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Donald Trump insists he is ‘not racist’ in wake of ‘shithole international locations’ comment

The President insists he is “not a racist” despite reports of his derogatory comments about immigrants from Haiti and Africa.

Questioned by a reporter in Florida following reports that he had said Haiti and Africa were “shithole countries”, Mr Trump said: “No. I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist person you will ever interview.”

The President also denied making the comments attributed to him in a closed-door meeting of lawmakers discussing immigration, but did not go into specifics about what he did or did not say.

“Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?” he said to the reporter. “They weren’t made.”

On Friday, Mr Trump tweeted a convoluted denial about his alleged choice of words, which triggered a global firestorm of criticism.


Senator Dick Durbin said Mr Trump had made the remarks he is accused of

Video:
Senator: Trump ‘vile and racist’

But Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who attended the lawmakers’ meeting, said that “shithole” was the “exact word used by the President, not just once but repeatedly”.

“He said these hate filled things and he said them repeatedly,” Mr Durbin added in a TV interview.

The White House did not deny that Mr Trump had said the slur.

On Friday, the African Union expressed “dismay and outrage” at the reports and demanded that Mr Trump apologise.

After an emergency UN session, the group of 54 African ambassadors said in a statement: “The group is extremely appalled at, and strongly condemns the outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks by the president of the United States of America as widely reported by the media.”

A confidant of Mr Trump has told The Associated Press that the President spent Thursday evening calling friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction to his remarks.

Mr Trump was not apologetic and denied he was racist, instead blaming the media for distorting his meaning, said the confidant.

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