Trump's words rip open the debate over whether he's racist


Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was at the meeting to try to sell the president on a compromise plan to protect about 800,000 mostly younger immigrants from deportation, chimed in at the meeting to defend immigrants.

The African group of ambassadors to the United Nations has issued an extraordinary statement condemning the "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks" by President Donald Trump and demanding a retraction and apology.

Critics of the president, including some Republicans, on Friday blasted the vulgar comments made in the Oval Office. "That Trump's comments were made public on the evening prior to the anniversary of an quake that devastated the nation of Haiti makes them all the more disgusting, unfeeling and inhumane".

Trump later tweeted that the language he used was tough, but not the language being reported.

The statement, issued late Friday after the African ambassadors held an emergency meeting, comes amid an worldwide outcry over Trump reportedly saying he'd rather have more immigrants from Norway and fewer from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa.

Sen. Dick Durbin of IL, the only Democrat in the room, said Trump had indeed said what he was reported to have said.

Citing people close to the President, Wolff has said the President has begun repeating three stories in conversations in less than 10 minutes, when he used to repeat stories in about a 30-minute window.

And other Trump backers said the president's remarks show he's aligned with a long-standing conservative push to reshape immigration policy into a merit-based system rather than one based on family ties or admitting those from countries beset by poverty.

"If that's not racism, I don't know how you can define it", Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen told WPLG-TV in Miami.

It did not take an advanced degree or even complete fluency in English to understand President Trump's assertion that Haiti, El Salvador and African nations were "shithole countries" whose citizens, at least according to Trump, are not desirable in the United States.

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Boniface Mwangi, a well-known social activist in Kenya called on Trump to distinguish Africans from the continent's political leaders. "And whether you vote for me or you don't vote for me, I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion whether you vote for me or not". They are all talk and no action. "Donald Trump insults El Salvador", read one headline.

And Idaho Republican Mike Simpson told The Associated Press that Trump's remarks were "stupid and irresponsible and childish". Another major component of the plan is the inclusion of $1.6 billion for structures including a wall for border security.

"I don't think this will just blow over", said Peter Lewis, director of African Studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. Some Democrats have threatened to withhold support unless an immigration pact is forged.

After an emergency session to weigh Trump's remarks, the group said it was "concerned at the continuing and growing trend from the USA administration toward Africa and people of African descent to denigrate the continent and people of color".

"Why do we need more Haitians?"

"To squander that goodwill certainly means many difficulties in terms of pursuing trade, in terms of doing business comfortably, in terms of counter terrorism, security cooperation", Lewis said. In the 1980s, the US government - claiming that Haitian pigs had swine fever - participated in the extermination of almost every native black pig, which represented some families' entire life savings.

He continued an hour later, tweeting, "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country".

In June, he said Nigerian immigrants would "never go back to their huts" after coming to the U.S.

"If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency", Bornstein wrote.