Haiti 'shocked and outraged' over reported Trump remarks

President Donald Trump speaks with Rep. Steny Hoyer D-Md. during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy Tuesday Jan. 9 2018 in Washington

AP Evan Vucci

Amid an worldwide backlash over his reported use of a "crude slur" against immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries, President Donald Trump on Friday denied using the sort of language attributed to him at a meeting where he rejected a tentative deal for 8,00,000 young illegal immigrants.

Tweeted Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona: "The words used by the president, as related to me directly following the meeting by those in attendance, were not 'tough, ' they were abhorrent and repulsive".

The White House on Thursday did not deny his remark but issued a statement saying Trump supports immigration policies that welcome "those who can contribute to our society".

However, in a tweet today, Trump said he used tough language at immigration meeting with lawmakers, "but this was not the language used". He further noted that he said nothing derogatory about Haitians "other than" pointing out that Haiti is a "very poor and troubled country".

"It may be called the White House, but this is the country of color".

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin had come to the White House Thursday to outline their bipartisan compromise, but found themselves in the room with several Republican immigration hardliners.

One day after President Trump referred to African nations as "shithole countries", adding that the US should want immigrants from countries such as Norway rather than from Haiti or El Salvador, the countries that came in for the president's criticism are offering some responses of their own.

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Trump took particular issue with the idea that people who'd fled to the USA after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti would be allowed to stay as part of the deal, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly describe the discussion.

"In addition to being insulting to us, more importantly it's quite disrespectful and insulting to the people that we're trying to help and the friends and colleagues that we've made there over the last eight years", Furey said in an interview.

According sources in the Oval Office meeting between Trump and lawmakers, the President referred to Africa, saying, "why do we want all these people from "shithole countries" coming here?"

"President Trump, One day, I'll take you to a "shithole" country called Ghana", wrote Ghanaian Edmond Prime Sarpong on Facebook.

The White House did not deny the account of Trump's use of language, but instead suggested the president was "fighting for permanent solutions" that strengthen the nation, in part through the use of a merit-based immigration system.

Nevertheless, the uproar has revived attention on previous remarks by Trump that have ignited accusations of racism.

"If this report is true it is absolutely wrong to say or think this".

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Trump then "said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist", Durbin said, adding that "shithole" was "the exact word used by the president, not just once but repeatedly". But it wasn't just Democrats objecting.

"Trump has always been a racist, only a racist can use such foul language", said Nancy Mulenga, a student at the University of Zambia.

Some Republicans, notably Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), who's of Haitian descent, have called out the president for the comments and have requested an apology. Trump said, according to people familiar with the meeting. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly describe the conversation.

His comments drew a chorus of condemnation inside the United States and internationally, especially in Africa.

Yves-Richard Blanc was born in Haiti and came to the United States at the age of 8. Trump has spoken positively about Haitians in public. "The president and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel", he said.

Durbin and Republican Sen. "If someone should be ashamed it should be Trump", said Michel Aubry, 38, who lost his left foot when his house collapsed during the 2010 natural disaster.

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We need your help to secure his release & halt his deportation", said a statement by New Sanctuary Movement. Ragbir arrived in the United States from Trinidad and Tobago in 1991 on a visitor's visa.

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