President Donald Trump denies calling Haiti, El Salvador and a few African countries "s—hole countries" during a lawmaker meeting in the Oval Office Thursday, but some people don't believe him — including leaders from some of those countries.
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made — a big setback for DACA!" Trump wrote on Twitter early Friday.
He continued an hour later, tweeting, "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!"
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump asked, "Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?" during the lawmakers meeting at the White House. He then reportedly asked why the United States didn't bring in more immigrants from a country like Norway.
A spokesman for the United Nations said Friday that Trump's reported words were racist.
"There is no other word one can use but 'racist'… This isn't just a story about vulgar language, it's about opening the door to humanity's worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia," United Nations human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said. "You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 's–tholes', whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome."
CBS News reports that the Haitian government promptly summoned charge d'affairs Robin Diallo, the top U.S. diplomat in the country, to respond to the comments.
The Haitian government said in a statement "these insulting and reprehensible statements in no way reflect the virtues of wisdom, restraint and discernment that must be cultivated by any high political authority," according to the Associated Press, adding that the comment "reflects a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community and its contribution to the United States."
SHAME ON TRUMP! The world is witnessing a new low today with this #ShitholeNations remark! totally unacceptable! uncalled for moreover it shows a lack a respect and IGNORANCE never seen before in the recent history of the US by any President! Enough is enough!!— Laurent Lamothe (@LaurentLamothe) January 12, 2018
Former Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe tweeted, "SHAME ON TRUMP! The world is witnessing a new low today with this #S–tholeNations remark! totally unacceptable! uncalled for moreover it shows a lack a respect and IGNORANCE never seen before in the recent history of the US by any President! Enough is enough!!"
Hugo Martinez, El Salvador's foreign minister, called on the U.S. government to confirm or deny Trump's statements. In subsequent tweets, he noted that a number of individuals who helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina were from El Salvador and said that he "feels proud to be Salvadoran."
1)Desde la Cancillería siempre emitimos reacciones con base a información oficial confirmada. Esperamos que las autoridades del gobierno de los Estados Unidos confirmen o nieguen las frases que se le atribuyen al presidente Trump.— Hugo Martínez (@HugoMartinezSV) January 12, 2018
The African Union pointed out many Africans arrived in the U.S. as slaves.
"Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice," Ebba Kalondo, a spokesperson for the 55-nation African Union, told the Associated Press. "This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity."
Leanne Manas, a news anchor for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, tweeted Friday morning, "Good morning from the greatest most beautiful "s–thole country" in the world!!!"
Somali information minister Abdirahman Omar Osman told CNN, "If it's real, it doesn't need a response. Those comments do not deserve a response."