His purported remarks have been roundly condemned by USA and foreign officials.
News reported the exchange between the president and a "career intelligence analyst who is an expert in hostage policy".
Citing two officials with direct knowledge of the exchange, NBC said the president asked the analyst where she was from, to which she said New York City. Trump asked, according to multiple people briefed on the meeting, before going on to question why the US wasn't admitting more immigrants from countries like Norway instead.
Months before President Donald Trump referred to African nations as "shithole countries", he broke his decorum by reportedly asking why a "pretty Korean lady" who briefed him on policy wasn't negotiating with North Korea on behalf of his administration.
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As President Trump wades through the fallout from his reported comments that Haiti and several African states are "shithole countries", a story published Friday by NBC News claims that on two separate instances, Trump made prejudiced assumptions about White House visitors due to their ethnicity.
Trump was reportedly referring to countries in Africa, as well as Haiti and El Salvador, the latter two of which have seen temporary protected status for immigrants in the United States withdrawn in recent months.
Trump defended himself in a tweet on Friday, claiming that he did not say "anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country". The senior Democratic senator Dick Durbin, who was in the meeting, subsequently said that he had. Haiti's ambassador to the U.S. said he and his government "vehemently condemn [ed]" the remark. Botswana's Ministry of International Affairs said the comments were "highly irresponsible, reprehensible, and racist". In a statement, El Salvador's government said it "categorically rejects that type of statement".