He said Trump was "either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people" and urged him to brush up on the Caribbean nation's history, noting that Haitians fought alongside Americans during the American revolution and abolished slavery years before the United States.
And other Trump backers said the president's remarks show he's aligned with a long-standing conservative push to reshape immigration policy into a merit-based system rather than one based on family ties or admitting those from countries beset by poverty.
New York's Haitian community honored the eighth anniversary of the natural disaster that devastated their country Friday - and denounced President Trump's remark that the island nation was "a shithole".
The controversy, stemming from discussions about whether to include immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and African countries in an immigration bill, appears to have dimmed chances of reaching a deal on immigration in the coming weeks.
"When you're doing that well and you have that many accomplishments, don't you want people to be talking about your accomplishments?"
This came after two senators presented details of a bipartisan immigration deal which Trump rejected.
The lawmakers had hoped Trump would back their accord, an agreement among six senators evenly split among Republicans and Democrats, ending a monthslong, bitter dispute over protecting the "dreamers".
"The solution to our current divisiveness does not live in the White House".
The alleged remarks were said to have also been made in reference to Haiti and El Salvador. As is the custom for most presidents, Trump is not expected to participate, but she does hope he will observe the holiday.
In Nigeria, one resident in Lagos told Reuters "calling [every] African country shithole is really, really, very bad and I think every African country should just learn from this and probably just stay in their country and work with their resources". And what the president and many of his supporters fail to grasp is that ours is the most dynamic country on Earth precisely because of the courageous, entrepreneurial, risk-taking, ambitious people we attract.
As the son of a Haitian immigrants and pastor of the largely Haitian Kingdom Church in Orlando, Pastor Jacques says he's disheartened by President's Trump's comments about Haiti. And other Trump backers made clear they wanted to steer clear of questions about whether the president is a racist.
"(Trump) is sending a coded message that he wants to return to the good old days, of slavery, the good old days of water hoses, the good old days of German Shepherds biting people fighting for their basic rights", Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond and House Judiciary top Democrat Jerrold Nadler said they would seek to introduce a censure resolution against Trump next week.
Republican Mia Love, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said Mr Trump's comments were "unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation's values".