Late night reacts to Trump's 'shithole' comments

Late night hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah react to President Trump's latest immigration comments in which he expressed his frustration with people coming to the US from "shithole countries."

Posted: Jan 13, 2018 7:56 AM
Updated: Jan 13, 2018 7:56 AM

President Donald Trump's reported derogatory remarks about Haiti and slur against immigrants from "shithole" countries in Africa sent shockwaves around the world, simultaneously becoming a diplomatic issue that could damage America's global image and complicating an immigration reform effort at home.

Shock and outrage greeted Trump's remarks in a meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform on Thursday. Several countries called in US ambassadors for an explanation and to remonstrate with them over the President's language.

Lawmakers expressed disappointment and disgust, with one declaring the comments counter to the very "essence of American patriotism." Even as Trump's comments provided fodder for late night comics, they raised questions about whether he has now made it harder for lawmakers to find a compromise to achieve immigration reform.

Critics in the US and abroad noted that Trump's sentiment cut against the idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants and the foundational view that the content of person's character is more important than their origin or the color of their skin.

Many of those who criticized Trump said his remarks would damage America's global reputation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who has maintained a close relationship with Trump while at times being critical, was at the meeting Thursday.

"Following comments by the President, I said my piece directly to him yesterday," Graham said. "The President and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel. I've always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals."

"E Pluribus Unum"

"The American ideal is embraced by people all over the globe," Graham continued. "It was best said a long time ago, E Pluribus Unum -- Out of Many, One. Diversity has always been our strength, not our weakness. In reforming immigration we cannot lose these American Ideals."

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said in a statement that "respect for the God-given dignity of every human being, no matter their race, ethnicity or other circumstances of their birth, is the essence of American patriotism."

"To believe otherwise is to oppose the very idea of America," he said. "People have come to this country from everywhere, and people from everywhere have made America great. Our immigration policy should reflect that truth, and our elected officials, including our President, should respect it."

A source briefed on the Oval Office meeting Thursday confirmed that during the meeting on immigration legislation, Trump asked, "Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?"

Although the President denied he had used such language on Friday, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who was at the meeting with Graham and others, said Trump did do so, and called his language "vile." Two immigration hard-liners, Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue, said they "do not recall the President saying these comments specifically."

Trump on Friday also denied demanding that Haitians be removed from negotiations about protected status for people from certain countries.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in, noting that Trump dismissed Haitians on the eve of the eighth anniversary of a deeply destructive earthquake.

"The anniversary of the devastating earthquake 8 years ago is a day to remember the tragedy, honor the resilient people of Haiti, & affirm America's commitment to helping our neighbors," Clinton wrote on Twitter. "Instead, we're subjected to Trump's ignorant, racist views of anyone who doesn't look like him."

A source familiar with Thursday's meeting said the President did not refer to Haiti as a "shithole" country, though he did say it about countries in Africa.

The source said two different remarks by the president had been conflated.

First, when talking about "temporary protected status" countries as part of the immigration deal, it was mentioned that Salvadorans, Hondurans and Haitians have that status.

"Haitians?" the President said, according to the source. "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out." Meaning take them out of the deal.

Then, in a separate part of the conversation when they were referencing the diversity visa lottery, Trump referred to people from Africa as coming from "shithole countries."

Parsing the President's comments does little to mitigate their damage, critics said. Former senior US diplomat Nicholas Burns tweeted that the "damage overseas from Trump's ignorant and racist remarks can't be exaggerated. No President in the last 100 years has reduced America's moral authority as he has."

The African Union, a group representing the continent's 55 countries, issued a blistering statement saying the President had dishonored US values.

"The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity," the AU mission in Washington said in a statement.

The group demanded "a retraction of the comment as well as an apology, not only to the Africans but to all people of African descent around the globe." Saying they believe the administration has a "huge misunderstanding of the African continent," the union said "there is a serious need for dialogue" between the Trump administration and African countries.

Africans of all stripes took to social media. Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi tweeted, "Africa isn't a shithole. It's the most beautiful continent in the world. Beautiful, hardworking people. We have diamonds, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum, cocoa, coffee, tea etc."

"Sadly we have #shithole leaders like Trump shitting on us every day."

South Africa's best known morning-news anchor, Leanne Manas, tweeted, "Good morning from the greatest most beautiful 'shithole country' in the world!!!' Elsewhere on Twitter, many Africans posted landscape pictures testifying to the true identity of their nations.

Senegal's President, Macky Sall, said in a tweet that he was "shocked by the words of President Trump on Haiti and Africa."

"I reject them and condemn vigorously. Africa and the black race deserve the respect and consideration of all," Sall added.

Botswana's Ministry of International Affairs summoned the US ambassador to complain about Trump's disparaging comments.

"The Bostwana Government has also enquired from the US Government through the Ambassador, to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a 'shithole' country," the statement said.

Comics riffed off the statement, with "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah, a South African native, saying, "I don't know how to break this to you, but I think the President might be racist."

But some comics stopped joking. "It really is unfathomable," said Jimmy Kimmel. "You just can't believe this is the guy running our country."

Trump's comments hit hard in Haiti, which on Friday marked the anniversary of a 2010 earthquake that killed between 220,000 and 300,000 people.

In an interview with NPR, Haiti's ambassador to the US, Paul Altidor, said he was "surprised and disappointed" in Trump's remarks.

'Misguided, misplaced'

"If they are to be true, we hope there will possibly be an apology for what was said here because we thought they were misplaced, they were misguided," Altidor said.

"These type of statements do not help in enforcing the relationship between Haiti and the US."

The ambassador said the Haitian government had summoned the US chargé d'affaires to clarify the remarks.

The furor lent new significance to already planned remarks Friday by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to staff at the State Department in which he stressed that "values matter."

"Our values as a nation bond us together and define who we are," he said, and "form the foundations of trust" in the workplace.

"America's birth was far from perfect," said Tillerson, recalling the country's troubled past from its founding, through the civil war, the suffrage movement and the civil rights movement, "and we're still not perfect, but we've never lost sight of aspirational values."

A Senior State Department official said US ambassadors had been issued guidance on how to deal with the remarks if called in by foreign ministries to explain them.

The diplomats were encouraged to assure host governments that the "US has great respect for the people of Africa and all nations, and our commitment remains strong."

The official said each envoy should note what an honor it is to be in their post and how much they value the relationship with the people of their host country.

Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 74°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Rockville
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Casey
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 74°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 74°
Afternoon Rain
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 183224

Reported Deaths: 7714
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1067134894
Lake11982440
DuPage11470510
Kane9200298
Will8592339
Winnebago3673124
St. Clair3610156
McHenry2941114
Madison218673
Kankakee168468
Rock Island158331
Champaign154419
Unassigned1337197
Peoria130234
Kendall128423
Sangamon101333
DeKalb84629
Boone72823
Jackson64419
McLean56215
LaSalle51518
Macon47323
Randolph4327
Adams4242
Coles39919
Ogle3715
Tazewell3698
Clinton33817
Williamson3295
Stephenson3176
Whiteside30816
Union30321
Grundy2815
Monroe27813
Knox2591
Iroquois2557
Vermilion2122
Henry2051
Cass20211
Morgan1965
Jefferson18717
Warren1800
Lee1462
Montgomery1437
Bureau1412
Marion1360
Macoupin1353
Franklin1290
McDonough12815
Perry1261
Christian1134
Effingham1131
Jo Daviess1121
Saline1111
Douglas1022
Woodford953
Livingston922
Pulaski910
Logan850
Mercer700
Jersey691
Clark660
Shelby601
Johnson570
Washington570
White570
Fayette553
Bond542
Jasper547
Moultrie530
Cumberland462
Menard460
Carroll453
Gallatin450
Piatt440
Wayne441
Lawrence420
Mason420
Ford411
Alexander360
Massac340
Hancock321
Wabash320
Crawford290
De Witt290
Edgar260
Fulton260
Hamilton220
Marshall210
Greene190
Hardin170
Schuyler160
Clay140
Brown130
Edwards130
Pike130
Richland120
Scott100
Henderson90
Pope80
Calhoun70
Putnam70
Stark70
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200