BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The fallout continues after President Donald Trump allegedly made an expletive reference to Haiti and African countries.
After Trump was asked at Thursday’s White House meeting if the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and Africa, the president reportedly questioned why people from “expletive-hole countries” are coming to America. Trump denied using the word Friday.
A Haitian immigrant who lives in Maryland says he hopes most Americans see it differently. Dr. Rodney Charitable is a design engineer in the defense industry and a Haitian immigrant who said the portrayal of his country is offensive.
“The statement that he made is not from the entire America, it is from only one person,” Charitable said.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said Trump is arguably the most influential person in the country and possibly the world.
“We don’t expect that to come from the top leader of our nation. It really does not exemplify that office and really deplore those kinds of comments and would say these are not the kind of statements that should be made. We should be talking about how we bring people together,” Pugh said.
But Republican Del. Pat McDonough tells WJZ Trump isn’t the only president to use rough language in the White House, and he supports the president on immigration.
“We have to reform our immigration system, make it more diversified where people from Asia and Europe can come to this country and make it merit-based so if you have a skill you can benefit America,” McDonough said.
The language came after lawmakers discussed restoring protections for immigrants living in Haiti and Africa than from places like Norway.
Haitians and Africans in Maryland say they don’t think they should be written off.
“I’m bothered by what he said, but I don’t think the entire America would agree with him,” Charitable said.
Trump later tweeted that the language he used was tough, but not the language being reported.
Pugh tweeted a statement Thursday calling on all elected leaders to condemn the comments.
“Like all Americans who embrace decency and the values of diversity and inclusion, and who celebrate what made America great in the first place, I’m appalled by these latest comments of President Donald Trump regarding Haitians and people of African nations,” Pugh said in a statement. “They reinforce abhorrent racist attitudes, and evidence of the lack of knowledge, understanding, and empathy we expect of the person who occupies the highest office in the land.”
Sen. Chris Van Hollen said he was “disgusted” and Sen. Ben Cardin said the president’s “comments don’t represent America’s values.” Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings said, “I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the presidency.”