By Sarah Goodman
Rabat – Once again, the US President Donald Trump placed himself at odds with United States’ news outlets, this time disputing his alleged use of the slur “shithole countries” to describe developing nations during an Oval Office meeting on Thursday.
High-ranking United States Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, claims that the president used the insult “repeatedly” to refer to developing nations; Donald Trump patently denies making any such remark.
While discussing immigration behind closed doors, Trump allegedly maligned African nations as “shithole[s]” and openly questioned why the US allows immigration from the continent, Haiti, and El Salvador without courting more immigrants from nations like Norway.
The White House issued a statement on Thursday which did not dispute the allegation.
However, early on Friday Trump took to Twitter to deny saying “anything derogatory,” placing his account of events at odds with those published by National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal, all quoting witnesses or sources briefed on the meeting shortly afterward.
“The language used by me…was tough, but this was not the language used,” retorted the US President.
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
A number of foreign governments and dignitaries have joined a growing chorus, expressing their displeasure at the president’s alleged comments. The African Union said it was “frankly alarmed” and the UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said the comments, “I’m sorry but there is no other word for this but racist.”
The meeting in question took place to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, allowing undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children to seek temporary protection, which Trump proposes to scrap entirely. Senators Durbin and Arizona Republican Jeff Flake have drafted a bill to reform the existing program, a plan now eclipsed by a new spat between the press and the president.