Donald Trump has rejected reports that he ranted about immigration from “s***hole countries” in a closed-door discussion at the White House. The US President said there was a “tough” meeting but that “this was not the language used”.
His denial followed a series of tweets in which he reiterated his previous calls for a “merit-based system of immigration”.
Addressing reports about his use of expletives, Mr Trump tweeted: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”
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Earlier on Friday morning the billionaire had criticised a “so-called bipartisan DACA deal” as not going far enough in protecting the US from “large numbers of people from high-crime countries”.
The DACA programme – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – offered work permits and a reprieve from deportation to immigrants brought to the US as children.
Mr Trump ended the programme but said he wanted it enshrined in law alongside other immigration measures including his promised border wall.
On Friday he tweeted: “The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards.
“Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly.
“I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs.
“I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund….
“Because of the Democrats not being interested in life and safety, DACA has now taken a big step backwards. The Dems will threaten “shutdown,” but what they are really doing is shutting down our military, at a time we need it most. Get smart, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Following his denial, he continued: “Sadly, Democrats want to stop paying our troops and government workers in order to give a sweetheart deal, not a fair deal, for DACA. Take care of our Military, and our Country, FIRST!”
Leaders abroad reacted strongly to Mr Trump’s reported comments, with the African Union saying it was “frankly alarmed” by the language allegedly used “given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves”.
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