Haiti’s government has formerly summoned a United States official to explain President Donald Trump’s reported "s**thole" comment about the country, according to Paul Altidor, Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S.
Yamiche Alcindor, a PBS NewsHour White House correspondent, tweeted Thursday that she spoke to Altidor, who added that he and the Haitian government “vehemently condemn” Trump’s comments, which they believe are “based on stereotypes" and are an “assault” on Haitian people and the nation’s history.
Paul Altidor, Haiti's ambassador to the United States (Image source: YouTube screenshot)
“Either the president has been misinformed, or he is miseducated,” the ambassador said, according to Alcindor.
“Why are we having all these people from s**thole countries come here?” Trump asked during a Thursday Oval Office meeting with lawmakers about immigration, according to the Washington Post, which cited “several people briefed on the meeting.”
Trump hopped on Twitter Friday morning and seemed to deny reports that he used the term “s**thole” to describe Haiti, El Salvador and African nations — but Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.) said he was in the room with Trump and that the reports are accurate.
Durbin went on the record Friday saying he heard Trump “repeatedly” make “hate-filled, vile and racist” comments to lawmakers during the meeting, the Huffington Post reported.
“I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” Durbin added to the Huffington Post. “You’ve seen the comments in the press. I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate.”
What else did Trump reportedly say about Haiti?
Trump also reportedly noted that immigrants from Haiti must be left out of any deal: “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,” the president said, the Washington Post reported, citing “people familiar with the meeting.”
But Trump on Friday morning specifically denied disparaging Haitians and denied saying “take them out.”
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Nev… https://t.co/HivKR2wF8g— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1515764929.0
“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,” Trump tweeted. “Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
What else is Haiti's ambassador to the U.S saying?
Altidor said Haiti’s Washington, D.C., embassy has heard from many American citizens of Haitian ancestry who are demanding an apology, Alcindor reported.
“Haitians fought along U.S. soldiers in the Revolutionary War," Altidor added to the PBS News Hour correspondent, "and we continue to be great contributors to American society."