The US White House has denied a New York Times report that President Donald Trump allegedly made offensive comments about black immigrants – specifically Haitians and Nigerians.
The newspaper on Saturday reported that during a June Oval Office meeting attended by top White House officials, the President was supposedly angered by just how many immigrants had received visas to enter the US in 2017, according to six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting.
It reported that Mr Trump had read a list revealing the number of immigrants that had entered the country: “Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They ‘all have AIDS,’ he grumbled,” according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.
Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attacked the Times reporting on Saturday in the White House denial.
“General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims. It’s both sad and telling the New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous ‘sources’ anyway,” she said.
But the denial did not keep activists who have been critical of Mr Trump’s policies toward immigrants from criticising the reported comments.
We should never respond to the President’s hatred and bigotry with silence. It’s a good thing the Haitian community is far stronger, wiser, and kinder than Donald Trump will ever be.
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) December 23, 2017
Of course @realDonaldTrump said Haitians have AIDS. That’s exactly something he would say. Why even bother refuting it? Republicans don’t care what he does. If he killed someone on 5th Avenue, Republicans would say the person had it coming. They all belong in jail.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) December 23, 2017
Donald Trump said he thinks “all Haitians have AIDS” & said once Nigerians saw America they’d never “go back to their huts.” Hateful words from a lifelong bigot. An ignorant racist with no respect for anyone except for rich white men that applaud him. Sad and pathetic. Resign!
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 23, 2017
Dear Haitians and Nigerians,
Thank you for all your contributions to the world, we appreciate you!
— Mohamed Salih (@MohamedMOSalih) December 23, 2017
When the President of the United States says that all Haitians have AIDS and all Nigerians live in huts, we lose our self-respect as a nation and our dignity. How long will the Republican Congress allow this to go on?
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 23, 2017