Trump partly denies, also defends vulgar immigrant comments

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Responding to the backlash on Friday, Trump admitted using strong language in the course of the briefing, but denied using expletives, claiming that was not the "language used" as he also denied saying "anything derogatory about Haitians". Reacting to Trump's remarks, the African Union continental body said it was "frankly alarmed" by Trump's comments.

Hillary Clinton accused President Trump of holding "ignorant, racist views" on Friday, after media reports surfaced that the president decried immigration from "shithole countries" like Haiti, El Salvador and African nations. Dick Durbin (D-IL) confirmed the allegations.

Trump had questioned why the United States would want to accept immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to some as "shithole countries", according to two sources familiar with the comments.

U.S. President Donald Trump began the week proclaiming he wanted to strike a deal on immigration - the bigger, the better. The Trump administration has revoked the special legal status of over 300,000 immigrants from these nations in recent months.

Commenting on the White House meeting, Graham said on Friday that diversity had always been the United States' strength.

The United Nations human rights office said it had no doubt Trump's remarks were "racist", while the Vatican newspaper branded them as "particularly harsh and offensive".

The remarks leaked out, transforming a debate about saving from deportation some 700,000 young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children into another drama about Trump himself.

"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" I use those words advisedly, I understand how powerful they are.

Before he was president, Trump once called civil rights activist Al Sharpton to complain that he called him a racist and Sharpton said he corrected him — he was speaking about his actions and not him.

"President Trump has been and is a racist". He has to know, like we all do, that xenophobic commentary plays well with his base, the people who were more than happy to put him in office because they could seamlessly project their racism and misogyny onto his celebrity persona. He said Trump's comment "not only insulted Africans, he has also insulted African-Americans".

On Friday, the Republican president denied making the vulgar referenced during the meeting.

Last year, the president reportedly said the 15,000 Haitians who immigrated to the U.S.

When asked what Trump had said in the meeting, Durbin said, "I can not believe that in the history of the White House and of that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday". "Given historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the U.S. as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice", AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said.

Trump on Friday denied describing certain nations as "shithole countries" after triggering global outrage. Or does the GOP share the president's disdain for immigrants of color - "bad hombres" - and yearn for more Norwegians?

He ignored her, and she asked the same question again.

"Every penny of the $7 billion U.S. going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen - corruption is rampant!" he tweeted in 2013.

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