Botswana condemns Donald Trump’s ‘reprehensible and racist’ remarks

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. Photographer: Mike Theiler/Pool via Bloomberg

The government of Botswana is condemning remarks allegedly made by U.S. President Donald Trump, in which he questioned why the U.S. would accept immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa.

READ MORE: Trump says some immigrants are from ‘shithole’ countries, rejects immigration deal: reports

In a press release, Botswana’s Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation said that it had summoned the U.S. Ambassador so that the government could express its displeasure.

“The Botswana Government has also enquired from the US Government through the Ambassador, to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a ‘shithole’ country,” reads the release. Botswana regards the remarks as “highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.”

According to reports from Reuters, the Washington Post and other news outlets, Trump was in a meeting with congressional leaders on Thursday discussing a deal that would have restored protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries.

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READ MORE: Donald Trump denies ‘shithole countries’ remark

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump asked senators.

“Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump reportedly said. “Take them out.”

Trump denied on Friday using such derogatory language, saying that his language was “tough” but that he didn’t use that particular word.

Other officials from African governments have also condemned Trump’s remarks.

READ MORE: Africa shocked by Donald Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ remark

The African Union continental body told the Associated Press that it was “frankly alarmed” by Trump’s comments.

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“Ours is not a shithole country and neither is Haiti or any other country in distress,” Jessie Duarte, the deputy secretary general of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress told reporters at a news conference in East London.

“We would not deign to make comments as derogatory as that about any country that has any kind of socio-economic or other difficulties,” Duarte said, adding that much like their African counterparts millions of U.S. citizens were affected by problems such as unemployment.

-With files from Adam Frisk, Reuters and the Associated Press

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