Trump: “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”

Developments on Day 357 of the Trump Administration:

See also Podcasts: From Trump’s Racism to His Cancelled Visit to UK

Trump Extends Racist Comments in White House Meeting

Donald Trump has reinforced his racist remarks about immigrants, demanding to know at a White House meeting why he should accept people from “shithole countries” rather than from places like Norway.

“People with direct knowledge of the conversation” said the remarks to members of Congress from both parties alarmed and mystified. Trump made them during a discussion of bipartisan negotiations over immigration, including legislation to establish the right to remain in the US for 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, known as “Dreamers”.

Trump has said that he is open to a deal with Democrats to put Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals into law. However, he is insisting that the legislation must also include full funding of his Wall on the US-Mexican border and an end to immigrants being able to bring family members to the US. Driven by hard-right advisor Stephen Miller, his Administration has sharply reduced the numbers of immigrants and refugees admitted to the US, has tried to enforce a “Muslim Ban” barring entry to citizens of several mainly-Muslim countries, and has ended protected status for hundreds of thousands of people, mainly from Central America, allowed into America after devastation such as earthquakes.

Last year Trump said all Haitians have AIDS and Nigerians would never go back to their “hunts”, according to officials who heard the remarks.

On Thursday, Trump grew angry as legislators said their bill would end the diversity visa lottery program and use some of the 50,000 visas to protect vulnerable populations who have been living in the US. When Senator Dick Durbin mentioned Haiti, Trump asked he would want “all these people from shithole countries”— “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” — adding that the United States should admit more people from places like Norway, with a population which is 83% white.

White House spokesman Raj Shah did not deny Trump’s remarks:

Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.

Far from stepping back as controversy grew over the comments, Trump took to Twitter to redouble his hostile commentary against immigrants: