Trump comments spark international outcry
by Evan Wilt
Posted 1/12/18, 12:31 pm
WASHINGTON—Disparaging comments about Haiti and Africa attributed to President Donald Trump have sparked an international outcry, and at least one Republican lawmaker has called on the president to apologize. The Washington Post reports that while discussing protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as part of an immigration agreement, Trump asked a bipartisan group of lawmakers gathered Thursday in the Oval Office, “Why do we need more Haitians?” He later reportedly asked, “Why are we having all these people from [obscenity] countries come here?” The president then, according to the Post report, suggested that the United States should encourage immigration from countries like Norway and from Asian nations, whose immigrants, he felt, would boost the U.S. economy. After receiving widespread backlash over the reported comments, Trump defended himself in a tweet Friday morning, saying, “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.” Shortly after the president’s tweet, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who attended Thursday’s meeting, told reporters the president was lying: “You’ve seen the comments in the press; I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate. He said these hate-filled things. And he said them repeatedly.” Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, who in 2014 became the first Haitian-American woman elected to Congress, released a statement asking Trump to apologize. She said the president’s comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.” Haitian Ambassador to the United States Paul Altidor also condemned Trump’s reported comments and formally summoned a U.S. official to explain them.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.