The president is racist - and that's only part of the problem

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images North America

The President has drawn sharp criticism since he was reported to have called African countries "shitholes" while discussing immigration with lawmakers Thursday.

Analysts and businesses say the economy could lose $215-billion in GDP if the 800,000 so-called "Dreamers" leave the labour pool, at a time when many firms are finding it hard to fill open positions.

"The point is, if you have a Ph.D., I don't care what country you're from, we want you", Barry Bennett, a former Trump adviser, told The Hill newspaper.

During a meeting on immigration with congressmen of both parties in the White House, President Trump reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as "shithole countries".

The president also questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the USA, according to people who were briefed on the conversation but were not authorised to describe the meeting publicly. Dick Durbin, who was at the meeting, confirmed the comments Friday morning.

The former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, who stepped down past year, has also called on African presidents to condemn Trump's utterances.

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"El Salvador formally protests and energetically rejects this kind of comment", he wrote on Twitter.

The African Union mission to the United States also demanded that Trump's statement be retracted and an apology be issued.

"I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed".

Caricom also expressed its full support for the Haitian government. "We're Americans", Love, the first Haitian-American elected to Congress, said on CNN's "State of the Union".

"I don't know if those comments would've been made if I were actually in the room".

Questioned by a reporter in Florida following reports that he had said Haiti and Africa were "shithole countries", the US President said: "No".

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In a separate statement, United Nations ambassadors from every country on the continent demanded a retraction and apology from Trump. She was married to Mr Trump from 1977 until 1992 and has said the pair have remained friends. "He runs the country as a business", she said.

He had added that they should take immigrants from countries like Norway instead.

"I am telling you that he did not use that word". The program has protected undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from being deported.

Complicating matters significantly, Trump denied using the term "sh*thole", saying he used tough language, but that "was not the language used".

"Honestly I don't think the Democrats want to make a deal", Trump said.

"We would not deign to make comments as derogatory about any country facing difficulties".

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