President Trump honored the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. during a White House event on Friday with a strong statement: "No matter what the color of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal." But as USA Today notes, headlines about Trump using the term "shithole countries" about certain nations during an immigration meeting threatened to overshadow the moment. The president ignored questions about the incident during the event, but there were plenty of other developments:
- To clarify: Jake Tapper of CNN reports that Trump referred to African nations as "shithole countries" but did not use the term about Haiti. Trump did, however, ask, "Why do we need more Haitians?" and asked that they be taken out of any immigration deal. The two different Trump remarks have been conflated a bit, perhaps explaining why Trump specifically denied saying anything "derogatory" about Haiti.
- Senator's view: Tim Scott of South Carolina, the lone black Republican in the Senate, says he spoke to Sen. Lindsey Graham, who attended the meeting, and Graham told him the "shithole countries" stories are "basically accurate," reports the Post and Courier. If so, that's "incredibly disappointing," says Scott, adding that America's strength is the "ability to weave together multiple communities for one nation." (Democrat Dick Durbin also confirmed that Trump used the term.)