President Donald Trump on Monday didn’t deny that he had called some African nations and Haiti “shithole countries” — an off-the-cuff comment that dogged his administration in January.
Trump addressed the alleged remark during a joint news conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who on Monday became the first leader of a sub-Saharan African nation to visit the White House during Trump’s presidency.
During that news conference, Buhari was asked whether he’d brought up the “shithole countries” remark during his private conversation with Trump. Buhari said he didn’t bring it up, and that he wasn’t sure of the “validity” of the remark, and therefore the “best thing” for him to do was “remain quiet.”
Trump interjected, saying that while the comment didn’t come up, “You do have some countries that are in very bad shape” — possibly a tacit admission that he had made the “shithole countries” remark.
The Nigerian president came to the U.S. to discuss his country’s economic interests with the U.S., as well as a joint effort to fight militant organizations such as Boko Haram.