“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to African countries and Haiti. He then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met Wednesday.
The meeting reportedly occurred in the Oval Office, as lawmakers working with the president proposed restoring protections for people from those countries.
The comment came in response to a proposal by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to cut the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, the randomized system by which America distributes green cards, but bring back protections for those who recently lost temporary status, like those from El Salvador did this week.
According to the Washington Post, lawmakers present—which also included Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ala.), an immigration hardliner—were “taken aback” by the president’s use of language.
The news comes just two days after the president held a public meeting on immigration, and as questions about his mental fitness swirled in the wake of Michael Wolff’s White House tell-all Fire and Fury.