White House Denies Trump Made Racist Remarks at Meeting

Report comes from 'New York Times' look at Trump's immigration policy
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2017 3:23 PM CST
President Donald Trump greets people on the tarmac as he arrives on Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, Dec. 22, 2017.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – In a New York Times deep dive into President Trump's immigration agenda, which is "the product not of rigorous policy debate but of emotionally charged personal interactions and an instinct for tapping into the nativist views of white working-class Americans," come reports of racist statements made by the president during a meeting in July. The Times spoke with six officials who attended or were briefed on the meeting, during which Trump was upset about the failure of his Muslim ban and read from a document prepared by domestic policy adviser Stephen Miller. The document listed the number of immigrants who got visas to enter the US in 2017.

Of the 15,000 people who got visas in Haiti, Trump reportedly said they "all have AIDS." Sources say he complained that the 40,000 people who got visas in Nigeria wouldn't "go back to their huts." He was also reportedly upset about the 2,500 who got visas in Afghanistan because it's full of terrorists. Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirms the gist of the meeting but denies Trump made any racist comments. The press secretary says the words "AIDS" and "huts" were never used. Meanwhile, the director of pro-immigration group America's Voice says Trump's immigration policy is based on racism. "He's basically saying, 'You people of color coming to America seeking the American dream are a threat to the white people," Frank Sharry tells the Times. Read the full story here. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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