- UN branded President Trump's remarks about Haiti and African nations 'racist'
- Trump questioned why the U.S. should accept immigrants from Haiti and Africa
- He asked why US was having 'all these people from s***hole countries'
- Trump said that instead, he wanted people from countries like Norway
- The White House did not deny Trump made the comments in a statement
The United Nations has branded President Donald Trump a 'racist' after he called African countries 's***holes'.
Trump made the derogatory comments while asking members of Congress why the U.S. should accept more immigrants from Haiti and Africa, rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal.
UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said there was no other word that could be used to describe President Trump's comments other than 'racist'.
Racist: The United Nations human rights office said there was no other word that could be used to describe US President Donald Trump's comments other than 'racist'
UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville (pictured in Geneva) said there was no other word that could be used to describe President Trump's comments other than 'racist'
He said: 'If confirmed, these are shocking and shameful comments from the President of the United States. Sorry, but there is no other word one can use but racist.
'You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as s***holes whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.
'The positive comment on Norway makes the underlying sentiment very clear.'
He continued: 'Like the earlier comments made vilifying Mexicans and Muslims, the policy proposals targetting entire groups on grounds of nationality or religion, and the reluctance to clearly condemn the anti-semitic and racist actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville - all of these go against the universal values the world has been striving so hard to establish since World War II and the Holocaust.
'This is not just a story about vulgar language, it's about opening the door wider to humanity's worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy the lives of many people.
'That is perhaps the single most damaging and dangerous consequence of this type of comment by a major political figure.'
President Donald Trump reportedly told lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office that he was mystified about why the U.S. imports people from 's***hole countries' in the Third World
This image shows people walking past a street damaged by Hurricane Matthew, in Jeremie, in western Haiti. The country's perilous state had meant its citizens have temporary protected status in the U.S. - apparently one of the causes of Trump's extraordinary outburst - which is now being rescinded
Trump told senators that instead of importing immigrants from the Third World, America should seek out people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister Erna Solberg he met Wednesday at the White House
UK Prime Minister Theresa May, whose invitation to visit London Trump snubbed today, 'does not agree' with Trump's remarks, her office said.
A Downing Street spokesman said he would not comment on 'alleged private remarks', but when asked if the Prime Minister viewed the countries Mr Trump was referring to as 's***holes', the spokesman replied: 'No.'
The African Union continental body said it was 'frankly alarmed' by Trump's comments.
'Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,' AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said.
'This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.'
South Africa's ruling African National Congress went even further and called Trump's comments 'extremely offensive.'
Trump made the comments during a meeting with members of Congress on Thursday.
'Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?' Trump said, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting and then leaked the comment to The Washington Post.
Trump was reportedly speaking about Haitians and citizens of various African nations.
'Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,' he told people in the meeting, according to CNN.
Instead, he said, the U.S. should seek to assimilate people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met with a day earlier.
CNN reported that the outburst came at the private Oval Office meeting as Democratic senator Dick Durbin outlined a bipartisan immigration deal put together by six senators which they took to Trump for backing.
Dick Durbin, the Democratic senator who is minority whip, was outlining his proposal in which the visa lottery system, of which Trump has been a fierce critic, would be ended in return for 'temporary protected status', known as TPS, resuming for El Salvador and Haiti.
Trump has moved to end it for immigrants from those countries but as Durbin went through a list of countries which would gain TPS under the deal, he reached Haiti and 'Trump asked why the US wants more people from Haiti and African countries', CNN reported.
Haiti's government came out late Thursday and said they 'vehemently condemn' Trump's comments in relation to their country.
The country's ambassador to the US told NBC that Trump's remarks were 'based on stereotypes' and the president was either 'misinformed' or 'miseducated.'
The White House issued a needle-threading statement on immigration policy Thursday afternoon, while not denying the story's accuracy.
'Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,' deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in the statement. 'The President will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration – two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country.'
'Like other nations 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,' Shah added.
'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 comments came as the Daily Mail revealed how Trump has cancelled his visit to the new US embassy in London.
The president, who was due to visit the new diplomatic outpost in February, blamed the Obama administration for the fallout.
Trump took to Twitter late Thursday night to talk down the administration's decision to sell the acclaimed American Embassy London, formerly located in Grosvenor Square.
'Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for 'peanuts,' only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!,' Trump wrote.
But, according to the embassy's website, the decision to change the location to the new Nine Elms area of Wandsworth took place during George W. Bush's time in office, prior to Obama's in January 2009.
Trump was previously expected to make his first trip to the UK since entering office, but Government officials were newly informed he went cold on the idea.
A new date has not been offered, raising the prospect of a major diplomatic snub. One senior source told the Mail that Mr Trump – who was expected to officially open the new US embassy in London – had cancelled because he was unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit.