Global outrage at comments
Trump faces backlash over alleged s***hole remarks
Donald Trump: denies making derogatory remarks
US President Donald Trump is at the centre of another international backlash after he was reported to have used crude and racist language to describe a number of poorer countries.
Mr Trump’s remarks created diplomatic tensions in Botswana and Haiti though he later tweeted that he did not say “anything derogatory” about Haitians, as claimed. He put the blame on Democrats spreading false rumours.
However, media around the world quoted him referring to some countries as “shitholes” and the Botswana government demanded an apology.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Mr Trump referred to African nations in this manner and used racist language.
Mr Trump insisted words attributed to him were “not the language used” and ignored press questions about the issue as he signed an annual presidential proclamation declaring a holiday in honour of assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Mr Trump is said to have made his comments on Thursday to discuss a bipartisan proposal that would impose new restrictions on immigration.
The Washington Post, which used the offensive word in a headline, quoted him saying: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” He was said to have been speaking about Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.
In a press release the Botswana government, via its Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation, said it had summoned the US ambassador “to express its displeasure at the alleged utterances made by the President of the US, Donald Trump when he referred to African countries and others as ‘shithole countries’ during a meeting…at the White House.”
It asked the US government “to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a “shithole country”.
The US ambassador to Panama resigned saying he is no longer able to serve under Mr Trump.
John Feeley, a former Marine Corps helicopter pilot, said he was “honour-bound” to resign.
The US Department of State, which oversees American diplomats, learned of his resignation in late December.
It was not a direct response to Mr Trump’s alleged offensive remarks on Haiti and African countries.
“As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies,” Mr Feeley said in his resignation letter.
“My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come.”
Mr Trump was also drawn into a growing dispute with Iran after he declared he would extend sanctions relief over its nuclear deal.
The US Treasury said Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani was responsible for the torture and degrading treatment of prisoners.
The Iranian foreign ministry responded by saying it would retaliate, without specifying any specific action.
In a statement, it said “The Trump regime’s hostile action (against Larijani)… crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community and is a violation of international law and will surely be answered by a serious reaction of the Islamic Republic.”
It accused Mr Trump of “continuing to take hostile measures against the Iranian people and repeating the threats that have failed many times”.
UK visit debacle
Mr Trump earlier drew criticism for cancelling a visit to the UK ostensibly because the Obama Administration 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.”
Mr Trump tweeted: “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”
However, his decision came amid reports that the White House is worried about mass protests surrounding his potential visit.
Prime Minister Theresa May invited Mr Trump to visit last year during her visit to the White House.
Britons saw the episode as an opportunity to poke more fun at the president and Madame Tussauds positioned a waxwork figure of Mr Trump outside the embassy.