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Trump's 'Shithole' Remark Causes an Uproar

He's being condemned from Haiti to Norway
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2018 5:33 AM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Trump 'Shithole' Remark Causes Uproar
President Trump speaks during a news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Trump's remark about immigrants from "shithole countries" has caused a massive uproar—even by Trump standards. His comments, made during discussion of Temporary Protected Status in a bipartisan meeting on an immigration deal, are being condemned by lawmakers from both parties, the BBC reports. The comment also caused outrage in countries including Haiti, one of the nations he deemed to be a "shithole," and Norway, one of the countries from which he would like to take in more people. A roundup of coverage:

  • Lawmakers alarmed. The lawmakers present at the meeting were "alarmed and mystified" by Trump's outburst, though none of them commented publicly, the New York Times reports. But many other lawmakers spoke out to condemn the remarks, including Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who called it "the most odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy."

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  • No denial. White house deputy press secretary Raj Shah did not deny Trump made the remarks. "Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people," he said, adding that Trump is fighting for "merit-based immigration."
  • "Unacceptable." Utah Rep. Mia Love, the only Haitian-American in Congress, said Trump's behavior is "unacceptable," the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The Republican said the president's remarks are "unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values." Her parents, she said, "never took a thing from our federal government. They worked hard, paid taxes, and rose from nothing to take care of and provide opportunities for their children."
  • Angry tweets. The Guardian rounds up more anti-Trump tweets, including one from former Mexican President Vicente Fox. Trump, "your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world," he tweeted. "With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?"

  • Reaction from Africa. "Why do we want all these people from Africa here?" Trump reportedly said, a remark that the AP reports shocked many in Africa. Some governments were reluctant to speak out against Trump, though a spokeswoman for the African Union said the group was "frankly alarmed" by Trump's comments.
  • "Like throwing gasoline to the fire." The White House rejected a tentative bipartisan deal on issues including DACA on Tuesday, and Democrats said the president's remarks have set back the chances of a deal before the Jan. 19 shutdown deadline, the Washington Post reports. "This is like throwing gasoline to the fire," says Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic.
  • Shithole or S-hole? In covering the remarks, many outlets took the unusual step of using the word "shithole" in print or on air, though some opted for the likes of "s-hole" or "s---hole." "It seemed pretty clear to all of us that we should quote the language directly, not paraphrase it," New York Times associate managing editor for standards Phil Corbett says.

  • More from Trump. Trump had more to say on immigration in a tweet Thursday night. "The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process," he said. "It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain. USA!"
  • Right-wing reaction. Politico reports that right-wing pundits downplayed or brushed off the remark, including Fox co-host Jesse Watters, who said: "This is who Trump is. He doesn’t care. He shoots from the hip. And if he offends some people, fine."
  • Why move? In Norway, the Aftenposten notes that many people are wondering why, when they have free health care and a higher per-capita income than the US, Trump thinks they should consider emigrating.
(Read more President Trump stories.)

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