Trump's comments came during an Oval Office meeting where he questioned why the USA would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation.
The White House has also led a almost yearlong campaign to reduce the number of refugees allowed into the United States, as part of broader immigration restriction efforts.
"Trump has always been a racist, only a racist can use such foul language", said Nancy Mulenga, a student at the University of Zambia.
Trump, who grew up in a Presbyterian family, shot back saying it was "disgraceful" for the pope to question his faith.
Trump had been quoted as saying during a meeting at the White House earlier in the week, "Why do we want all these people from Africa here?"
"I suspect the Democrats are sitting there going, 'Why would we want to compromise with him on anything", said Simpson, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. "They're s***hole countries. We should have more people from Norway".
"I was not in the meeting with the President and do not know what was said, although (I) have every reason to believe President Trump when he says he did not make those comments".
Rivers said Trump took the torch out of the hand of the Statue of Liberty with his remarks.
The African Union said in its statement that while it condemn Trump's remark, maintaining a dialogue with the president was necessary to help him better understand their continent. Trump's use of the word fulfills both criteria - so Gambitused it in an online headline, as did The New Orleans Advocate (though it later was changed to "s--hole", the same choice made by NOLA.com).
Retired Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselasse, who won his first 10,000 Olympic gold medal in the US city of Atlanta in 1996, told Reuters Trump's comments did not reflect the views of all Americans. "Why do we need more Haitians?"
When discussing the people he saw rescued after being trapped under rubble for days, Mr Cooper paused to take a moment as tears started to well up in his eyes.
"I think it was an ignorant comment", said a high school student whose parents immigrated from Mali.
"Other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country", he posted on Twitter.
Almost a year into Trump's presidency, members of Congress are still struggling to relate to the unorthodox Trump and his spontaneous, often crude remarks.
Trump reportedly said. "Take them out".
'My colleague, Republican senator Lindsey Graham of SC, spoke up and made a direct comment on what the president said, ' Durbin said in the Capitol, CNN reported.