Haiti calls reported Trump remark 'racist'
Haitians reacted with outrage Friday to reports that President Donald Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa at an Oval Office meeting held on the eve of the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, one of the deadliest disasters in modern history.
President Jovenel Moise's government issued a strongly worded statement denouncing what it called a "racist" view of Haitian immigrants and people from African countries.
"The Haitian government condemns in the strongest terms these abhorrent and obnoxious remarks which, if proven, reflect a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community and its contribution to the United States," it said.
Trump was in a closed meeting with members of Congress to discuss immigration on Thursday when he reportedly questioned why the U.S. would accept more people from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa, rather than places like Norway.
At first the White House did not deny that the remark was made. On Friday the president tweeted that his language was "tough" but insisted he did not say anything derogatory about Haitians aside from noting it's a poor country.
Haitians at home and abroad were stunned, and Internet message boards and radio stations were flooded with angry and anguished comments.