President Donald Trump on Friday denied describing certain nations as “shithole countries” during a meeting in which he rejected a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
He also denied demanding that Haitians be removed from negotiations about protected status for people from certain countries.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!” Trump tweeted.
White House spokesperson Raj Shah did not deny the “shithole” remark on Thursday evening, but instead said in a statement that Trump “is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”
Trump later tweeted Friday morning that he “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
DACA protects hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.
Trump on Thursday rejected a pitch from a bipartisan team of senators on a compromise immigration deal to protect DACA participants while increasing border security.
“Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” Trump told senators in the Oval Office, according to a source briefed on the meeting, the comments from which were first reported by The Washington Post.
Tweets threaten deal
Trump’s denial came among a series of other tweets in which he defended his immigration stance.
“The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime…..,” Trump tweeted.