African politicians and diplomats labelled US President Donald Trump a racist on Friday (local time) after he was reported to have described some immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from "s***hole" countries. Trump said, after lawmakers discussed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal.
"My parents came from one of those countries but proudly took an oath of allegiance to the United States and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with".
UN Spokesman Rupert Colville said Trump's comments, if confirmed, were "shocking and shameful" and opened the door to "humanity's worst side and go against universal values".
Haiti's ambassador in Washington has also asked for an apology, as Trump reportedly specifically questioned the protections granted to Haitian immigrants after the natural disaster.
The biggest question Friday about the latest outburst from the Oval Office appears to be whether the president used an exceedingly vulgar term to refer to the nation of Haiti, to the entire continent of Africa - which Trump may or may not be aware is not a country - or to both.
Durbin says the President asked "Why do we want all these people from expletive countries here?"
"Why do we need more Haitians?" "I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians".
"You're a joke and a racist, President Donald J. Trump".
Sen. Durbin on Trump comments.
The president implied Friday morning on Twitter that maybe he should start recording meetings because there is no trust.
In short, they say, those countries are sh**holes, and due to their sh**holity, we need to allow immigration from them.
The comment "truly flies in the face of accepted behavior and practice", said Ebba Kalondo, spokesperson for AU chief Moussa Faki.
The group's mission in Washington DC expressed its "shock, dismay and outrage" and said the Trump administration misunderstood Africans. "I have not read one of them that is inaccurate", Durbin said during a Friday news conference.
"I don't think the Present Trump is a racist in the traditional sense as we know in this country", Farris Jr. said.
This week, Mr Trump moved to end the status for immigrants from El Salvador, which could result in 200,000 Salvadorans legally in the United States being deported, beginning in September of next year.
The lawmakers who were in that room are in a position to answer the question.