Botswana asks US for official answer: Are we a 'shithole' country?


donald trump
President
Donald Trump.

Associated Press/Evan
Vucci


  • Botswana issued a strong rebuke to President Donald
    Trump’s reported comments about Haiti, El Salvador, and African
    countries being “shithole countries.”
  • Its government summoned the US ambassador, seeking to
    clarify whether the US regards Botswana as a “shithole”
    country.
  • Many supporters and critics swiftly condemned the
    president’s comments, while some of his biggest supporters
    defended him.

The government of Botswana issued a blistering statement Friday
in response to President Donald Trump’s reported remarks about
“shithole countries.”

Botswana’s Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation
(MIAC) called on the US Ambassador to
Botswana “to express its displeasure at the alleged utterances
made by the President of the US…”

MIAC also asked the ambassador to clarify if the US regards
Botswana as a “shithole” country, adding that Trump’s comments
were “highly irresponsible, reprehensible, and racist.”

During a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on
immigration Thursday, Trump criticized protections the US
gives to immigrants from various underdeveloped countries,
including Haiti, El Salvador, and some African countries.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come
here?” Trump said, according to media accounts and Democratic Sen. Dick
Durbin
.

Trump has railed against the diversity visa lottery program
and special temporary status protections
that bring in at least 50,000 immigrants from around the world
and allow them to reside in the US legally. His reported remarks
took place in the context of a debate over the merits of those
programs. 

Botswana wasn’t the only country to lash out against the
president’s comments. Paul Altidor, Haiti’s Ambassador to the US,
told an NBC News contributor
that he and the Haitian government “vehemently condemn” Trump’s
statement.

“Either the president has been misinformed or he is miseducated,”
Altidor said, adding that Haiti’s government also formally
summoned a US official to explain the comments.

Trump’s statement provoked a visceral response as observers
around the world condemned it. The UN’s Human Rights body said
“there is no other word one can use but ‘racist'” to describe it.

Some Trump supporters backed the president by
arguing in defense of the spirit of what he was trying to say —
that Americans do not benefit from taking in immigrants from
third-world countries.

On Friday, Trump took to Twitter to defend
using “tough” language, but said he “never said anything
derogatory” about Haitians and suggested he should record future
meetings with lawmakers.

Here’s the Botswana government’s full statement:

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