WASHINGTON, U.S. - In a shocking outburst against immigrants, the U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly led a foul-mouthed attack against people from certain countries.
A report in the Washington Post quoted Trump as telling lawmakers, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"
The report noted that the remarks made by the President were in reference to people from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.
The comments made by the President were confirmed by other U.S. media channels and so far, the White House has not officially denied the comment.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement, "Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people.”
Shah added, “Like other countries that have merit-based immigration, President 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. He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway."
According to the report, Trump’s comments came when lawmakers from both the parties visited him to propose a bipartisan immigration deal.
According to U.S. media reports, Democratic Senator Richard Durbin had been discussing U.S. temporary residency permits granted to citizens of countries hit by natural disasters, war or epidemics, when the President made the comments.
The report in the Post said that Trump told lawmakers the U.S. should instead be taking in migrants from countries like Norway, whose prime minister visited him a day earlier.
Meanwhile, the report said that a South Carolina Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham, who was also in the meeting made no comment about the president’s outburst.
Following Trump’s comments, his critics immediately attacked him.
A Maryland Democratic lawmaker Elijah Cummings took to Twitter and said, "I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency."
Meanwhile, Cedric Richmond, another Democratic lawmaker, said Trump's comments "are further proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda.”
It wasn’t just the Democrats that lashed out at the President.
A Utah Republican and the only Haitian-American in Congress, Mia Love demanded that the President apologize for the "unkind, divisive, elitist" comments.
Further, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) accused Trump of falling "deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of racism and xenophobia.”
Another White House official however brushed off all criticism, and said, "Though this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem did not alienate it."
The recent comments by Trump come merely three weeks after the New York Times wrote about a June meeting on immigration and quoted Trump as saying that Haitians "all have Aids.”
On Thursday however, during the meeting, lawmakers reportedly proposed restoring the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) permits for certain countries.
They also offered $1.5 billion for a wall that the U.S. President wants built on the U.S. border with Mexico.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced that it was withdrawing TPS for over 200,000 people from El Salvador.
Following the decision, Salvadoreans living in the U.S. for nearly three decades will now have until next year to leave and seek lawful residency or face possible deportation.
So far, similar TPS permits have already been withdrawn from Haitians and Nicaraguans.