Former President Bill Clinton responded Friday to President Trump’s reported comments questioning why the U.S. was accepting immigrants from “s—hole” countries, allegedly made in reference to Haiti and some countries in Africa and Central America.
In a statement on Facebook, Clinton – who worked in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake – said the Caribbean nation’s struggles do “not make them the country the president described.”
“They have not often had the government the people deserve, but that does not make them the country the president described,” Clinton wrote. “I can say the same about other nations in Central America and Africa swept up in his epithet.”
Former Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush visited Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, to lead U.S. fundraising efforts following the January 12, 2010, quake.
In Friday’s Facebook post, Clinton said the U.S. should support Haiti and its people and “help them reach their full potential.”
“… we should be grateful for the immense contributions made by immigrants from Haiti — and other nations — to America,” Clinton said. “… they and their homelands deserve our respect and gratitude.”
“On this day, we remember Haiti,” he concluded. “They have come a long way in 8 years, but much work remains and I still believe in the Haitian people.”
Clinton’s response comes amid widespread outrage surrounding the reported comments, which drew condemnation from global leaders as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. Trump allegedly made them during a DACA meeting with lawmakers at the White House on Thursday.
“Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?” the president allegedly said. He reportedly added that the U.S. should admit more people from countries like Norway.
Trump later denied using the vulgar language during the meeting.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!” Trump tweeted early Friday.
Later Friday morning, Trump went on to deny he said anything “derogatory” about Haitians.
“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,” Trump tweeted. “Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”
Clinton wasn’t the only member of the well-known political family to respond to the comments.
His wife, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, also chimed in Friday, tweeting that the eight-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake should be a time to remember the tragedy, but, “Instead, we‘re subjected to Trump’s ignorant, racist views of anyone who doesn’t look like him.”
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.