Trump denies making “shithole countries” remark

“I am the least racist person you have ever met. I am the least racist person.” —President Trump

According to CNN, President Trump denies having made the “shithole countries” remark that I mentioned last night. As CNN reports:

President Donald Trump on Friday denied describing certain nations as “shithole countries” during a meeting in which he rejected a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“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.

The White House, however, did not deny that he said this, and, according to the Washington Post, several people at the meeting reported the same remark. What does this mean? Almost certainly that Trump is a liar. That’s no surprise, of course.

As for those readers who said that the nations to which Trump alluded (including those in Africa and Haiti), and others as well—including India—really are shithole countries, I have no patience with you. There are countries where it’s better or worse for an average resident to live, of course, but Trump was referring not just to social conditions themselves but to the people who live in these lands. I repeat what the Post quoted:

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.

This is a call to stop letting in residents of countries like Haiti and those in Africa, and let in more Norwegians, who, said one wag on Twitter, are “so white that they have to wear moonscreen.” Regardless, no country has a monopoly on deserving immigrants, and to characterize entire countries as unworthy of sending immigrants to the U.S., particularly countries with black residents, is simply racist.

144 Comments

  1. sensorrhea
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    “Almost certainly Trump is a liar.”

    I think you’re being a bit too careful there. Trump is certainly a liar. He lies many times a day. Many definitions of “lie” don’t require us to know his intent.

    The alternative is, if anything, worse. If he’s not a liar then he’s terrifyingly delusional.

    • bbenzon
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Or suffering from dementia. But why not all three?

      • sensorrhea
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Oh I think there’s a generous helping of all three.

        To give him the benefit of the doubt about lying is something too much of the media does, saying they can’t read his mind to know his intent.

        By that definition only characters in fiction whose inner thoughts we hear can ever be said to have lied. An actual human who says “that thing I said was a lie” could be lying about that, after all.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      According to the running tab maintained by The Washington Post, Donald Trump has told 2001 demonstrable lies during his 357 days in office (although, given Trump’s unslakable thirst for deceit, that number well could have risen in just the time it takes to post this link).

      • loren russell
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        2001-A Specious Odyssey

        Now shoing with Planet of the Japes

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          Very good!

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          Heck, if we’re goin’ Kubrick, how bout “A Cock-up Orange” or “Full Mental Jacket” or “Fartacus”?

          • Mark R.
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            And for one title, it needs no embellishment: “Eyes Wide Shut”.

          • Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            That will certainly fill up movie night for a while!

          • John Frum
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            I’m Fartacus!

          • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            “One Fell Out of the Cuckoo’s Nest”….

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Shoulda read the whole comment thread before responding and posting a duplicate link…

  2. Harrison
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The base was all excited and now here he goes demonstrating his spine of jelly and making them angry again.

    If Trump’s playing Nth dimension chess that just makes him an Nth dimensional crapping pigeon.

  3. Stephen Barnard
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Senator Durbin, who was present at the meeting, confirmed that Trump referred to “shithole countries” multiple times. He’s a lying racist, but we already knew that.

    • Harrison
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      It’s a bit of a gift this time though because Trumpists have been defending his remarks and now dear leader’s backed away and left them high and dry.

      A lot of people are loyal to Trump, but Trump is not loyal to them.

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        As is often the case in an abusive relationship …

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          (This is not a blame-the-victim – just another sort of victimization people unfortunately live with.)

  4. George
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    For most Americans, their ancestors left “shithole” countries. That is why they left. Many Norwegiana left for America around the turn of the 20th century in search of a better life. These days, Norwegians are quite happy where they are. Even with their long, cold, dark winters.
    https://quartzy.qz.com/1172760/how-to-stay-cheerful-in-winter-in-tromso-norway-its-all-about-mindset/

    I am looking forward to the day when Haitians do not want to leave their country because their lives are so much better.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Would that those Norwegians had left the lutefisk behind! 🙂

      • Hempenstein
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        They didn’t just bring it with them, they put it up in the town square in Madison MN for all to see!

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          Haha! My god that’s huge!

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        I’m sure that Anders Behring Breivik is just the kind of Norwegian Trump wants.

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Just be glad they left the surströmming behind. Mostly.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Despite what Trump apologists are saying, Trump stating these are shithole countries is not the biggest problem. What he said was that BECAUSE they are shithole countries, no one from them is worthy to be a US immigrant. Otoh, ALL people from non-shithole Norway are good. THAT is a load of shit, AND clearly racist.

      Trump’s verbal diarrhoea has got him in trouble again, and the fu€k₩it is too ignorant to even understand what went wrong.

      Though perhaps I judge him too harshly. We know he can be nuanced in his thinking – he did note that some of the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville were, “Very fine people.” (Sarcasm alert.)

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Your first paragraph is exactly right.

        Yesterday some Trump apologists came on WEIT and tried to get him off the hook by parsing out why they think immigration from those countries was problematic, blithely ignoring the giant racist turd Trump just dropped.

        I don’t think he could make his racist hatred any plainer if he wore a hood and burnt a cross.

        I weep for our country.

      • EliHershkovitz
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        This ‘all’ verbiage is at the crux of why there is a political divide. Trump never meant ALL residents of a country are unworthy to immigrate to the US. What he meant: Why are we taking disproportionate numbers of low skill, low education immigrants instead of taking *more* high skill, well educated (collectively speaking) applicants?

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          A couple of things…

          You take Heather to task for using the word “all” then one sentence later you come up with this gem; “Why are we taking disproportionate numbers…”

          Trump made his racist statement (you and he are not fooling anyone) in regards to the diversity visa program (which he has repeatedly lied about), a program specifically designed to allow visa applicants from countries that are under represented by the “merit” visa pathway.

          You played the same rhetorical shell game yesterday, for example, claiming Trump was right because Democrats were calling for “unfettered” immigration, something no one, not even Democrats, have called for.

          • EliHershkovitz
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

            All ≠ disproportionate numbers.

          • EliHershkovitz
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

            Unfettered: uncontrolled, unchecked, unrestrained. I would use those descriptives to define immigration in the last few decades. Secondly, I never said Trump was “right” (about what?). Thirdly, Dems have called for no such such thing. They simply facilitate unfettered immigration. My question was never answered: if illegal immigrants voted Republican would Dems be as pro-immigration?

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

              Maybe, maybe not; but their support would still be there. That’s how govts generally function – they may not shout about it, but they provide for everyone, not just their voters. The fact that you immediately assume that the relationship between the individual and the state is so uniformly cynical says something about your mindset.

              Having said that, I have no idea what any of that has to do with the rightness or otherwise of the POTUS calling other countries ‘shitholes’.

              Can I ask you: what would it take for you to retract your support for Trump, or at least to stop defending him to the extent you are?

              Firstly in terms of policy deviation, what would it take? Secondly in terms of personal behaviour, what would it take?

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          “Trump never meant”

          It’s interesting that you know what Trump meant, since he will probably ‘mean’ something quite different tomorrow. [/sarcasm]

          I take the view that if it quacks like a duck…

          cr

          • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            Trump is doing the sneaky when he tweets his denial of the slur: “Never said…, Never said…” as opposed to “I never said… “. It’s like when kids lie and cross their fingers behind their backs. The guy is sadly demented.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          With every other president, we accept what they say. With Trump, his apologists are constantly telling us what he really means. If he’s such a stable effing genius, surely he’s capable of saying what he means.

          • Posted February 2, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

            I disagree. Nobody in their right mind accepted Obama’s calling the shooting of Jews in the Paris kosher deli “random”. To me, this was orders of magnitude worse than anything Trump has said so far.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted February 2, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

              I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. While the Obama comment you refer to is worse than this particular Trump comment, the number of appalling Trump comments I could come up with would far outweigh the number by Obama. Obama’s comment was him trying to say the right thing and getting it badly wrong. He had a logic fail. Trump’s comments are either deliberately or thoughtlessly bad, just plain ignorant, or simple lies, depending on the circumstances.

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. They’re purposely missing the poain’t of all the upset because using coarse language is an easy peccadillo to dismiss.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Well, it’s MUCH easier to be happy in Norway these days with the effects of all that North Sea oil in place! Now, they did, as a society, use that wealth pretty well to set themselves up for a fine future.

      (I have a bunch of cousins in Norway with whom I am close.)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Don’t look now, but the Donald’s got a Norwegian woody!

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          Trees do get stunted at high latitudes…

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      This is what Jan Egeland,Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, had to say https://twitter.com/NRC_Egeland/status/951810402555482113:

      “I’m a Norwegian who enjoyed studying & working in the US. The only thing that would attract me to emigrate to the US is your vibrant multicultural society. Don’t take that away.”

  5. Craw
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    If you read the original story carefully it does NOT quote anyone who was present at the meeting. It quotes people who allegedly had knowledge of it. This opens the possibility for error and confusion. Ever play ‘telephone’? It is logically possible that ‘shithole’ is a characterization of what Trump said, not a quote.

    But there were several people who were there. They might have felt bound to confidentiality in public before, but after Trump has explicitly said this I think they need to speak up. Then we can dispense with guesses.

    If they don’t comment I think a natural inference is that they accept the president’s version, as he is so far the only attendee who has commented.

    Here are the congress critters who were present.

    Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the majority leader; Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia; Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas; and Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Durbin has confirmed on MSNBC, so there we go.

      • Craw
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Indeed. From The Hill:

        “You’ve seen the comments in the press,” Durbin said. “I’ve not seen one of them that’s inaccurate. To no surprise, the president started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words. It is not true. He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.”

        • Craw
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          This seems clear enough to me, but I have seen an intelligent doubt raised:

          “That’s a little cagey, dependent on what he’s actually “seen” and what it means to say it’s “inaccurate.”

          Please, reporters, if you are not doing this already, confront Durbin with the quote that has been in the press, and ask him: Did Trump say those specific words, verbatim? Can you confirm that is a verbatim quote?”

          I think that’s worth doing, and not just Durbin of course. Ask the others, explicitly.

          Personally I think the furor over ‘shithole’ is overblown, but now we have Trump explicitly denying he used the word, so it’s a question of proving (or disproving) a direct lie. Proving a direct, barefaced lie (as I assume for the moment this was) is worth doing. “I did not have ‘shithole’ with that woman.”

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            FFS. I suppose you think there’s something in the Uranium One story too.

            And that Trump’s inauguration was bigger than Obama’s.

            If you want to support him, that’s your choice, but at least be honest about the kind of person he is. At the moment you sound like someone who’s just finished reading the Bible and is convinced God is Love.

            • Liz
              Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

              I think he’s stressing the importance of accuracy in reporting. I appreciated his comments. I didn’t interpret them as supporting Trump but rather getting it right.

              • Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

                Remember that story about the Trump administration censoring words at the CDC? Everyone was up in arms. Whole departments at medical centers tweeted photos of themselves with duct-taped mouths.

                Turns out the reporting was all wrong and no words were censored.

                Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you read.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

              I must agree here and wonder what is the point of all this dissection and work over the words shit hole. He also said why not bring them into this country from Norway, you know, somewhere white. Not that long ago the guy also said about Haiti – they all have aids. The guy is just a prince. A prince from the sewers of New York.

              • Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

                Well I have to admit, until Senator Durbin confirmed it, a good part of me was wondering if some other truth would come out.

              • Liz
                Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

                I saw Craw’s comments as overly analytical and looking for the truth. I don’t doubt that Trump would say something like that. I just appreciated the analysis and the persistence of a focus on accuracy especially when it is so easy to believe he would say something like that just because he has a track record.

                “Personally I think the furor over ‘shithole’ is overblown…”

                I do not think anything was overblown. This is terrible that we have a president who acts this way and says things like this. It’s sad and awful.

          • Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

            I heard Durbin speak on NPR this morning and he did say it was those specific words.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            Durbin was the only Democrat in the room. There were six Republicans present. What say they?

            Their word should carry even more weight, as a statement against Party interest. And certainly, if Durbin were bullshitting, they should be expected to defend their president against false, scabrous attacks.

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes, there’s a video of Durbin emphatically confirming the slur, airing on several TV news stations.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I don’t see what difference it really makes any more. Both sides are so entrenched. People like me are no longer in the slightest bit surprised by any of the shit he comes out with, while his supporters will defend him regardless of what he says. We had the unedifying spectacle of them doing just that on a WEIT post yesterday, basically saying ‘these countries are shitholes, he’s just being honest’. If he came to the next press conference holding Stephen Miller’s hand and wearing a bib, and it turned out his staff have to act out the morning briefing using finger puppets, Fox News would still defend him.

      Really, whether or not to support Trump is about as easy an ethical decision as the western political world has offered up in living memory, and the kind of bottom-feeders who are still banging the drum for him, even doubling down on the absolute lowest-of-the-low stuff he comes out with, people who are actually applauding the American president for calling countries he almost certainly knows nothing about ‘shitholes’…all I can say is these people are failing a very straightforward and easy test of decency.

      I would be genuinely interested to know from his defenders if there are ANY standards of decency that the man could, in principle, fail? What could he say? What could he do? Is there a bar below which your support for him would disappear? Or is any behaviour okay so long as he keeps pushing the ‘right’ political buttons?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Well said.

        Of course, Trump may be right about Nambia – it’s a country he knows more about than anyone else after all. :-/

        • nicky
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Well, ‘Nambia’ turns out to be one of those African countries that are not really shitholes.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Nambia?

          (Googles)

          Oh, I missed that. Presumably where the Namb Desert is located.

          cr

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        “If he came to the next press conference holding Stephen Miller’s hand and wearing a bib…”

        I’m sorry, but I’m going to need to see your “Try to Get That Image Out of Your Head” permit.

  6. Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Wants to block immigration from countries that are populated by mostly dark skinned people.
    Wants to encourage immigration from countries that suffer from moonburn epidemics.
    Partial to Asians because they’re smart and help the economy.

    Where have I heard these attitudes before, besides from my drunk Uncle?

  7. Stephen Barnard
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Norway handily beats the USA in virtually every social and per capita economic metric. Why would a Norwegian want to emigrate to America?

    • Pierluigi Ballabeni
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      To volunteer in some development project?

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Oh yeah, well the USWNT beat Norway 1-0 in their friendly last summer. So…so…ppppttthhhbbbbttt!

    • rickflick
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      In the annual survey to decide which country has the happiest population, this year’s winner is Denmark, followed closely by Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway. The US ranked 13th.
      Someone I know immigrated from Norway. When I asked him why he grunted something about the social conditions. I suspect he’s an avid capitalist and finds socialist leaning government to restrictive.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Norway’s version of the Peace Corps?

      Guess that wouldn’t qualify as emigration. We could still use such an influence, though.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    When Asswipe in the White House was scrounging for votes in Florida during the campaign, he went to Little Haiti and told the crowd that, whether they voted for him or not, he would be the Haitian people’s “champion”:

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Wrong link. Trump’s Little Haiti speech is in this clip.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Give him long enough on this earth and he’ll eventually have lied about everything and everyone in existence.

  9. Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait to see what Sarah Sanders tells us later today!

    • rickflick
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      She’ll have to take a nip of something strong before going on stage.

  10. Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Why is he so ardently pro-White? His fake tan certainly renders him non-White…

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Ironically, in Roald Dahl’s original Charlie And The Chocolate Factory the Oompa-Loompas were from Africa. This is the truth about his ancestry that Trump has always tried to cover up.

      • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        For years, he was passing himself off as of Swedish origin, instead of German.

  11. Marilyn
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Every time he opens his mouth I see the Mad Hatter from the Disney cartoon version of “Alice in Wonderland”

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      The Mad Hatter was suffering from mercury poisoning, a well-known illness among hat-makers in the 19th century when mercury compounds were used to treat the felt that went into some hats.

      Trump has no such excuse. He’s just a bigot.

      • Taz
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Don’t be so sure. We don’t know exactly what he puts on his skin to achieve a color not found in nature.

        • Marilyn
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Have to agree with you Taz!

        • Marilyn
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Have to agree with you Taz!

        • Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Lots of very colourful mercury compounds, after all: cinnabar, for one.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            I’ve encountered that color in nature just once: I was peeing along an arroyo in the Sonoran desert at dawn, leaning back, admiring the arc, when the first ray of sunrise shone through the stream.

  12. Tom
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I suspect that as far as Mr Trump is concerned this is yesterdays news.
    People need to get used to the fact that he is playing the media, just as his supporters elected him to and at every opportunity.
    There are elections due this year, so things will get worse so he will not care what his detractors think unless people get out and vote solidly against what he stands for.
    But then again they had the chance at the last election and blew it.
    If Mr Trump is supposed to represent a 1/3 hardcore section of the electorate.
    Then it is reasonable to assume the anti Trump hardcore could be another 1/3 The remaining 1/3 are almost certainly apathetic. The way Trump is being attacked may be the reason they will either not vote or not vote against him whilst he is coming across as the common man and underdog.
    It seems to me from the other side of the pond that anti Trumps are spending their precious ammunition at a phenomenal rate and may run out (or worse) be of any real significance well before it can properly be used to unseat him.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      It is a problem that, no matter how hard you try not to do it, his behaviour has become normal. It is now normal for other world leaders to just dismiss his tweets as little more than the ravings of a mad man.

      If President Obama or Bush had tweeted even a fraction of what Trump does, the world would be in an uproar. Trump is a joke of his own making, and he doesn’t have the wit to see it. Unfortunately, nor can a third of the US electorate. Even worse, another sixth is prepared to vote for him despite being able to see what he is, for the sake of power.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        “Trump is a joke of his own making,…”

        So we like to think, but spouting one outrageous falsehood after another during the campaign worked splendidly for him. Meanwhile Hillary was caught up in endless defenses of her emails, her basket of deplorables (SO very mild compared to the crap spilling out of Trump’s mouth), etc. He may be an obvious boor, but he’s also a very successful one. Bullies often win. Just having the moral high-ground doesn’t get us anywhere.

        • rickflick
          Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:59 am | Permalink

          “having the moral high-ground doesn’t get us anywhere.”

          But it can drive moral outrage which draws people to the poles. This is the hope for 2018 and beyond.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:47 am | Permalink

            I hope that hope prevails. Perhaps the 2018 interim election will give us some indication.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Your last bit, about anti-Trumps spending their ammunition too soon is a good point. Clinton was an expert at the “tail wagging the dog” style of politics. Trump is able to do it too, though I don’t think he has the intelligence to do it with as much craven intent (or, if you’re a Clinton fan, smart politics). For Trump such outrageous, puerile behavior is business as usual. He is just a very stupid, racist shithead whose instills turmoil and upset just by being Trump.

      You have a good point; we risk outrage fatigue so when serious shit hits the fan, we may not react timely or effectively.

      Still, there may be such a great well of anger and resentment over the damage that Trump and his supporters have done to the US that no matter what he does we may not run out of outrage.

  13. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The NYTs has keep track of the lies told by this president and it is over 2000 since he took office. You can look it up. Not here to do it for you.

    Last night on MSNBC they ran a video of him talking about the televised meeting they had just had the day before in the white house with dozens from congress there to talk about DECA and other issues. He was a joke during this meeting and simply was okay with whoever the last speaker was and what they said. No comprehension of the issues. Then the very next day he said the whole world was praising him for the meeting and said it was the best meeting ever. This guy is certifiable. He is nuts. He does not live in reality. He lies at least 5 times every day just to stay in shape.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      kept track….sorry about that.

  14. Liz
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I saw the headline in the text bar on CNN last night. It’s like *slow face palm* while you close your eyes in disbelief and wonder how much worse can this get. It’s disappointing that he doesn’t have any integrity or respectability. We already knew this but as it continues each day, the contrast between the excitement I had on the morning of November 8, 2016 and the patience I practice now with this is not as much stark and defined as it is a fluid motion of souring hope.

  15. Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Africa is not a country. It is a continent that contains 54 countries.

  16. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    My belief is that this presidency is being borne aloft on spite. I don’t think economic concerns, or immigration, or any political issues at all, are behind the 30-35% support he still receives – I think what is still buoying his support is the vicarious thrill they get from seeing the world of the ‘liberal elites’ thrown into turmoil by his every word. It’s the sensation of ‘winning’, which they measure by the amount of pain that is being inflicted upon those members of society with whom Trump supporters have nothing in common. The same thing was the case in my country in the run up to Brexit – I knew a fair few Leave voters, and none of them mentioned political issues when they were talking about why they were going to vote. One text my mum got from a Leave-voting friend simply read ‘let’s stick it up those bastards in Brussels’.

    It’s a zero-sum thing. For Trump-supporters to be happy, Trump-opponents; ie. liberals, elites, the media, Hollywood celebs, etc.; have to be UNhappy. And as long as that continues, they will support him, because that’s what they voted for, more so than anything else. OTOH, if a time comes when we just grow completely inured to his endless bullshit and outrageous antics, and we no longer even react to it, I believe his support will begin to ebb away.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I am not sure how we determine when a large group of idiot, follow me boys, political circus turns on the dear leader. No one is holding a knife to their throat or taking away their stupid gene. I suspect, based on what we are seeing that the support is melting away and we will see the result in early November. Republicans in congress are throwing in the towel in the house and senate and things are looking up.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        “or taking away their stupid gene.”

        Did you mean, taking away their stupid guns? Was that an autocorrect blip?

        Of course, they might well all have a gene for stupid but how one would take that away I don’t know.

        cr

        • Diane G.
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          I thought it was pretty apt sarcasm.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      / borne aloft on spite. /

      Well said.

      In a sense, Trump’s presidency is the last gasp

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      +1. I think that if the media just ignored him, he would blow-up. He craves and needs attention to survive. If you read the comments section on some of these articles, you are quite correct about his fans relishing in upsetting liberals. Bannon strategy as well.

    • Harrison
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I don’t disagree that this is an accurate description of his base, but I don’t think they account for the full 30%.

      The more stupid things he says and does the more people are finally going to come to grips with the sunk costs fallacy, but it has diminishing returns. I think we’ll see approval ratings in the mid-20s before he’s gone, though.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      This zero-sum game may end when Trump supporters see the results of his policies hit them at home. I am also happy to see the extent to which the public has recognized that Trump’s “tax cuts” mostly benefit the rich.

      • Harrison
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Let’s not help the Republicans by calling them “Trump’s tax cuts.” This is the whole party’s baby and they all deserve a big heaping helping of blame.

        As Krugman has documented, apart from occasionally saying something beyond the pale, Trump’s policies are just Republican policies. He’s a walking rubber stamp that sometimes spouts obscenities.

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      That’s an apt characterization of the supporters that get all the attention, but we tend to forget the plutocratic machine that strings them along by ginning up false crises, stoking their racism, bleating about family values the manipulators couldn’t give a damn about in order to snare the “values voters,” etc. The GOP has always been the party of Big Money and Citizens United (what an oxymoron) only poured fuel on the fire. I don’t think most of the Congressional Republicans themselves like Trump, he’s just the demagogue they trot out to stir up the yahoos and ensure their pet policies pass. There is a huge ethical crisis in DC, esp. amongst the GOP who scarcely even bother to sound sincere in their lies about how their tax cuts will help the little man, how they had to destroy the village, er, healthcare, in order to save it, etc.

  17. Historian
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Those who defend Trump’s viewpoint, if not his language, are in the United States, at least, saying nothing new. Nativism has always been present in American society since the founding of the Republic. One needs only to learn about the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed under the auspice of the second president, John Adams. During the nineteenth century, political movements arose that tried to stop Catholic immigration. In the early 1850s the anti-immigration American Party (known as the Know Nothings) briefly gained political prominence. It took the slavery issue to end their existence. By the end of the 19th century, anti-Eastern European immigration movements gained momentum. This movement culminated in political victory with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924 that Wikipedia notes: “The law was primarily aimed at further restricting immigration of Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans, especially Italians, Slavs and Eastern European Jews. In addition, it severely restricted the immigration of Africans and banned the immigration of Arabs and Asians.” In the United States in the latter part of the 20th century, the nation took a somewhat more enlightened view toward immigration as the bigots directed their energies to thwart the efforts of African-Americans for civil rights. Now, anti-immigration efforts have once again bubbled to the surface of American and world politics.

    One characteristic of xenophobes is fear of the “other.” They find it impossible to believe that people of different cultures (race is often a proxy for this) can assimilate into the larger society. The white South of pre-Civil War America used this argument to justify the continuance of slavery. Assimilation of people of different cultures in the United States has proven markedly successful, although sometimes it takes a generation or two. Xenophobes cannot accept this fact. I think the psychological element comes into play in that they measure their self-worth by how much they view themselves as superior to what they perceive as inferior races or cultures or religions (as in the case of opposition to Irish-Catholic immigration in the 19th century). Mired in bigotry and ignorance, the current crop will support Trump because he appeals to their worst instincts. There will always be a xenophobic element in this country (and probably most throughout the world), like a virus, spreading its harm throughout the body politic. And like those viruses that lurk in the body, but are suppressed by the immune system, so must society act against xenophobia.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Excellent summary. The racist elements in this country have come front and center with the election of this person. Changing people and minds is not really possible, it just has to be made very painful for them to come to the surface.

      • Diane G.
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        “Changing people and minds is not really possible, it just has to be made very painful for them to come to the surface.”

        That is such an important point! We so need clarity on exactly what the values we purport to stand on really entail and then to act and speak accordingly. This probably just shows my political ignorance, but I’m hard pressed to think of a politician on either side of the aisle who spends as much time talking about the liberal democratic values our democracy depends on as they do placating their various constituencies (which, alas, might be the only way a politician can get and stay elected these days).

    • Mike Cracraft
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      We also have to remember how strong the KKK was in the early 20th century with millions of followers. This country has a deplorable racist history.

      • busterggi
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Don’t forget how much it resurged under Reagan. I’m in Connecticut and found myself working with a bunch of other locals who were thrilled that they finally had a chance to join the Klan in the ’80’s.

      • Veroxitati
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Right back to the Trail of Tears and even beyond Wounded Knee.

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for this summary. I’d also like to add that “Chain Immigration” started in 1965 in a reaction to the Civil Rights movement. It was a legislative way to allow (hopefully) white Europeans to bring over their family members to boost the white population in the US. Like so many complicated issues around immigration, this type of social engineering never works as planned.

  18. Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    This platform sucks.

    As I was saying, last gasp of manifest destiny borne of religious groanings for the good ol’ days.

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Trump has also denied that the voice on the “Hollywood Access” hot-mic tape bragging about non-consensual pussy-grabbing is his.

    So there’s that, too, to consider in weighing his denial.

    • yazikus
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      He can do this because of his campaign for ‘fake news’. He doesn’t need to say anything more than ‘It isn’t true’ and his base will buy it.

  20. wejuli
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    As an immigrant from Uganda, I’m looking for a way to say “Africa is not a country” without coming across as triggered…because I’m not…no, really… 🙂

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      That was just a mistake on my part, and I’ve fixed it. Sorry if I’ve triggered you!

  21. Monika
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    A Narcissist’s Prayer

    That didn’t happen.

    And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.

    And if it was, that’s not a big deal.

    And if it is, that’s not my fault.

    And if it was, I didn’t mean it.

    And if I did…

    You deserved it.

    Each time I hear Trump deny things he said, this poem comes to mind. I’m not drive-by diagnosing the guy, but he certainly has some traits.

  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Trump just delivered his Martin Luther King, Jr., Day proclamation on live tv. I’d like to slap that name from his mouth before he can befoul it further (figuratively speaking).

    • darrelle
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      +1

  23. busterggi
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

    I dunno Donald, why DID your grnadfather come here?

  24. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The US ambassador to Panama has resigned in protest. Where’re the rest of Trump’s appointees on this? And the congressional Republicans. Obviously, we’re not sending our best people. They’re cowards, and they’re bullshitters, and they’re enablers.

    And some, I assume, are good people.

  25. Veroxitati
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    He just says the first thing that comes into his head. Let’s call them “Alternative Facts”. The latest example is his calling off next month’s trip to London to open the new US Embassy; his reason being on account of the move having been a “bad Obama deal”. Actually the decision was made by Dubya!

    • Tom
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      It could also be because the Mueller team are now going to interview Steve Bannon who is sure to be in a forgiving, tranquil mood following his exit from Breitbart.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      “The latest example is his calling off next month’s trip to London to open the new US Embassy;”

      Speaking as an expat Brit, that’s a small mercy. One less occasion when British leaders have to grit their teeth and be polite to him, in the sure knowledge that Trump probably won’t appreciate it and the best they can hope for is that he doesn’t actively embarrass them with some egregious gaffe.

      cr

  26. Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Guarantee you that most of the virtue-signaling talking politicians, media heads and their snowflake fans talk EXACTLY the same way about poor non-liberal whites who live out in flyover country. “Deplorables” was just the public version.

    My guess is that at least 60% of Americans laughed at Trump’s remark and agreed completely.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Have you some evidentiary basis for such a low opinion of the American polity? Were it so, I’d expect the Donald to be enjoying better than his historically low approval ratings, mired in the 30s since shortly after his inauguration.

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      I’d say 60% of Republicans laughed and agreed. 60% of Americans is very illogical (as Ken points out).

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      + 1

  27. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The woman who apologized for calling Trump a white supremacist can now retract her apology.

    Trump is not literate enough to come up with anything clever like “crap crater” “feces fissure” “dung den” or “excrement excavation”. (Does he even know what a thesaurus is??) Pretty sure he said schitt-whole.

    • Veroxitati
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Apparently, the expression used by some Japanese newspapers for the Trump utterance translates as “outside toilet”. A pretty horrific concept for any Japanese family equipped with a. Star Trek control panel for a WC.

      • John Frum
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that would be the ultimate Japanese insult.

  28. JA
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I’m motivated to say this because I think it is right, but I’m expecting intolerant dismissal given the tone of this piece. Prove me wrong.

    The stupid, heartless, moronic, depthless “shithole” comment, combined with the Norway and Africa quotes, does not necessarily mean he’s racist. He may well be, but, again, these comments don’t necessarily make him racist. Without making my own assertive judgement on the man (which is something along the lines of having the unevolved mind of a child) let me point out that the dominant skin colour in the two mentioned countries and African countries are *correlations* of his “shithole” vs none shithole judgement about the countries. Another correlation would be some kind of measure of development, which would include, for example, levels of education. In the mind of Trump that could be the kind of thing that makes him say “shithole”, and the general concern he might be having (on an emotional level, rather than with any understanding of his own generalisations) is that immigrants from those countries would differ in the levels of education (statistically speaking – obviously there still be highly intelligent and educated folk coming from Haiti or African countries). Lower levels of educational attainment is the kind of thing that nations, rightly or wrongly, consider when designing immigration policies. To jump to the conclusion that his motivation is based on race is wrong and actually adds to the atmosphere of censorious outrage we decry. And if you believe anything of the argument that censorious PC culture is part of the reason Trump was elected, then you are unwittingly acting in a way that you would criticise in others.

    • Posted January 12, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      You know, you could have written this comment without that snarky first two lines, and it would have been fine. But you couldn’t resist the snark. “Prove me wrong”, indeed! This is a Roolz violation (which you clearly haven’t read) and is just plain rude.

      This is the one comment you get; then I suggest you go over to the many other sites where you can get away with this kind of incivility. I suggest you learn how to write arguments without insulting readers or the proprietor.

    • Mark R.
      Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Huh? He has already proven he’s a racist years ago. You obviously have no idea of his long history with discrimination. What the hell do you think the motivation for his “birther movement” was if not blatant racism? Was it because Trump was extremely concerned that a sitting President might not have all the needed legal credentials? If you think his creation of “birtherism” was anything but racially motivated, then I can’t prove you wrong, because you don’t want to be proved wrong. And you still doubt his bigotry after his Charleston comments…

      Sorry, but you’re playing word-twister here trying to justify another more complex reason for Trump’s statement than what it clearly was. Low education? C’mon, he LOVES the uneducated; he said it himself and he knows it defines a majority of his (white) base. Those are folks he is talking to when he says things like this…believe me.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and let us recall also that he was sued twice by the US Justice Dept (and both times settled) for refusing to rent Trump apartments to blacks, and his having taken out full-page ads in several NYC newspapers calling for ex post facto imposition of the death penalty on the Harlem youth wrongfully convicted in the “Central-Park jogger” case (as well as his refusal to acknowledge his error after those minors were proved innocent through DNA testing).

        • Mark R.
          Posted January 12, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, his history of racist actions and intentions is clearly documented. I generalized by saying “long history”. Thanks for identifying these two additional examples of his racism in case some don’t know what they should know.

          • Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

            Check out this list at the PBS website:
            https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/every-moment-donald-trumps-long-complicated-history-race

            • Mark R.
              Posted January 12, 2018 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

              Your link to the PBS site reminded me of many bad things. And then I thought of the classic “Heavy Metal” despot Lincolf F. Stern. Oh, he’s out there somewhere…

              Prosecutor: Are you Captain Lincoln F. Stern?

              Stern: I am.

              Prosecutor: Lincoln Stern, you stand here accused of 12 counts of murder in the first degree, 14 counts of armed theft of Federation property, 22 counts of piracy in high space, 18 counts of fraud, 37 counts of rape…

              [pauses to check rap sheet]

              Prosecutor: … and one moving violation. How do you plead?

              Stern: Not guilty.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      The effort people like you put into expiating this man is slightly pathetic. I’ve seen a few of your kind of comments in the last twenty four hours, with the comical attempt at statistical justification for what he said, and yet at the end of it all you’re still left with Trump using the word ‘shitholes’ to describe foreign countries. This is the POTUS. He called them ‘shitholes’.

      He didn’t say, ‘considering the average educational attainment levels of the people who come from these countries I think it’s bigly wise to scale back the number of people we let in’; he just called the countries they come from ‘shitholes’. No amount of spineless exegesis will eliminate the utter, base scumminess of Trump’s words.

  29. eric
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, if I may be so bold as to suggest an article topic…how about you dedicate a “Readers’ wildlife photos” post to photographs from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa? Surely us good readers have a wealth of beautiful landscapes and wildlife photos from these Presidentially unappreciated locations!

    • Posted February 2, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      The nature of any country is OK. It is the people who make the difference.

  30. Posted January 14, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    It’s utterly sad when people like Sen. Dave Perdue of Georgia, and others, must now lie and cover for this poor excuse of a leader of the free world. He was on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and denied it happened. Pathetic.

  31. Posted February 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    So Trump denies that he said what he said. Pathetic, but nobody is surprised.

    As for the racism, it doesn’t impress me as much as it does others, because Eastern Europeans like me are used to being treated like that, though we are white. The USA still has visa requirement and high refusal rate, and no intention to waive it. Two decades ago, Germany – who is now inviting the world to Europe – accepted immigrants from Bulgaria only if a German employer could certify that he had a vacant job for which he could not find a German employee. In 2006, months before Bulgaria became EU member, UK integration minister Trevor Phillips (who was black) said the following to the BBC:

    “…The legendary Polish plumber, the Czech carpenter, and so on, they have benefited our society. The point I’m making here is while they’re benefiting our society economically, we need to make sure that we don’t have a social problem that goes with that. One of the things that we’ve been concerned about recently has been reports that some of the Eastern Europeans who come, frankly with attitudes towards black people which date back to the 1950s…”

    And now, I often hear Trump opponents in the USA smear all Eastern Europeans because of Trump’s wife, but when poor white people are smeared, this is somehow considered OK.


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