During Tuesday’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was asked several questions by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vermont) about President Trump’s alleged “sh*thole” comment last week. Describing the heated Oval Office meeting as “impassioned,” Nielsen neither confirmed nor denied the particular word Trump used, but she did acknowledge his use of “tough language.” As interesting as her remarks regarding what the president did or did not say were, however, it was her response to a question about Norway that caught Twitter’s attention.
Why Norway? Aside from reportedly decrying Haitian and African immigrants because they hail from “sh*thole countries,” Trump also apparently said he wanted more immigrants from countries like Norway. Seeing as how most Norwegians are ethnically white Europeans, many interpreted Trump’s distinction as being racist. Hence Leahy’s question. “Norway is a predominantly white country, isn’t it?” he asked. Taken aback, Nielsen responded, “I actually do not know that, sir, but I imagine that is the case.”
Previously, Trump’s second DHS secretary had been discussing the intense Oval Office meeting on immigration with Leahy, who wanted to know about the president’s apparent language. “The conversation was very impassioned. I don’t dispute that the president was using tough language. Others in the room were also using tough language,” she said. When Leahy pressed her again about certain “vulgar” words, Nielsen repeated her “tough language” line. Even so, her comments regarding Norway were all anyone seemed to care about online.