Outrage over Trump slur on 'shithole' countries

Donald Trump

Using vulgar language, Trump on Thursday questioned why the USA would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "sthole countries" in Africa rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal.

Mr Trump took particular issue with the idea that people who had fled to the United States after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti would be allowed to stay as part of the deal.

Senegal's President Macky Sall said he was shocked and that "Africa and the black race merit the respect and consideration of all".

Trump asked at a meeting with congress members at the White House, reports said on Thursday, citing people with knowledge on the conversation.

According to Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin, Trump, during a meeting at the White House to consider migrant policies, said, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"

Africans were "partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. There is no other word one can use but 'racist'".

"I would like to believe that the president's intentions are not to be divisive, but much of what he says seems or feels to be divisive", King III told AP in an interview.

Trump's comments added uncertainty to already contentious talks about legislation to shield hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation and boost border security measures.

Trump has essentially told the world that we didn't really mean it when we said that we were a different kind of nation - one built on ideas and not on blood. Although the United States has a complicated racial history, including slavery, segregation and persistent economic disparities between whites and minorities, Trump's most recent predecessors from both parties have used their position to promote equality and have endorsed immigration policies that brought millions of people from Africa and Latin America to the U.S.

Durbin, Graham and their allies drafted a plan that would eliminate the diversity visa lottery as Trump demanded, but would allow some immigrants now in the USA under temporary protected status, which lets people stay in the country after natural disasters or other crises in their home nations. In a statement, White House spokesman Raj Shah said Trump is "fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation". Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga. - said Friday that they "do not recall" Trump "saying these comments specifically".

Trump has denied being racist, labeling himself the "least racist person there is" during his 2016 campaign.

The city of Flint, Michigan has had a years-long crisis of high lead levels in their tap water, which made it undrinkable and forced them to rely on bottled water.

Trump has seemed to deny using those words but acknowledged on Twitter that he used "tough" language during White House negotiations this week with lawmakers on an immigration bill.

Mia Love, a congresswoman from Utah who is of Haitian descent, called Trump's reported comments "unkind" and "divisive", and demanded an apology.

Africans of all stripes took to social media.

"The Bostwana Government has also enquired from the US Government through the Ambassador, to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a "shithole" country", the statement said.

Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power has shared the statement on Twitter, saying: "Whoa".

In a series of tweets on Friday, Trump also suggested that momentum toward a deal on maintaining such protection had stalled.

"Uncalled for moreover it shows a lack a respect and IGNORANCE never seen before in the recent history of the USA by any President!"

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