US President Donald Trump vehemently denied Sunday that he was a racist, after his vulgar disparagement of African countries and Haiti complicated a bipartisan deal on immigration.
“I’m not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed,” Trump told reporters at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he was having dinner with Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Trump appeared to give up for dead an immigration deal, coming back on the issue in a pair of early morning tweets three days after reportedly referring to African and Haitian immigrants as coming from “shithole countries,” triggering global condemnation. “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it,” Trump tweeted, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the heart of the immigration impasse. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children — so-called “Dreamers” — face deportation unless a compromise can be reached that would grant them rights to stay. A bipartisan deal to resolve the Dreamers issue in return for changes demanded by Republicans in the way visas are allocated collapsed in acrimony Thursday over Trump’s remarks, which were widely denounced as racist. “I think this man, this president, is taking us back to another place,” John Lewis, a Georgia congressman who was on the front lines of the 1960s civil rights movement, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think he is a racist.”