Trump: Some African nations are 'very tough places to live'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump today did not deny having used a vulgar term to describe countries in Africa earlier this year. He also did not apologize for the comment as he stood in the Rose Garden alongside Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, the first African leader to visit him at the White House.
In fact, Trump seemed to double down on his view that some countries in Africa are "very tough places to live in."
"We didn't discuss it," Trump said at a joint news conference in response to a question first put to Buhari. The Nigerian leader was asked whether he had talked to Trump about reports that the U.S. president used the word "shithole" to describe African countries in January.
Buhari skirted the issue, saying he was unsure about "the validity or whether that allegation against the president was true or not."
"So the best thing for me is to keep quiet," Buhari said.
In a meeting with a group of senators on Jan. 11, Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and people briefed on the remarkable Oval Office conversation. He said he instead would prefer immigrants from countries like predominantly white Norway.
Trump later offered a partial denial in public but privately defended his remarks, The Associated Press reported in January. There was also internal debate in the West Wing over whether Trump said "shithole" or "shithouse," the AP reported.
At the news conference, Trump told Buhari that "you do have some countries that are in very bad shape and very tough places to live in. But we didn't discuss it because the president knows me, and he knows where I'm coming from. And I appreciate that. We did not discuss it."