Trump denies calling countries 's***holes' as he's branded 'racist'

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Trump reportedly made the remarks at a White House meeting on immigration on Thursday (11 January) during which he questioned why the USA would want to accept immigrants from "shithole countries" - referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.

In his meeting with a group of senators, Trump had questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "s**thole countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and others who had been briefed on the remarkable Oval Office conversation.

President Donald Trump's already infamous "shithole" comment is among several remarks the commander-in-chief has made that have energized white supremacists, rights groups fear.

Mr Durbin said he told Mr Trump the word "chain migration" - used by opponents of immigration to describe people sponsoring family members to join them in the USA - was "painful" for many African-Americans whose ancestors had arrived in the U.S. as slaves. Trump has denied using the word while others in the room said he did.

The reports that Trump called for less immigration from Africa and more from countries "like Norway" have led to a diplomatic crisis for the US.

Among others, United Nations spokesperson Rupert Coleville said Trump's reported word choice to refer to nations of non-white people is unequivocally "racist".

Haitian-born City Council Member Mathieu Eugene said is a statement that Trump's comments stray away from America's mission to welcome all immigrants. It´s about opening the door wider to humanity´s worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy the lives of many people.

"The government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word when talking about countries with whom the USA has had cordial and mutually beneficial relations for so many years".

Trump's comments were immediately denounced as racist and xenophobic at home and overseas, by the United Nations human rights office and politicians from the countries named. He has also considered recording all his meetings to prevent similar controversies in the future.

"He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly", Durbin said.

The organization said in a statement: "There is a huge misunderstanding of the African continent and its people by the current Administration. Take them out", Trump was quoted as saying.

Mr Durbin added, "When the question was asked about Haitians. he said, 'Haitians?"

Trump defended his "tough" rhetoric on immigration, but said he didn't say anything derogatory toward immigrants.

"President Trump's racist and incendiary comments about Haiti and Africa are an affront to the very values of our nation and of the American dream", he said.

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