WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSMiami/CNN) — President Donald Trump expressed frustration behind closed doors with people coming to the US from “s***hole countries,” The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
“Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the Post, which cited two people briefed on the Thursday Oval Office meeting with lawmakers.
When lawmakers in the meeting floated restoring Temporary Protected Status for some immigrants, Trump grew frustrated and shocked the lawmakers with his “s***hole” comment in reference to African countries and Haiti, according to the Post.
Trump then suggested the US should bring in more people from countries like Norway, the report said.
A person briefed on the meeting told CNN that Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin was running through a proposal listing countries that would be covered by TPS protections in exchange for ending the visa lottery. The person said when Durbin got to Haiti, Trump began to ask why we want people from Haiti in the US and asked why we want more Africans.
The President then said, according to this person, why do we want all these people from “s***hole countries” coming here — and added that the US should get more people from countries like Norway.
Reached for comment about the article, White House spokesperson Raj Shah did not deny the “s***hole” remark, but instead said in a statement that 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.”
The source told CNN that White House adviser Stephen Miller was at the meeting, and White House chief of staff John Kelly attended part but probably not all of the meeting.
The Trump administration late last year announced it would end the TPS designation for Haiti, a move that could affect tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants.
Likewise, the Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced it would end protections more than 200,000 Salvadorans, and on Thursday the White House rejected a bipartisan immigration proposal, including a fix for people protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Florida Governor Rick Scott released a statement early Thursday evening in response to the reports of what the president said.
“If this report is true, it is absolutely wrong to say or think this,” the statement read. “I do not think this way, nor do I agree with this kind of sentiment. I represent Florida, and we are an amazing melting pot where over 250 languages are spoken.
“I work every day to make this the most welcoming state for everyone – Haitians, Cubans, Venezuelans, and others from all around the world that call Florida home. I’m incredibly proud of our diversity.”
(©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)