Donald Trump’s “S**thole countries” remarks have now prompted the governments of Ghana and South Africa to summon U.S. diplomats in those countries to discuss the matter with their host governments, CNN is reporting.
The move is the latest bit of fallout from Trump’s remarks, allegedly made behind closed doors at an immigration meeting, that have led to allegations of racism against the president. He allegedly said out loud that he doesn’t want any immigrants from “Haiti, Africa, and other s**thole countries.” Trump has denied that he used that language, and has specifically denied making the remarks about Haiti.
However, that denial leaves open the interpretation that he was insulting Africa — an interpretation not lost on the South African government.
“Trump’s denial was not categorical, referring only to Haiti and not addressing the entirety of the statement attributed to him.”
Undersecretary of State Steven Goldstein tells CNN that the diplomats have been instructed not to attempt to downplay or otherwise interpret the president’s remarks during their meetings with their host governments. Instead, they are to acknowledge their hosts’ concerns and focus on the positive, such as areas in which the host nations and the U.S. are on the same page.
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Goldstein also admits that the president’s alleged remarks aren’t going to make things any easier for those diplomats.
“They will have to work extra hard to send that message right now, but that’s part of their responsibility. It doesn’t change what they do.”
The South African and Ghanaian summoning of U.S. diplomats mark the latest examples of fallout from the president’s alleged remarks. Already the governments of Haiti, Senegal, and Botswana have summoned U.S. diplomats, and more African nations are expected to summon U.S. diplomats in the coming days.
Somalia, meanwhile, believes that responding to the alleged remarks would be tantamount to dignifying them, according to Somali Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman. In remarks made available via CNN, Osman appeared to use one of Trump’s favorite phrases against him.
“It sounds like fake news to me. If it’s real, it doesn’t need a response. Those comments do not deserve a response.”
Beyond summoning U.S. diplomatic personnel, South Africa announced on Monday that it plans to issue a formal diplomatic protest to the United States over the alleged remarks.
Meanwhile, other African nations have called on Trump to retract the alleged remarks and apologize. The African Union, for example, issues a statement condemning the alleged remarks, calling them insulting to all people of African descent all around the world.
“The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America.”