CNN host Don Lemon has labelled Donald Trump “racist” after reports the President called Haiti and African states “s***hole countries”.
Opening his programme on Thursday night, Mr Lemon said: “The President of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that.”
“Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” Mr Trump said in an Oval Office meeting while discussing protections for immigrants, the Washington Post reported.
Mr Trump reportedly suggested the US should bring in more immigrants from Norway, whose Prime Minister he met with earlier this week.
The CNN host called the President’s comments “disgusting”, adding there is “other language” he would like to use if he were not on television.
“But you know what? They’re not shocking,” Mr Lemon said.
“They’re not even really surprising. Because this is who Donald Trump is.”
— CNN (@CNN) January 12, 2018
Fellow CNN host Anderson Cooper also called the president’s remarks “racist” earlier on Thursday.
The White House has made no attempt to deny Mr Trump made the comments.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” a statement from White House spokesman Raj Shah said.
“Like other countries that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.
“He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.”
The president’s comments have been widely condemned.
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Mia Love, a Utah Republican whose family came from Haiti, said Mr Trump’s remark was “unkind” and “divisive” in a statement posted on Twitter.
David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, said Mr Trump’s comments were a “betrayal of America’s future as well as of its history”.