United States President Donald Trump insists he is “not a racist” in response to reports he described immigrants from Haiti and Africa as coming from “shithole countries”.
- Mr Trump denies making remark attributed to him
- Tells reporters: “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed”
- President says he was “ready, willing and able” to reach a deal to protect illegal immigrants brought to US as children, Democrats unwilling
Mr Trump addressed the issue briefly as he arrived for dinner at his private golf club with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
Asked what he thinks about people who think he is racist, Mr Trump said, “No, No. I am not a racist”.
“I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.”
Mr Trump has been accused of using the word “shithole” to describe African countries during an Oval Office meeting last week with a bipartisan group of six senators.
According to two people briefed on the meeting, Mr Trump said: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
They also said that during the meeting, the President questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the US.
It was reported he then suggested the US bring in more people from countries like Norway.
“Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?” he said.
“They weren’t made.”
US senator Richard Durbin, who was in the White House meeting, said the President had used the term.
One participant at the meeting on Sunday denied that Mr Trump used the term and another said he did not recall Mr Trump making such comments.
The issue has sparked widespread backlash across the US, including at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, where an activist projected comments about the President onto the building’s exterior.