Outrage mounted Friday over US President Donald Trump’s reported description of African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole” countries, with the United Nations slamming his comments as “racist”.
During a Thursday meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform, Trump demanded to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called “shithole” countries, according to comments first reported by the Washington Post.
The reported comments angered among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump’s tendency to make racially charged remarks.
They also spurred a harsh reaction from the UN, with rights office spokesman Rupert Colville describing them as “shocking and shameful.”
“Sorry, but there is no other word one can use but ‘racist’,” he told reporters in Geneva.
“You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’ whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome”, he added.
Trump met with lawmakers at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country, and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for shielding hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to people briefed on the meeting who spoke with The Washington Post.
The New York Times later reported the same comment, citing unnamed people with direct knowledge of the meeting.
The president was referring to African countries and Haiti, both newspapers said, with the Post including El Salvador on its list.