Critics in the U.S. and overseas noted that Trump's sentiment cut against the idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants and the foundational view that the content of person's character is more important than their origin or the color of their skin.
In bluntly vulgar language, President Donald Trump questioned Thursday why the USA would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa rather than places like Norway, as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to people briefed on the extraordinary Oval Office conversation.
He reportedly demanded to know why the United States should accept immigrants from "sh*thole countries", after lawmakers raised the issue of protections for immigrants from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador.
A source briefed on the Oval Office meeting Thursday confirmed that during the meeting on immigration legislation, Trump asked, "Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?"
His remarks have quickly spread around the world, provoking strong reactions, including those from the United Nations.
He calls it tough talk, and his defenders say that Trump is just putting "America First", like he said he would do when he was running for president.More news: Signet Jewelers (SIG) Earns Daily News Impact Rating of 0.10
A source familiar with the meeting told CNN's Jake Tapper the President did not refer to Haiti as a "shithole" country but Trump did ask why the USA needs more Haitians and pushed to "take them out" of the deal.
"Apparently he and I are the only two people that use a few curse words here and there", Scaramucci wrote on Twitter. Before Trump, the most prominent one was Alabama Sen.
Trump's contemptuous description of an entire continent startled lawmakers in the meeting and immediately revived charges that the president is racist. On Friday, he offered a vague denial of his comments to lawmakers, tweeting that he said nothing "derogatory" about Haitians.
Mr Trump's insults - along with his rejection of the bipartisan immigration deal drafted by six senators - also threatened to further complicate efforts to extend protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, many of whom were brought to the U.S. as children and remain there illegally.
Pastor Mark Burns from SC remained skeptical, but said if the remarks were true, Trump was only reacting to poor conditions in Haiti and Africa that were the fault of "lazy governments" there.
He has since denied using the reported language. Perry said she believed presidents should be subject to a raft of tests to establish they are fit to serve.More news: Plane skids off Turkish runway metres from the sea
The Mission demanded a retraction of the statement and an apology from the USA leader.
They posted family photos on social media and proudly noted immigrant relatives.
In South Africa, a senior official of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said Trump was "extremely offensive" when he used the term "s**thole countries" to describe developing countries.
But the government of Haiti - which Friday was marking eight years since a devastating quake killed at least 200,000 people in the country - declared itself "outraged and shocked". "Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell can not continue to claim ignorance and stay silent as President Trump denigrates allies and does lasting damage to our standing in the world".
"Uncalled for moreover it shows a lack a respect and IGNORANCE never seen before in the recent history of the U.S. by any President!" She said, "This behaviour is unacceptable from the leader of our nation" and called on Trump to apologize to the American people "and the nations he so wantonly maligned".More news: Manchester United want Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez at Old Trafford