“What do we want Haitians here for?” the Los Angeles Times
quotes President Trump as saying during a meeting Thursday, as per two sources briefed on the meeting. “Why do we want all these people from Africa here? Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?" Two sources provided the Washington Post
with a similar quote. Trump reportedly made the comment while meeting with senators about a bipartisan deal on immigration. It was suggested by Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham and Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin that protections for immigrants from Africa, Haiti, and El Salvador could be restored in exchange for $1.5 billion for the border wall and eliminating the visa lottery system. Trump rejected that idea, saying the US should focus on getting immigrants from places like Norway.
The White House didn't deny Trump made the reported remarks, instead issuing a statement that he would "always fight for the American people." CNN reporter Kaitlain Collins tweets that White House staff aren't concerned about the "shithole" comment, as they believe Trump's base will approve of it. Meanwhile, Democrats are condemning the remarks. "This is racism, plain and simple, and we need to call it that," Democratic Rep. Tim Walz tweets. "My Republican colleagues need to call it that too." The Times reports the incident shows how hard it will be to secure a deal for Dreamers. Aides say Trump seemed interested in a deal earlier Thursday but had lost that interest by the time of the meeting. And a legislative aide to the president said afterward that a deal is far off. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)