The White House is doing damage control after a New York Times piece claimed President Donald Trump‘s made racist remarks about immigrants during a White House meeting.
In the June meeting on immigration, Trump reportedly said that “all Haitians have AIDS” and made derogatory comments about the way Nigerians live.
An enraged leader
Upon entering the Oval Office, sources say the president lashed out at his national security team. Trump grumbled about the number of immigrants who had entered the country since he took office.
The new leader of the free world claimed it made him look like a fool; one of his key campaign promises was to lower the number of immigrants coming into the country.
‘They all have AIDS’
In response to the 15,000 Haitian immigrants who had arrived in the country, Trump reportedly said they “all have AIDS.” He went on to lament about the 40,000 Nigerians who would never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
He was incensed and took it out on both staff and cabinet members, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. As he raged on, John Kelly, then Secretary of Homeland Security, reportedly cleared the room of underlings and attempted to bring order to the situation.
Denial, Denial, Denial
The White House has denied the use of the words “AIDS” and “huts,” but did not deny the angry nature of the meeting.
White White Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted the Times piece and denied the alleged comments.
“General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen, and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims and it’s both sad and telling the New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous ‘sources’ anyway,” she said.
Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigration group, said that the president using such language would not surprise him at all. In his view, the entirety of Trump’s stance on immigration is based on racism.
“He’s basically saying, ‘You people of color coming to America seeking the American dream are a threat to the white people,’” Sharry said.
A history of anti-immigration
Trump has long been anti-immigration with rhetoric painting them as the ones bringing crime and radicalization to the US. As a candidate, he peppered many of his speeches and public comments with such language.
Trump’s nationalist approach to immigration and many other issues is owed in part his senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller. Miller’s main goal has been to stop the flow of immigrants and refugees entering the country.
On Friday, a U.S. appeals court ruled that the most recent version of Trump’s immigration ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries should not be applied to those with strong U.S. ties.
“We conclude that the President’s issuance of the Proclamation once again exceeds the scope of his delegated authority,” the panel stated.