On Thursday, Trump was in a private meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration when those who attended said he questioned why the US would accept more people from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa rather than places like Norway.
In a touch of irony lost on no one, the president commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Time is running out for President Trump and Congress to negotiate a deal to protect young, undocumented immigrants from getting deported and to fund the government, but on Friday, the back and forth over whether the president actually called African nations and Haiti "shithole countries" complicated the talks and further damaged Trump's standing on Capitol Hill.
In a statement released on Friday, the mission expressed its disappointment in the president of the United States and demanded a "retraction of the comment" and an "apology to Africans".
Former governor general Michaëlle Jean was among those Canadians who sharply criticized U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday for reportedly using vulgar language to describe Haiti and countries in Africa. Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of IL, who was in the meeting, reconfirmed Friday that Trump repeatedly "said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist".
Trump took particular issue with the idea that people who'd fled to the USA after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti would be allowed to stay as part of the deal, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly describe the discussion.
Asked about the remarks Thursday, White House spokesman Raj Shah said, "Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people".
In a series of Tweets early Friday, Trump admitted to using "tough" language but denied using the term "shithole" to describe Haiti and African countries. Many advocates said the comments shed light on why the Trump administration last fall stripped Haitians of Temporary Protected Status - specialized protection granted to people from countries experiencing significant turmoil - in which it would be unsafe for its citizens to return.
Since launching his bid for the presidency in 2015, Trump has ensnared himself in controversy on several occasions over comments he's made on everything from relations with Mexico to questioning the citizenship of America's first black president.
Trump previously told Haitian-Americans: "I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion", while he was campaigning a year ago in Miami's Little Haiti.
"That's when he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from *****". "We should bring in more people from places like Norway", he added. Never said "take them out".
Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of IL on Friday said Trump had indeed made the comments about 's***hole countries'.
Durbin said when the issue of Temporary Protective Status for Haitian immigrants in the US was raised, the president responded "Haitians".
They issued a joint statement saying "We do not recall the President saying these comments specifically". Senate colleague Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) said that Graham told him that the reports concerning the insults were "basically accurate".
Ah, so it's not that Trump is opposed to all immigration, just immigration from people who aren't white. "Something I am most proud of is the relationships that we have built in all of Greensboro and all of the sixth district throughout this community", said Walker.
Durbin said, "We have seven days and the clock is ticking".