Donald Trump slams immigrants from 's***hole countries'
A White House spokesman did not deny the US president made the comments.
Donald Trump has questioned why America should allow more immigrants from "s***hole countries" during an Oval Office meeting about revamping rules affecting entrants from Africa and Haiti, the Washington Post reports.
The US president made the remark as two senators described details a bipartisan compromise that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and strengthen the border.
The senators had hoped Mr Trump would back their agreement, ending a protracted and bitter dispute over protecting the "Dreamers".
The White House later rejected their proposal, plunging the issue back into uncertainty just eight days before a deadline that threatens a government shutdown.
During the meeting, Dick Durbin, of Illinois, the chamber's No 2 Senate Democratic leader, explained that as part of the deal, a lottery for visas that has benefited people from Africa and other nations would be ended, though there could be some other way for them to apply.
Mr Durbin said people who had fled to the US after disasters hit their homes, in places including El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti, would be allowed to stay in the country.
Mr Trump specifically questioned why the US would want to admit more people from Haiti. He also mentioned Africa and asked, "Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?"
Mr Trump said the US should allow more entrants from countries like Norway instead, after the president met this week with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg earlier this week.
Asked about the remarks, White House spokesman Raj Shah did not deny them.
"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people," he said.
Mr Trump's remarks were remarkable even by the standards of a president who has been accused by his foes of racist attitudes and has routinely smashed through public decorum that his modern predecessors have generally embraced.
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The Trump administration announced late last year that it would end a temporary residency permit program that allowed nearly 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States following a devastating 2010 earthquake.
Mr Trump has spoken positively about Haitians in public. During a 2016 campaign event in Miami, he said "the Haitian people deserve better" and told the audience of Haitian-Americans he wanted to "be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion".
However, the New York Times reported in December that during a June meeting the president had said Haitians "all have Aids".