Trump's comments came during an Oval Office meeting where he questioned why the USA would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation.
Trump took particular issue with the idea, explained by Durbin of IL, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, that as part of the deal people who fled to the USA after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti, would be allowed to stay. Several witnesses say he named Haiti and El Salvador as examples, two predominantly non-white countries, and suggested we should be more inviting to people from Norway instead.
The president suggested that instead, the US should allow more entrants from countries like Norway. Do we need more Haitians?' "Then he went on and he started to describe the immigration from Africa that was being protected in this bipartisan measure".
Trump's comments were shocking and shameful and I'm sorry, but there's no other word one can use but racist, said a spokesman for the United Nations human rights office, Rupert Colville.
"Apart from the vocabulary attributed to him, President Trump is right on target in his sentiment", Jeffress said in a statement, first released to the Christian Broadcasting Network and later shared with FOX4.
"Shithole was the exact word used once not twice but repeatedly", Mr Durbin was quoted to have said. That this president, a deeply flawed human being with no understanding of public policy, would make such ill-informed and deplorable comments about Haitians, Salvadorans, and immigrants from African countries, merely underscores everything we already know about him: "he is a hopeless and ignorant bigot", Waters' statement read.
Graham's statement did not detail what Trump said or what Graham told the president in response.
"So, I see this as a thing to celebrate", he said.
United Nations human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said the comments, if confirmed, were "shocking and shameful", adding: "I'm sorry but there is no other word for this but racist". "But for him to confront the president as he did, literally sitting next to him, took extraordinary political courage, and I respect him for it", Durbin said.
But in another tweet on Friday the president denied that he insulted Haitians.
Others said they thought Trump had a point, in a way.
Trump previously told Haitian-Americans: "I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion", while he was campaigning a year ago in Miami's Little Haiti.
And he said that GOP leaders in Congress are committed to getting an immigration deal done in coordination with the White House, but "if that's not possible we'll try to do it anyway".
The president has denied using the language, but one senator who was in the room says there was no doubt. "He said, 'Oh, that's a good line.' "When I talked to him about the impact this has on family unification, in a nation that values families with the flag as the most important symbols of our future, they scoffed at this notion".
"The president of the United States is racist".
They were granted provisional U.S. residency after an quake devastated the Central American country in 1991. White House spokesman Raj Shah rejected claims that the president is racist in a statement to The Times.
One Trump official was quoted by CNN as saying: "Though this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem did not alienate it".