Trump's 's---hole' remark sparks bipartisan backlash

Trump's 's---hole' remark sparks bipartisan backlash
© Getty Images
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE sparked bipartisan backlash on Thursday evening following reports that he referred to Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries" during a heated Oval Office meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration.
Trump reportedly grew frustrated with restoring protections for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as part of an immigration deal and suggested the U.S. instead bring in more immigrants from countries such as Norway, the prime minister of which he met Wednesday.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to The Washington Post, which first reported his comments.
Democrats slammed the comments as racist, while multiple GOP lawmakers called on Trump to clarify his remarks after the White House did not deny the reported comments.
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), the nation's first Haitian-American representative, said the president's remarks were "unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values."
"This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation," Love said in a statement. "My parents came from one of those countries but proudly took an oath of allegiance to the United States and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with."
Other Republicans, such as Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese MORE (Utah), called for a "detailed explanation" of Trump's comments, while Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordOn The Money: Lawmakers dismiss fears of another shutdown | Income for poorest Americans fell faster than thought | Net employment holds steady in September | Groups press Senate on retirement bill Lawmakers dismiss fresh fears of another government shutdown Hillicon Valley: Twitter to refuse all political ads | Trump camp blasts 'very dumb' decision | Ocasio-Cortez hails move | Zuckerberg doubles down on Facebook's ad policies | GOP senator blocks sweeping election reform bill MORE (R-Okla.) called them "disappointing."
"I would not talk about nations like this, because I believe the people of those countries are made in the image of God and have worth and human dignity," Lankford said in a statement.
"Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin," Hatch said in his statement.

Democrats were less forgiving with their criticism and blasted Republicans for not going further to rebuke the White House.

"This is racism, plain and simple, and we need to call it that. My Republican colleagues need to call it that too," Rep. Tim WalzTimothy (Tim) James WalzThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Syria fallout Minnesota Democrat sets up rematch in competitive House race Overnight Health Care: CDC warns against using e-cigs after vaping-related deaths | Minnesota reports fourth nationwide death tied to vaping | Top Dem demands FDA chief take action | Marianne Williamson under fire over controversial health remarks MORE (D-Minn.) tweeted.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) tweeted that Trump's comments "smack of blatant racism — odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy. He does not speak for me as an American." He echoed his comments on MSNBC.

The White House issued a statement Thursday in response to the Post's story and did not deny Trump's use of the term "shithole" to describe Haiti and African nations.

The president has been quoted in the past making disparaging comments about Haitian and Nigerian immigrants, comments that were swiftly denied and called "outrageous" by White House officials.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said Thursday.

Trump's comments came amid a push for a bipartisan deal on immigration as lawmakers rush to meet a Jan. 19 deadline to fund the government.

A bipartisan group of senators said Thursday they had clinched a deal to provide protections to young immigrants known as Dreamers, but faced pushback from Trump and GOP leadership.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a press briefing later in the day, "There has not been a deal reached yet. However, we still think we can get there and we are very focused on trying to make sure that happens."