President Trump’s remarks about African countries and Haiti drew condemnation from a group of African ambassadors to the United Nations who called them “outrageous, racist and xenophobic” and demanded a retraction and apology.
Samantha Power, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, shared the ambassadors’ statement on Twitter. “Whoa. I’ve never seen a statement like this by African countries directed at the United States,” she wrote.
The statement, issued late Friday after the African ambassadors held an emergency meeting, comes amid an international outcry over Trump reportedly saying he’d rather have more immigrants from Norway and fewer from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa.
Trump has seemed to deny using those words but acknowledged on Twitter that he used “tough” language during White House negotiations this week with lawmakers on an immigration bill.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the only Democrat at the meeting with Trump, confirmed the vulgar comments, telling reporters the president said “things that were hate-filled, vile and racist.”
Republican lawmakers who were in the Thursday meeting generally sidestepped questions about precisely what Trump said. Two Trump allies who were in attendance, Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Purdue of Georgia, issued a joint statement, saying they did “not recall the president saying those comments specifically.”
In their statement, the African ambassadors said they were concerned “about the continuing and growing trend from the US administration toward Africa and people of African descent to denigrate the continent and people of color.”
SOURCE: Fredreka Schouten