CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday addressed President Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about American immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations, first reported by the Washington Post, calling the remarks unequivocally racist.
“Not racial. Not racially charged. Racist,” said Cooper, who is the anchor of “AC360.” “Let’s not kid ourselves or dance around it. The sentiment the President expressed today is a racist sentiment.”
“For the President of the United States to believe that Haitians have not contributed extraordinarily things to American society, that is ignorant,” said Cooper, earlier in the program. “For him to claim that all the countries of Africa are shitholes is woefully ignorant.”
Trump expressed frustration behind closed doors with people coming to the United States from “shithole countries,” sources told CNN on Thursday.
One of the sources briefed on the Thursday Oval Office meeting with lawmakers confirmed Trump asked, “Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?”
One person briefed on the meeting said when Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin talked about Haiti, Trump began to ask why we want people from Haiti and more Africans in the United States. Trump added that the United States should get more people from countries like Norway.
A person familiar with what was said at the meeting told CNN that Trump also said: “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.”
CNN’s Eli Watkins and Abby Phillip contributed to this report.