Editorial: Those who heard what Trump said must tell the world

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President Trump is drawing an angry response, after using an expletive to describe the countries that many immigrants in the U.S. came from. One critic is Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who says Trump has a long history of making racist statements. (Jan. 12) AP

President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order on health care.(Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

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Did the president of the United States use those hateful words in a White House meeting? The American people have a right to know.

The lawmakers who were in that room are in a position to answer the question. Yes or no? You have a duty to the citizens of this country and to the world to speak up publicly and address whether President Trump on Thursday, as reported by The Washington Post in a story relying on unnamed sources, described El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” in a meeting to discuss immigration policy. And did he say anything else as racist and deplorable as that?

Trump took to Twitter on Friday to deny that he actually said what other people in the room described. “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!” Trump declared.

But Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said Friday that he heard the president make “vile and racist” comments.

“I have seen the comments in the press, I have not read one of them that‘s inaccurate,” Durbin told reporters. “In the course of (Trump‘s) comments, he said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist. l use those words advisingly, I understand how powerful they are. I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and that Oval Office any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”

Those in the Cabinet Room when Trump made his comments, according to The New York Times, included Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), David Perdue, (R-Ga.) and Durbin as well as Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Kevin McCarthy, (R-Calif.).

So to other members of Congress who were in the room: Answer the question publicly and directly – yes or no.

Americans deserve to know beyond any doubt exactly how our nation‘s leader described countries that are home to nearly 1.3 billion people. They need to know the commander in chief‘s true attitude toward the countries of origin of millions of American citizens.

And they need to know that others in elected office, from both parties, will not stand silently by while the president shreds our nation‘s reputation in the world community.

 

 

 

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