World condemnation came quickly today after President Donald Trump’s remarks calling Haiti and other African countries “s—hole countries”
Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, characterized the remarks as “racist.”
“This isn’t just a story about vulgar language, it’s about opening the door to humanity’s worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia,” he told reporters at a briefing in Geneva Friday. “If confirmed, these are shocking and shameful comments from the president of the United States.”
In an Oval Office meeting at the White House Thursday, Trump grew frustrated at a proposed bipartisan immigration plan that would scale back the visa lottery program, but not eliminate it, asking those in the room why they would want people from Haiti, Africa and other “s—hole countries” coming into the United States, according to multiple sources either briefed on or familiar with the discussion.
For his part, Trump denied he used “derogatory” language about Haitians in a tweet this morning. Trump, however, did not deny accounts from multiple sources either briefed on or familiar with the discussion who told ABC News the president’s comments extended to African countries as well.
Colville also expressed concern for previous remarks by Trump that had what he called racial undertones, including campaign events in which the then-candidate had called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, and Trump’s response last year to a white supremacist march saying that “both sides” deserved blame.
“These comments are against the universal values the international community has been striving for since World War II,” Colville said.