He did not say so – White House Press Secretary
How much regard does President Donald Trump of the United States of America (USA) have for Nigerians?
Not much, going by a special report yesterday by the authoritative New York Times on the style of the American leader.
The newspaper, in the report on Trump’s harsh immigration policy, described how he denigrated Nigerians at a meeting with his officials at a meeting in June.
Trump was said to have hit the roof after he was handed a list of foreigners who had been granted visas to enter the U.S. in 2017.
Forty thousand of such were Nigerians.
A fuming Trump, according to officials present at the meeting, said once they had seen the US they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
He also had unkind words for Haitians who had sent 15,000 people.
They “all have AIDS,” he reportedly grumbled.
He branded Afghanistan, which had 2,500 of its citizens getting US visa, a terrorist haven.
The NYT said: “As the meeting continued, John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, and Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, tried to interject, explaining that many were short-term travellers making one-time visits. But as the president continued, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Miller turned their ire on Mr. Tillerson, blaming him for the influx of foreigners and prompting the secretary of state to throw up his arms in frustration. If he was so bad at his job, maybe he should stop issuing visas altogether, Mr. Tillerson fired back.
“Tempers flared and Mr. Kelly asked that the room be cleared of staff members. But even after the door to the Oval Office was closed, aides could still hear the president berating his most senior advisers.”
The White House swiftly responded to the publication yesterday, saying Trump had not used such language although it did not dispute the thrust of the conversation in question.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said : “General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims. It’s both sad and telling The New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous ‘sources’ anyway.”