President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci / AP
Growing frustrated while discussing immigration with lawmakers in the Oval Office, President Trump suddenly asked why people from “shithole countries come here?” — referring to people from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa — a source close to negotiations told BuzzFeed News.
The group on Thursday was discussing the possibility of restoring protections for immigrants that have come from those countries, according to the Washington Post, which reported the comment first.
The President also suggested the United States should bring more people from countries like Norway.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here,” Trump asked the group of lawmakers.
The White House, in a statement, did not deny Trump made the comment.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. The President will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration – two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country. 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. He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway,” a White House spokesman said.