I'm not a racist, says Trump

Rep. John Lewis speaking in 2016. Image via AP  Scott Applewhite

Sen. Dick Durbin is in the middle of the controversy over reported vulgarities used by President Donald Trump to describe immigrants from Haiti and countries in Africa.

In his September address to African leaders, Mr Trump cited the continent's "tremendous business potential" that, he said, has attracted many of his friends who are "trying to get rich" through their dealings in Africa.

"I would hope (and) I wouldn't want to read anything sinister into it, but one would have thought that recognising that Haiti today holds the chair of the CARICOM community that they would have at least offered some kind of support for its fellow CARICOM country and/or seek to indicate displeasure or otherwise of the reported comments", Mr Davis said in response to a question from The Tribune.

Similar sentiments were expressed at marches in NY and Los Angeles while a small group of demonstrators waving Haitian flags faced off with Trump supporters in West Palm Beach. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was in the meeting, substantiated Durbin's claim.

But Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who has been critical of Trump, said Democrats were serious about a bipartisan deal on immigration.

Trump has not clarified to aides what he said.

He insisted the White House was "ready, willing and able to make a deal on DACA".

The reverberations kept coming Monday.

He responded "I don't know" when asked whether there would a government shutdown, but warned it would hurt the military, which he said is unacceptable.

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He added: "We're going to see what happens with North Korea".

"We are certainly not a "shithole country".

Trump admitted that he used "tough" words during the meeting, but disputed the language used in the reports. Never said "take them out". Worshippers stood and applauded as Watson spoke.

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party (PLP) leader Philip "Brave" Davis yesterday criticised the Minnis administration for its silence amid global backlash regarding US President Donald Trump's disparaging comments about Haiti, African nations and El Salvador.

"I think the context of that conversation - there was so much covered in that meeting".

The United States, represented by Deputy Chief of Mission David J. Young as the ambassador was not in Nigeria, said there were contradictory accounts as to whether the remarks were made, the statement said. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton also claimed the President's remarks were mischaracterized, saying, "I didn't hear it, and I was sitting no further away from Donald Trump than Dick Durbin was".

Many aren't picking up what Trump and his defenders are putting down and are instead pointing to the "shithole" remarks as the latest in a litany of evidence of the president's history of racism, which runs for his calling for a group of young black and Latino men to face the death penalty for a rape for which they were eventually exonerated to his insistence that some among the neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer were "very fine people".

After lawmakers raised the issue of protections for immigrants from African nations, Haiti and El Salvador, the president reportedly demanded to know why the United States should accept immigrants from "s***thole countries", rather than - for instance - wealthy and overwhelmingly white Norway.

Word of Trump's comments threatened to upend delicate negotiations over resolving the status of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.

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