The White House on Thursday did not deny that Donald Trump referred to some immigrants as coming from “shithole countries” during a heated Oval Office meeting on immigration…in fact, they pretty much defended him.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesperson Raj Shah said in a statement.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump grew frustrated when lawmakers proposed retiring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the Post, in reference to African countries and Haiti.
Trump said the U.S. should bring in more people Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday.
“The president will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration — two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country,” Shah said.
“Like other nations 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.”
The meeting was called amid contentious talks over immigration, including a possible solution for young immigrants who benefit from the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Part of the discussion involves restoring protections for countries removed from the Temporary Protected Status program in exchange for border wall funding.
“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,” Shah said of Trump.
Remarkable worlds from CNN's Jim Acosta. Not surprising. But these are not ways reporters talk on network or cable network TV. Watch this! pic.twitter.com/2gUqdlREOd
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 11, 2018