President Trump appears to have a habit of making offensive comments about nonwhite immigrants. And while many of his surrogates argue that the president is not against this particular population, there is a trail of comments that tell a different story.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” he told lawmakers during a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday, according to two people briefed on the session.
The White House released a statement that did not deny the comment. Its statement 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.”
But this is not the first time that Trump's comments about immigrants, refugees and their homelands have raised eyebrows. Here are a few of the other controversial things he has said, publicly or reportedly, about nonwhite immigrants.
Mexico is sending 'rapists' and 'drug dealers'
As he announced he was running for president, Trump offended Mexican immigrants, saying:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
In a follow-up statement, Trump doubled down.
“What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
Syrian refugees could be 'ISIS-affiliated'
Trump accused Syrian refugees of being “young, strong men” who could potentially have ties to the Islamic State, despite data that most refugees from the country are women and children.
“They’re going to be gone. They will go back. … I’ve said it before, in fact, and everyone hears what I say, including them, believe it or not,” Trump said of the refugees. “But if they’re here, they have to go back, because we cannot take a chance. You look at the migration, it’s young, strong men. We cannot take a chance that the people coming over here are going to be ISIS-affiliated.”
Lottery program sends us 'their worst'
Trump also attacked the Diversity Visa Program, also known as the green-card lottery. The Washington Post previously reported the State Department offers 50,000 visas through the program each year, and most are awarded to people from African nations.
“They give us their worst people, put them in a bin... they're picking the worst of the worst, congratulations you're going to the U.S.," Trump said.
Haitians immigrants 'all have AIDS'
In December, the New York Times reported that at a meeting in June, Trump read a list revealing the number of immigrants that had entered the country:
Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They "all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.
Nigerians will 'never go back to their huts'
The Times also reported Trump also made a disparaging comment about Nigerians at the same June meeting:
Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never 'go back to their huts' in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.
Trump's words about minority immigrants are strikingly different from those he has made about immigrants from predominantly white countries. Following his “shithole” comment, Trump “suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met yesterday.
The White House may say that Trump does not have a problem with people immigrating from predominantly minority countries, but it appears that he talks about them very differently than those coming from predominately white countries.