A new report in The New York Times about a June meeting in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump and top officials and advisers describes shockingly racist outbursts by the president that reveal deep–seated bigotry toward immigrants, particularly those who aren’t white.
Reporting that Trump is a racist isn’t really news to anyone at this point, and the Times’ story focused mostly on charting the evolution of the administration’s policies on immigration since taking office last January. Those efforts began with the bungled and chaotic rollout of Trump’s illegal Muslim ban, which prompted nationwide protests and a sweeping judicial response.
But the words attributed to the president are just awful.
Here’s what the Times said happened:
According to six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting, Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.
More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained.
Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.
Referring to 40,000 Nigerians who had received a U.S. visa for 2017, Trump allegedly said they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa once they had visited the United States, the newspaper said.
The White House, of course, is denying all of this, and some who were present at the meeting don’t recall Trump saying these things, either. White House press secretary and habitual truth denier Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Saturday said The New York Times was lying, and Trump never made the racist comments:
“General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims,” she said, referring to the current White House chief of staff, the national security adviser and the secretaries of state and homeland security. “It’s both sad and telling The New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous ‘sources’ anyway.”
Leaving the comments aside for a moment, another noteworthy part of the story is the confirmation that Gen. Kelly is as racist and evil as Trump is—just more efficient. Kelly helped establish order in the administration’s anti–immigrant policies, and that makes him dangerous, especially when partnered with someone as vindictive and despicable as Trump.