PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Local officials are responding to the alleged remarks President Trump made at a meeting on immigration on Sunday afternoon.
Dozens of people, including many from the local Haitian community, gathered in Providence to denounce the President’s reported recent comments.
“We don’t have words to qualify what our president has said about Haiti,” says Aniece Germain from Hope and Change for Haiti.
She is originally from Haiti. She now works with a local non profit Hope and Change for Haiti that helps rebuilding efforts in her native country. It’s been reported that during a bipartisan immigration meeting on Thursday the president used a derogatory term about Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries.
“If he knew Haitian history he would not talk about Haitian people like that,” she adds.
Democratic Senator Richard Durbin was in the meeting. He says President Trump did use the word. Several other Senators including Republicans have criticized the President about his alleged choice of words. But just this morning on CBS’ Face the Nation Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who was also in the meeting, says he did not hear the expletive used.
“I didn’t hear that word either I certainly didn’t hear what Senator Durbin has said repeatedly,” says Senator Cotton, (R) Arkansas.
On Friday the President took to Twitter saying in part this was not the language used. But for the Rhode Island leaders who gathered Sunday, including Lt. Governor McKee, Senator Jack Reed and Providence Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune, the President’s denials weren’t enough.
“I was outraged, I was disappointed but I’m not surprised,” says Councilwoman LaFortune.
They are part of a list of local leaders including Governor Raimondo and Congressman Langevin who have come out in recent days calling the reported remarks unpresidential.
In another televised interview Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia, who was in the immigration meeting as well, said the President did not use the expletive.