DHS Secretary Denies Hearing Trump’s Racist Comment About “Shithole Countries”

HeadlineJan 17, 2018

In more news on immigration, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was questioned Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which she denied that she heard President Trump refer to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as “shithole countries.” This is Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Sen. Cory Booker: “The commander-in-chief, in an Oval Office meeting, referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most vile and vulgar language, that language festers. When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity.”

During the hearing, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also attempted to defend Trump’s racist comments that he wants more immigrants from countries like Norway. This is Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Sen. Patrick Leahy: “What does he mean when he says he wants more immigrants from Norway?”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: “I don’t believe he said that specifically. What he was saying was he was using Norway as an example of a country that is—what he was specifically referring to is the prime minister telling him that the people of Norway work very hard. And so, what he was referencing is, from a merit-based perspective, we’d like to have those with skills who can assimilate and contribute to the United States, moving away from country quotas and to an individual, merit-based system.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy: “Norway is a predominantly white country, isn’t it?”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: “I’m—I actually do not know that, sir, but I imagine that is the case.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy: “OK.”

Norway is over 90 percent white, one of the whitest countries in the world.

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