President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE on Friday ignored White House reporter April Ryan's question as to whether he is a racist after an event honoring Martin Luther King Jr. over Trump's reported remark referring to some nations as "shithole countries."

Trump signed a proclamation honoring Martin Luther King Jr. ahead of the civil rights leader's namesake holiday. After the event, where Trump was flanked by top African-American supporters including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson's affordable housing idea drawing undue flak Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules it says are too lax MORE, Trump ignored shouted questions from reporters who asked if he would apologize for his remarks.

"Mr. President, are you a racist?" Ryan, a reporter for Urban Radio Networks and a CNN contributor, could be heard asking. 

Trump, ignoring the question, quickly exited the room. The president did not take questions from White House pool reporters after his brief remarks Friday morning.

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On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that Trump had questioned why the U.S. accepts immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some nations in Africa, calling those places "shithole countries," when instead it could take more from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister Trump recently met.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly asked.

The remarks were not denied by the White House in an initial statement from spokesman Raj Shah Thursday night, and they remained unchallenged by the Trump administration until a pair of tweets from the president early Friday.

"Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said 'take them out.' Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians," Trump tweeted Friday morning.

The remarks were met with widespread criticism on Capitol Hill, including from some Republicans such as Haitian-American Rep. Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveFormer GOP lawmaker: Trump's tweets have to stop Congressional Women's Softball team releases roster The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE (R-Utah).

Trump's words were "unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation's values," Love said in a statement.

"My parents came from one of those countries, took an oath of allegiance to it, and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with," she added.