An African Union spokeswoman told The Associated Press it was “frankly alarmed” by the U.S. president’s comments.
“Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,” AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said. “This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.”
The government of Botswana summonsed U.S. Ambassador Earl Miller “to express its displeasure for alleged utterances” and ask for clarification on whether its country is being called a “s—hole.”
“The Government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word when talking about countries with whom the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial relations for so many years,” wrote the Botswana Ministry of International Affairs in a statement.
Meanwhile, The Nigerian Daily Post had the headline, “Trump allegedly calls Africa ‘s—hole,’ orders 259,000 immigrants out of U.S.” The newspaper also repeated the claim first reported in a New York Times story in December that Trump had said once Nigerians immigrants had seen America, they would never “go back to their huts.” The White House denied Trump ever uttered those words.
But many of the bigger African media sites avoided the story, and some countries refused to comment directly.
“Unless it was specifically said about South Sudan, we have nothing to say,” South Sudan government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told The Associated Press.