Following a federal appeals court’s decision to rule against the Trump administration’s third attempt to institute a travel ban, a new report by the New York Times paints a rather alarming portrait of the president’s general opinions on immigration. This shouldn’t be a surprise, of course, as Trump infamously declared Mexican immigrants were bringing drugs, rape, and other questionable things into the United States when he first announced his candidacy. Considering what several aides who attended (or were briefed on) an Oval Office meeting in June told the Times, however, the president’s racism is far worse.
Reading from a document prepared by Stephen Miller, whose own problematic opinions on immigration are well-documented, Trump seethed at his advisors while complaining that the initial ban’s missteps were making him look bad:
Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.
Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.
State Secretary Rex Tillerson, along with then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, tried to explain the recent increase in immigration numbers as “short-term travelers making one-time visits.” Once Miller interjected, however, he, Kelly and Trump turned on Tillerson and blamed him for the increase. As a result, Tillerson “[threw] up his arms in frustration” and said, “if he was so bad at his job, maybe he should stop issuing visas altogether.”
In a statement to the Times, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied the derogatory statements attributed to Trump. “General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims,” she said. However, as the Times notes, Sanders never denied the otherwise tense nature of the meeting — especially when everyone turned their ire on Tillerson — as described by to the paper by multiple sources.
(Via New York Times)