Trump denies controversial remarks, stands by criticism of immigration plan

US President Donald Trump has denied using the word “shithole” to describe Haiti and other African countries, after receiving strong global and domestic condemnation.

US Democratic Senator Dick Durbin told reporters that Mr Trump used “vile, vulgar” language, including the word “shithole” to describe African countries when discussing an immigration plan at a White House meeting.

“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,” Mr Trump said on Twitter.

“Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”

The comments have been criticised as racist by a number of Haitian and African politicians, the UN human rights office and by people on both sides of politics in the US.

Republican Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives labelled the comments as “unfortunate” and “unhelpful.

Botswana’s foreign ministry has summoned its US ambassador for clarification on whether the derogatory remarks also applied to Botswana.

Senegal and Haiti have likewise summoned their ambassador and top diplomat respectively.

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