdown.

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Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’ s No. 2 Democrat, explained that as part of that deal, a lottery for visas that has benefited people from Africa and other nations would be ended, the sources said, though there could be another way for them to apply. Durbin said people who would be allowed to stay in the U.S. included those who had fled here after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti.

Trump specifically questioned why the U.S. would want to admit more people from Haiti. As for Africa, he asked why more people from “shithole countries” should be allowed into the U.S., the sources said.

The president suggested that instead, the U.S. should allow more entrants from countries like Norway. Trump met this week with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Asked about the remarks, White House spokesman Raj Shah did not deny them.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” he said.

Trump’s remarks were remarkable even by the standards of a president who has been accused of racism by his foes and who has routinely smashed through public decorum that his modern predecessors have generally embraced.

Trump has inaccurately claimed that Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, wasn’t born in the United States. He has said Mexican immigrants were “bringing crime” and were “rapists.” He said there were “very fine people on both sides” after violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, left one counter-protester dead.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said, “President Trump’s comments are racist and a disgrace.” But it wasn’t just Democrats objecting.

Republican Rep. Mia Love of Utah, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said Trump’s comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation’s values.” She said, “This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation” and called on Trump to apologize to the American people “and the nations he so wantonly maligned.”

Trump has called himself the “least racist person that you’ve ever met.”

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly describe the conversation. One said lawmakers in the room were taken aback by Trump’s remarks.

The Trump administration announced late last year that it would end a temporary residency permit program that allowed nearly 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States following a devastating 2010 earthquake.

Trump has spoken positively about Haitians in public. During a 2016 campaign event in Miami, he said “the Haitian people deserve better” and told the audience of Haitian-Americans he wanted to “be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion.”

The agreement that Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., described to Trump also includes his $1.6 billion request for a first installment on his long-sought border wall, aides familiar with the agreement said. They required anonymity because the agreement is not yet public.

Trump’s request covers 74 miles of border wall as part of a 10-year, $18 billion proposal.

Democrats had long vowed they wouldn’t fund the wall but are accepting the opening request as part of a broader plan that protects from deportation about 800,000 “Dreamers.” The deal also would include restrictions on a program allowing immigrants to bring some relatives to the U.S.

In an afternoon of drama and confusing developments, four other GOP lawmakers — including hardliners on immigration — were also in Trump’s office for Thursday’s meeting, a development sources said Durbin and Graham did not expect. It was unclear why the four Republicans were there, and the session did not produce the results the two senators were hoping for.

“There has not been a deal reached yet,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. But she added, “We feel like we’re close.”

Underscoring the hurdles facing the effort, other Republicans undercut the significance of the deal the half-dozen senators hoped to sell to Trump.

“How do six people bind the other 94 in the Senate? I don’t get that,” said No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas.

The six senators have been meeting for months to find a way to revive protections for the “Dreamers.” Trump ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last year but has given Congress until March 5 to find a way to keep it alive.

Federal agencies will run out of money and have to shut down if lawmakers don’t pass legislation extending their financing by Jan. 19. Some Democrats are threatening to withhold their votes — which Republicans will need to push that legislation through Congress — unless an immigration accord is reached.

In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Trump used profane language Thursday, Jan. 11, as he questioned why the U.S. should permit immigrants from certain countries, according to three people briefed on the conversation. The White House did not deny the comment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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  • FrankE

    How much longer must we wait? How much longer until we have a President who for one, doesn’t cause embarrassment every time he opens his mouth, and two, will accomplish positive things for us the voters?
    This is what, the fifteenth, sixteenth straw that broke the camels back? How much longer do we put up with a mental case as President? We need a real President…………….

    • Thomas Knight

      Three years, if we’re lucky. Seven if we aren’t.

      • FrankE

        Given the fall out of yesterdays totally racist comments, several other comments he’s made this week. I think he’ll be lucky if he makes it through the mid terms…………..

      • Danny Fitzsimmons

        hopefully this year as people have enough and vote blue across the states and impeach the Ahole.

      • Marge Marois

        What’s luck got to do with it?
        Poor decisions on the peoples’ part.

  • FrankE

    Just one day after recording his 2000th lie uttered since taking office. We’re supposed to believe Trump when he denies racial slurs? Donald Trump has been a Racist all his life, so this should be nothing new under the bridge. How did this fool ever become President????????????

  • Marc A. Jalbert

    It always amazes me at how he will justify all he says. His attitude of the golden tongue is nauseating. He just thinks that everyone weighs on his every word. We do but not positively, however. Just cannot seem to engage brain before tongue. Sound familiar?

  • Thomas Knight

    See? Trump says he didn’t say it. It is just fake news. He didn’t say it, and that’s that!

    • Marge Marois

      He said it and in denial as usual.

  • Danny Fitzsimmons

    LIE,LIE,LIE He should change his name to Lies Trump, all he does is lie which makes him a perfect politician but like those like him they are terrible people worth flushing down the same proverbial shithole, Oh did I say that NO I did not say those obscene words Not me!. And I think he is an Ahole sorry.

  • CruiserSailor

    Right wing response continues to be, “That’s just Trump being Trump”. What if Trump orders a nuclear strike because of some crap he just heard on FOX NEWS. Will it still be “That’s just Trump being Trump”? Collins and Poliquin continue to be enablers for this mentally ill, irresponsible, poor excuse for a president. It’s way past time for the 25th Amendment.

    • cappy12

      ” What if, what if…”
      What if a bus hits you while you are typing ?
      Could happen…The majority on election night who gave folks like you ( the middle finger ) — remain calm while reading negative commentary, do our research and you are responsible for doing yours.
      Trump is a hero, and genius.
      Trump’s popularity is very under-rated, he is way more respected than you realize.
      Trump will run again in 2020, and you will once again be sucking hind titty..
      Sorry, buddy..
      Just like I said before, you are out-numbered.
      A fact.
      Everyone who has tried to throw him out of office has been jammed up the boat hole.
      Even the psych doctor who declared Trump ” mental ”
      has been revealed to be a ” fraud “.
      On election night, you could not even get Maine to back you up, as the state SPLIT the electoral vote…
      Probably because some people can read, and did not want Maine to be designated a penal colony,
      as likely would have happened under Hillary..
      Each time you type negative substance about Trump, you
      are not pointing towards anything currently happening with regards to your candidate, very telling..
      A Houdini trick…we are wise to it..
      Trust me, in less than 6 months, you may be very well trying to locate ( and scrub ) all of your old comments.
      But, for now, those in the know read comments like yours, and we feel for you, loser.
      Sharpen your axe, buddy..
      ***
      ( If given 6 hours to chop a tree, I would spend the first 4 hours, sharpening the axe..)
      –Abraham Lincoln

      • CruiserSailor

        Still laughing! OMG, your just too funny!!!!

      • FrankE

        Totally delirious post. Even the couple of people who still support Trump can’t muster that kind of adoration. I’m sorry crappy12 or who ever you really are, your trolling is no more excepted here as anywhere else. Back off a bit, even those who like the guy aren’t that disgustingly happy with him……………

  • FrankE

    This is the same moron who after apologizing for his remarks in the Billy Bush open mic tape, denied it was his voice all along.
    Folks, it’s nearly impossible to regain the trust of a pathological liar. That being said, how are we to fully place our trust in anything Donald Trump says or does? The time has come to remove Trump from office and to make sure he isn’t able to keep his ill gotten riches he has received as President. This is nothing but a running gag to Trump, an expensive one for us the people. The sooner he’s taken out of office, the sooner we can begin the healing process, it’s going to be a rough one………..