Doubts Linger Over Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Denial

By on January 12, 2018

UPDATE: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who sat in on the meeting with Donald Trump where he allegedly called certain non-white nations “shithole” countries, confirms that the president did indeed use that term, contradicting Trump’s denial earlier on Friday. Original post appears below.

President Donald Trump is denying reports that he said immigrants from the Caribbean nation of Haiti and a broad array of African nations are from “shithole” countries during a meeting with lawmakers at the White House on Thursday evening.

Trump expressed that his comments were “made up by Dems,” and that he has “a wonderful relationship with Haitians.”

The notion that his relationship with Haiti is “wonderful” flies in the face of what we know as fact. Trump announced in November his administration’s plans to deport up to 58,000 Haitians now living in the United States. Trump also threatened to cut foreign aid to the nation back in May. Those moves probably don’t make Haitians very happy with the current president.

There are also significant problems with Trump’s denial. Hours after the meeting, none of those involved with it denied Trump used the vulgarity to describe nations that he didn’t want immigrants coming to America from. These individuals included Sens. Linsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), David Perdue (R-GA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Rep. Robert Goodlatte. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was also present.

In the immediate statement after the meeting was made public, a White House spokesperson did not deny the comments either.

Trump’s history with racism should make one skeptical about him not saying the comments he allegedly did. He’s defended neo-Nazis in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. He promised as a candidate to curb Mexican immigration, calling most people crossing the border criminals and rapists (statistics show immigrants typically commit crimes at a lower rate than American citizens). Even decades ago, Trump is quoted as saying he didn’t want black people counting his money.

There is absolutely no reason to believe Trump’s denial. His history of racist rhetoric, as well as non-denials from lawmakers and his own White House in the hours immediately after it happened, indicate that the president engaged in racist and bigoted language during the meeting on Thursday. There can be no more denying it, and many of us were already aware, but Trump, to put it bluntly, is a racist president.

Americans must deal with this fact, and determine whether we’re willing to live with it, or become ashamed of it — or more importantly, become upset by it, and do something proactive to counter his presidency.