Not surprisingly, some of the nations that President Donald Trump labeled “s—hole” countries on Thursday were not pleased by his remarks from the White House.
Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S. has formally requested that a Trump administration official explain the comments, according to reports.
Ambassador Paul Altidor told journalist Yamiche Alcindor on Thursday that he and the government of the Caribbean nation “vehemently condemn” what the president said and do not understand why he made the comments.
In Africa, some governments found themselves in an awkward position. As top recipients of U.S. aid, some hesitated to jeopardize it by criticizing Trump.
In South Sudan, government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said that “unless it was specifically said about South Sudan, we have nothing to say.”
But African media outlets and the continent’s young, connected population were less shy.
“Casual Friday at the White House is soon to include hoods and tiki torches at this rate,” South African media outlet Daily Maverick wrote.
Haiti’s ambassador also brought attention to the nation’s enduring relationship with the U.S., noting that the country’s soldiers had fought alongside America as far back as the Revolutionary War.
The Washington Post first reported Trump’s comments: “Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?”
The comments were directed at people from Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and African countries during bipartisan talks on immigration that were held inside the White House.
The president added that the U.S. should admit more people from countries like Norway, the Post reported.
The White House responded with a statement, but did not deny Trump had made the comments.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said.
As early Friday there were no reports that any nations other than Haiti had sought meetings with U.S. officials.
The Associated Press cotributed to this story.