Trump receives backlash for ‘racist slur’

US President Donald Trump has recieved global condemnation after he was reported to have used a racist slur to describe foreign countries in an Oval Office meeting.

Mr Trump said he did not say “anything derogatory” about Haitians and appeared to deny calling any countries “shitholes”, as was reported, generating a worldwide backlash.

However Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Mr Trump used “racist” language.

The president did call some African nations “shitholes”, he said.

Amid widespread coverage of his reported remarks at a private meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration on Thursday, Mr Trump on Friday tweeted his language at the meeting “was tough, but this was not the language used”.

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has been trying to limit the number of family members of immigrants who can enter the US, and has moved to end the protected status of thousands already in the country.

The meeting on Thursday was called to discuss a bipartisan proposal that would impose new restrictions but protect the so-called “Dreamers” – hundreds of thousands immigrants brought to the US illegally as children – from deportation.

Lawmakers reportedly proposed restoring TPS permits for certain countries, allowing their residents to remain because their home countries are temporarily unsafe for them.

To try to secure presidential approval, the lawmakers were said to have earmarked $1.5bn (£1.1bn) for a wall that Mr Trump wants built on the US border with Mexico.

On Friday, Mr Trump tweeted that the deal offered to him was “a big step backwards” that would not “properly” fund the wall and would force the US to take “large numbers of people from high-crime countries which are doing badly”.

He wrote that he wanted “a merit-based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level”.

This week the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing TPS from more than 200,000 people from El Salvador who were granted provisional residency after an earthquake devastated the Central American country in 2001.

TPS permits have already been withdrawn from Haitians and Nicaraguans.


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