Jan 12, 2018, 1:31 PM ET

World leaders slam Trump's 's---hole countries' remarks: 'Offensive,' 'shocking,' 'shameful'


World condemnation came quickly today after President Donald Trump's remarks calling Haiti and other African countries "s---hole countries"

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Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, characterized the remarks as "racist."

"This isn't just a story about vulgar language, it's about opening the door to humanity's worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia," he told reporters at a briefing in Geneva Friday. "If confirmed, these are shocking and shameful comments from the president of the United States."

In an Oval Office meeting at the White House Thursday, Trump grew frustrated at a proposed bipartisan immigration plan that would scale back the visa lottery program, but not eliminate it, asking those in the room why they would want people from Haiti, Africa and other "s---hole countries" coming into the United States, according to multiple sources either briefed on or familiar with the discussion.

For his part, Trump denied he used "derogatory" language about Haitians in a tweet this morning. Trump, however, did not deny accounts from multiple sources either briefed on or familiar with the discussion who told ABC News the president's comments extended to African countries as well.

PHOTO: Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), speaks to media about Syrian army stage air-strike over civilians in Douma, Aug. 18, 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland. Fatih Erel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), speaks to media about Syrian army stage air-strike over civilians in Douma, Aug. 18, 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Colville also expressed concern for previous remarks by Trump that had what he called racial undertones, including campaign events in which the then-candidate had called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, and Trump's response last year to a white supremacist march saying that "both sides" deserved blame.

"These comments are against the universal values the international community has been striving for since World War II," Colville said.

An African Union spokeswoman told The Associated Press it was "frankly alarmed" by the U.S. president's comments.

“Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,” AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said. “This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.”

The government of Botswana summonsed U.S. Ambassador Earl Miller “to express its displeasure for alleged utterances” and ask for clarification on whether its country is being called a “s---hole.”

“The Government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word when talking about countries with whom the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial relations for so many years,” wrote the Botswana Ministry of International Affairs in a statement.

Meanwhile, The Nigerian Daily Post had the headline, "Trump allegedly calls Africa ‘s---hole,’ orders 259,000 immigrants out of U.S." The newspaper also repeated the claim first reported in a New York Times story in December that Trump had said once Nigerians immigrants had seen America, they would never "go back to their huts." The White House denied Trump ever uttered those words.

But many of the bigger African media sites avoided the story, and some countries refused to comment directly.

"Unless it was specifically said about South Sudan, we have nothing to say," South Sudan government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told The Associated Press.

In South Africa, the party of Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress, called Trump’s comments “extremely offensive.” In an editorial, the local Daily Maverick called the comments "a new low," adding, "Casual Friday at the White House is soon to include hoods and tiki torches at this rate."

News - World leaders slam Trump's 's---hole countries' remarks: 'Offensive,' 'shocking,' 'shameful'

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  • Truth-B-Me

    Trump has no shame, he's a liar and an embarrassment to America every single day!

  • Stephanie Gittinger

    Trump himself is offensive, shocking and shameful.

  • YellowParrott

    Funny, most of your World leaders don't want other World leaders immigrants and refugees. Just ask Angela Merkel for starters?!

  • Fuzzee Puppee

    Trump has the mental sharpness of a cow pie.

  • francois l'éclair

    Donald has had a rough week. He deserves to unwind with some porn stars, hahahahah

  • Ctrygrl

    What is worse even than what he said is the fact that two republicans that were at the meeting "don't recall the statement" making themselves untruthful to support the untruthful president.

  • Spoke

    In today's PC world, one should never tell the truth because the truth hurts and might offend someone. It's best to mask the issue in words such that no one knows what the truth is.

    Similar to an "illegal alien" being called an "undocumented immigrant".

    The truth hurts.

  • Lee Thompson

    This WH, this Republican controlled congress, continues to go to greater depths of vile and deplorable. Nothing is 'too low' for this bunch.

  • Lee Thompson

    Vincente Fox said it well in his comment to Trump . . . ". . . the only s***hole is your mouth . . ."

  • Kimmy Wasatch

    Blown way out of proportion like everything the President says or does...and he is right

  • brody Nunya

    And still the empty sack, corrupt Republicans in congress say nothing.

  • JP

    Trump is right and you know it. That is why you are so "outraged". People vote with their feet, and nobody is eager to go back to their s..hole. The consequence is chain migration.

  • bilahn

    I and I know many others want to profusely apologize to the world for our disgusting, immoral and dangerous President. He has shamed our country and ruined our honor and credibility. Most of us did not vote for him.

    This is a large diverse country and about 1/3- concentrated in rural and Southern areas, are ignorant religious zealots, and due to quirks in our system, as well as their corruption, voter supression and efforts to consolidate their power that are too complicated to explain here, they have seized power.

    We are very sorry - he does not speak for me I can tell you that - and I am hopeful this terrible man and the horror he has unleashed will end in the next elections. Trump is not America, not most of us, he is a pig and we know it. Please forgive us and help us with your support.

  • Expert

    There goes the Tourist industry. Trump has shown the World what a hate-filled country we live in.

  • MarkM

    S--- comments from a S---hole President. Take it from what it's worth.

  • gbgentleman

    It is amusing to the Norwegians that Trump mentioned that he wants more of their 'type' to immigrate. That would be like an American immigrating to Haiti.

    Why would someone from Norway give up more freedoms, better social programs, higher salaries and benefits as well as overall better life to come to a hateful country like the US.

  • Bill Shields

    Isn't it racist to describe people as "brown-skinned"?

  • Lawrence Wilson

    Unpopular as it will be to say so, I think it may be reasonable for a president to lose his temper during a meeting of opposing minds, & even say things folks will try to use against you later. The same thing happens in board rooms & business offices across America every day. Aside from that & even more unpopular, I tend to agree with him in that we shouldn't be expecting ourselves to constantly take in the dregs of the worlds populace on a continual basis. I think it high time we up the anti in our requirements for immigration & citizenship. By the by, my wife was an immigrant, now a citizen, & one who did it the legal way from the beginning. In fact she even learned our language before she even applied for her visa to come here.

  • BLW51

    Our president. small "p", unites the nations of the world! Against him and, by proxy, the United States. We should be proud of our stable genius president! /S/

  • Craig Cooper

    if those countries are not "S**tH**es...then why are so many from its population willing to give everything they own, risk their lives in a make shift raft to get to the US....One would think people would be flocking there instead since its so beautiful and economical stable with a valid government?

  • John Phillips

    If we go to a merit based system as Liar Trump wants then it shouldn't matter where immigrants come from. They will have to pass certain standards before they can immigrate. Clearly, Liar Trump doesn't want any black and brown immigrants whatever their merits.

  • Truth-B-Me

    Trump brings shame to America every day and yet the Republicans still support him. Please Mr. Mueller help America get rid of this embarrassment.

  • Ideology

    Trump watches too much TV. When my kids started talking like this, I limited their TV time and it helped immensely. Just one parents advice to another parent. With good parenting, Trump will turn out fine.

  • August

    How many of you are taking your families on vacation to Haiti & El Salvador?

    Yeah, that's what I thought!

  • Bamsterman

    So we have two senators that came out and said Trump did not say S hole. Purdue and Cotton.
    Two GOP senators said Friday they "do not recall" President Trump's reference to "s hole countries" during an Oval Office meeting on immigration.
    Sens. Tom Cotton

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    (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) issued a joint statement saying they did not recall the president making the exact comments and called out Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for confirming the comments.
    "In regards to Senator Durbin’s accusation, we do not recall the President saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest," the senators wrote.

  • TexasVulcan

    I remember when our own President actually cared what other countries thought about us. Especially our allies. And those we'd like to be our allies. And those we don't really want falling under Russian influence.

    I miss diplomacy.

  • LewTwo

    Ryan called the president's comments "very unfortunate" and "unhelpful."

    He considers the exposure of the republican party unfortunate. At some time he will have to recognize that Trump is a bigger liability than an asset. That reality may sink in around November.