President Trump denies using expletive to describe African countries

An alleged description of African and other countries as "shitholes" by Donald Trump prompted outrage on Friday, even as the United States president appeared to deny having used the specific term.

The U.S. president reportedly made the comment during a meeting with congressional leaders in the Oval Office on Thursday.

While a group of bipartisan senators pitched a compromise on immigration, a source briefed on the meeting said the president grew frustrated, asking lawmakers, "Why do we want all these people from s***hole countries coming here?" The president insisted on Twitter Friday that he didn't use that language.

While the White House did not deny the controversial remarks, Trump tweeted on Friday that he never said "anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country".

Q. "If [President Trump] did in fact say what's being alleged, how would that stack up against... incendiary comments that other presidents have made?" Made up by Dems. "But I've never met a Haitian who isn't strong".

"I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians", the president said. "I just can not do it".

What did the African Union say?

Reaction from Republicans on the president's reported remarks have been mixed. South Africa's ruling African National Congress said his comment is "extremely offensive".

"If that's not racism, I don't know how you can define it", U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said. It's not how a president should behave.

Mr Trump later appeared at an event to honour Martin Luther King, the civil rights activist. "We should be talking about how we bring people together", Pugh said. "Or, we shouldn't have been", added Young.


According to reports, Trump pushed for Haitians to be excluded from any immigration deal, asking, "Why do we want people from Haiti here?"

Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, called the remarks "unfortunate" and "unhelpful".

Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments, said the comments were detrimental given the already fractured discussions, since Democrats can block any spending agreement and Trump's comments solidify their stance on immigration.

Ryan recalled his own family history of emigrating to the U.S. from Ireland.

"I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency", Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said in a tweet.

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who was briefed by Durbin and a fellow GOP Senator who attended the meeting, confirmed that version of events to CNN. "Worse, it's ignorant of American ideals".

"There is no question in my mind he's a racist", Pinkett, who won season four of Trump's reality show, told MSNBC's Joy Reid.

John Feeley (56), a career diplomat and former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, announced his resignation in a letter to the state department.

"So we now have a foreign policy based on race. That time has come".

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