Trump defends vulgar immigrant comments, partly denies them

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He spent last Thursday evening making a flurry of calls to friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction to the tempest, according to the insider. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of SC, also present at the gathering, said he confronted the president over his racy comments.

In the morning, The Washington Post reported that President Trump had called Haiti, El Salvador and African nations "shithole countries" during a White House meeting on immigration policy.

The comments revived charges that the president is racist, and rocked immigration talks that were already on a tenuous footing.

During a meeting in the Oval Office, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin proposed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, several other African countries and El Salvador. "He said those hate-filled words".

Republican lawmakers who were in the Thursday meeting generally sidestepped questions about precisely what Trump said.

Surrounded by African-Americans, including the nephew of the civil rights leader and prominent African-American Republican Ben Carson, who delivered a speech, Mr Trump said: "Dr King opened the eyes and lifted the conscience of our nation".

Donald Trump is unfit to be president.

And since we're also talking about immigration as well, we're hoping the president would take time to meet some of the TPS recipients, to see exactly how much contribution as a community we continue to provide here in this country.

Trump wrote on Twitter early Friday.

Dr. Guy Crevecoeur said he is concerned about the impact those remarks will have on Haitian people across the country and beyond. He also noted the insensitivity of its timing, coming the same week as the eighth anniversary of Haiti's 2010 natural disaster, which killed more than 200,000 people.

He continued an hour later, tweeting, "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country".

Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a joint statement Friday that they were "deeply disturbed and offended" by the language. "Made up by Dems". I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. He has also considered recording all his meetings to prevent similar controversies in the future.

United Nations officials and government ministers from the countries mentioned have condemned Trump, describing them as "racist".

The comment "truly flies in the face of accepted behavior and practice", said Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for AU chief Moussa Faki.

Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a parliamentary secretary to the minister of worldwide development, did respond to reports of Trump's comments on Thursday evening.

Activists marched from the Toussaint L'Ouverture Monument to the Little Haiti Cultural Center waving signs that said "President Trump is a racist!", "Respect Haiti", and "We will not forget".