President Donald Trump reportedly asked why so many people from “s***hole countries” like El Salvador, Haiti and specific African nations come to the US. The resulting outrage could wreck bipartisan immigration reform.
Trump reportedly became furious during a meeting at the White House Thursday when Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) proposed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to the Washington Post.
The group of senators reportedly agreed to cut the visa lottery program by 50 percent and restore Temporary Protected Status to immigrants from countries facing natural disasters or civil strife.
“Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the Post. He reportedly suggested the US should take in more immigrants from countries like Norway instead.
Many social media users immediately condemned Trump’s comments as racist, including several Democratic lawmakers.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) went on MSNBC to say Trump’s comments “smack of blatant racism – odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy.”
“He does not speak for me as an American,” Blumenthal added.
WATCH: @SenBlumenthal says Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ remark smacks of “the most odious and insidious racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy.”
“The President doesn’t speak for me as an American.” pic.twitter.com/uFQaohiNk4
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) January 11, 2018
Rep. Mia Love (D-Utah), who was born to Haitian parents, said Trump’s comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”
“My parents came from one of those countries, took an oath of allegiance to it, and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with,” Love said in a statement.
The Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana) said Trump’s comments were “further proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda.”
Immigrants from countries across the globe – including and especially those from Haiti and all parts of Africa – have helped build this country. They should be welcomed and celebrated, not demeaned and insulted.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) January 11, 2018
I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency. I will always fight for the vulnerable among us and against bigotry in all its forms. https://t.co/uffsZkgnfy
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) January 11, 2018
Author Philip Mudd, ex-deputy director of the CIA’s Counter-terrorist Center and the FBI’s National Security Branch, went on CNN Thursday to denounce Trump’s remarks as racist, calling himself a “proud s***holer.”
A number of celebrities branded Trump “President s***hole,” or some variation on this theme.
I’m just gonna start calling him president Shithole.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 11, 2018
Can’t wait until we get rid of this shithole president.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) January 11, 2018
Journalist and author Dan Rather expressed a similar sentiment without resorting to foul language, calling Trump’s comments “disgraceful for him, the country, and every American.”
The latest outrage from President Trump disparaging immigrants from what he calls “shithole” countries is a new low. It’s disgraceful for him, the country, and every American.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 11, 2018
Many were offended at Trump’s choice of words. Some are concerned their children will pick up the president’s vocabulary. MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell advised parents to teach their children the word “s***hole,” so they could explain what the president was talking about.
“It’s not going to be easy but this is what parenting is about in the age of Trump,” O’Donnell said.
Your kids are going to learn nasty words. It’s time for you to teach them one–“shithole.” This is the day for you to explain to them what the President said about “shithole countries.” It’s not going to be easy but this is what parenting is about in the age of Trump.
— Lawrence O’Donnell (@Lawrence) January 11, 2018
Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, told CNN that Trump used the term “s***house,” however, most reports confirmed Trump said “s***hole.”
According to guy on CNN, Trump said ‘shithouse’ – not ‘shithole’ This changes everything!
— Ben Estes (@benestes) January 12, 2018
However, many on the political right were not upset by Trump’s comments at all. In fact, many staffers at the White House reportedly celebrated on Thursday.
CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins said the White House is not worried about Trump’s comments, adding that some are “predicting it will actually resonate with his base, not alienate it, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem did.”
Staffers inside the White House aren’t that worried about Trump’s “shithole” remark — with some predicting it will actually resonate with his base, not alienate it, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem did.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 11, 2018
Right-wing activist Mike Cernovich responded to Collins’ tweet, simply saying “can confirm.”
Are some countries “shit holes”?
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) January 11, 2018
Many on the right agreed the countries that Trump was talking about were in fact “s***holes.” Many of them also agree that Trump should limit the number of people that come to the US from these countries.
Option A: El Salvador isn’t a “shithole,” so they don’t need 17 years of Temporary Protected Status, and migrants from there should be sent home immediately. Option B: El Salvador is, in fact, a “shithole.” https://t.co/sea1sKoY8K
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) January 11, 2018
Okay, yes — Trump shouldn’t call them “shithole countries.” A little respect is in order. They are shithole nations.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 11, 2018
It took about 5 seconds for “shithole counties” to be labeled racist on @CNN. Lost in all the hoopla, there really are a lot of shithole countries on the planet and everyone clutching their pearls knows it.
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) January 11, 2018
Only a liberal would want people from “shithole” countries to come to America. It’s as if they like catching diseases, getting blown up and watching people get raped.
Liberalism is a mental disease, folks!#Norway
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) January 11, 2018
While many Republicans were celebrating Trump’s comments, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he looks forward to receiving “a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments.”
HATCH: “I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments. Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin.” #utpol
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 11, 2018
“Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin,” Hatch said, according to a tweet from his office.