President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to deny he insulted Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” but admitted 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. “What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”
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 told NBC News. When they were talking about Haiti, Trump questioned why Haitians should be given specific consideration, two sources briefed on the conversation said.
“Why do we need more Haitians, take them out,” he said, according to 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 wrote 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 Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!” he added.
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.
Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, — 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 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 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.
*News Searching By NBC*