The news cycle has been dominated by a report published by The Washington Post, which detailed an immigration meeting in which President Donald Trump reportedly became frustrated after it was suggested Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries should be included in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals deal.
He reportedly asked:
“Why are we having all these people from s**thole countries come here?”
The media has covered the alleged comment almost exclusively and criticized the president for it nonstop. However, some clarifications have been released since the original report.
CNN's Jake Tapper was told by a source familiar with the meeting that Trump did not refer to Haiti as a “s**thole” country, though he did say that about African countries. He asked, “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,” meaning take them out of the deal.
On Friday, President Trump signed a Martin Luther King Jr. Day proclamation at the White House, just one day after the report. Isaac Newton Farris Jr., King's nephew, gave some remarks at the podium:
"Bottom line, you're doing something that benefits someone other than yourself. That’s the proper way to remember my uncle and the proper way to celebrate the King holiday. So, President Trump, thank you for taking the time to acknowledge this day.
Thank you for remembering that we're all Americans and on this day we should be united in love for all Americans. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. Vice President."
As expected, the reporters watching shouted questions right when Trump was finished signing.
- “Mr. President, will you give an apology for the statement yesterday?”
- “Mr. President, did you refer to African nations as s**tholes?”
- “Mr. President, are you a racist?”
- “Mr. President, will you respond to these serious questions about the statement, sir?”
But Trump seemed unfazed by the questions as he thanked everyone in the room one by one and paid no attention to the media.