President Donald Trump said something demonstrably racist.
On Thursday, during a closed-door meeting with members of Congress in the Oval Office, the president answered a query about protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as part of a pending immigration deal by saying, according to The Washington Post:
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
If that weren’t enough, Trump further argued that the U.S. should be allowing in more immigrants from places like Norway, and demanded that Haiti be excluded from any bipartisan deal. “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,” Trump said, according to several people familiar with the meeting.
“This is an actual quote from the actual president of the United States,” Kimmel announced to the crowd during his Jimmy Kimmel Live! monologue Thursday night, before displaying the offending quote to loud boos from the in-studio audience.
“Well, listen, I’m sure the fact that the countries he described as ‘shitholes’ are mostly populated by people of color and the immigrants he wants from Norway are not is a coincidence, because if it wasn’t it would mean we voted for a racist—like a real one—and we’d have to get pitchforks and chase him out of the White House,” Kimmel explained.
He added: “But I also assume the White House would deny he said that. They did not! They just tried to spin it. It really is unfathomable. It’s… You just can’t believe that this is the guy running our country.”
Indeed, the White House didn’t deny Trump made the racist remarks. “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesperson Raj Shah said in a statement.
The “shithole countries” comment is only the latest statement by Trump disparaging countries inhabited mainly by people of color. According to a New York Times report published in late December, Trump reportedly said that Haitians “all have AIDS” and that Nigerians would never “go back to their huts” after seeing America.
He also first made headlines in the ’70s after the Justice Department accused him of discriminating against potential tenants of color, putting “C” for “Colored” on their apartment applications; called for the execution of the Central Park Five and doubled down in 2014 after they were proven innocent; said “laziness is a trait in blacks,” according to Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino president John R. O’Donnell in the 1991 book Trumped; and kicked off his presidency by claiming that Mexican immigrants are “rapists” and drug dealers.
“So anyway, thanks Vlad Putin,” said Kimmel, closing out the bit. “You really got us good.”