The UN human rights office has said Donald Trump’s reported use of an expletive to describe Africa and other countries could “potentially damage and disrupt the lives of many people”.
Speaking in the Oval Office, President Trump questioned why the US should permit more immigrants from “shithole countries” after senators discussed revamping rules affecting entrants from Africa and Haiti, sources said.
Repeating the term attributed to the president a day earlier, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said: “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’.”
He said the comments, if confirmed, were “shocking and shameful” and added: “I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but racist.” He said Mr Trump’s reported comment could endanger lives by potentially fanning xenophobia: “It legitimises the targeting of people based on who they are.
“This isn’t just a story about vulgar language, it’s about opening the door to humanity’s worst side.” He added that the reported comments “go against the universal values the world has been striving so hard to establish since World War Two and the Holocaust”.