During a meeting with both Democratic and Republican senators on Thursday, President Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as "shithole countries," a Democratic aide told NBC News.
The lawmakers were in the Oval Office discussing changes to the visa lottery system and immigration as a whole, and when talk turned to immigrants from Africa, Trump asked why they would want people from "all these shithole countries" coming to the United States. Trump, who met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday, then said the U.S. should try to instead attract people from Norway and similar countries.
In a statement, the White House did not dispute the remarks, merely saying Trump "will always fight for the American people." On MSNBC, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told Ari Melber Trump's comment "smacks of blatant racism. The most odious and insidious racism masquerading, poorly, as immigration policy. And, I'll be very blunt — the president doesn't speak for me as an American."