With such vulgar language, President Donald Trump questioned Thursday why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway, as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation.
Lawmakers were startled by his words in the meeting and immediately revived accusations that the president is racist.
The White House did not deny his remark but issued a statement saying Trump supports immigration policies that welcome “those who can contribute to our society.”
According to the Associated Press, Trump made these comments as two senators presented details of a bipartisan compromise that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and also strengthen border protections as Trump has insisted.
The lawmakers had hoped Trump would back their accord, an agreement among six senators evenly split among Republicans and Democrats, ending a months-long, bitter dispute over protecting the “Dreamers.” But the White House later rejected it, plunging the issue back into uncertainty just eight days before a deadline that threatens a government shutdown.
Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, no deal has been reached yet on legislation to protect younger immigrants brought to the country illegally, but she says, “they’re close.”
After hearing that Trump would prefer more immigrants from Norway, U.S. Representative of Long Island New York tweeted her thought on the subject.
— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) January 11, 2018
Trump has called himself the “least racist person that you’ve ever met.”