On Thursday, the president was reported to have referred to countries including El Salvador, Haiti, and some African nations as “shithole countries.” Notably, the time in between the comments actually being made and them being leaked to the press was rather short — in other words, it may be that people behind the scenes are at least as repulsed by the president’s reported comments as the rest of us are.
One of the many to express revulsion at the news of the president’s alleged nasty comments is former FBI Director James Comey. Trump fired Comey in May of last year in what has widely — thanks in part to his own comments about the matter — been perceived as an effort to obstruct the Russia investigation, which Comey was leading at the time of his firing.
Even still, it’s not as though the president can make Comey fade into irrelevance that easily.
The now former justice official has apparently had a Twitter account for some time, but until recently, the name on the account was a pseudonym. More recently, however, Comey has publicly confirmed the account as his own and begun to tweet under his real name, earning lots of attention in the process.
Late Thursday, Comey took to Twitter to offer his take on Trump’s reported “sh*thole countries” commentary. As he framed it, Trump, in acting the way in which he has, has completely disconnected himself from the core of what makes America what it is — and what makes it truly “great,” too.
He included an excerpt from the famous poem by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed upon the base of the Statue of Liberty, writing:
‘“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” This country’s greatness and true genius lies in its diversity.’
The former FBI Director has a better idea of what must be understood by presidents of the United States than the actual president does.
The president has unsurprisingly denied making the comments in question — although the White House, when pressed, did not actually do so on Thursday. Even still, considering Trump’s history of both lying and racism, it’s not as though his denial should necessarily be taken all that seriously.
Early Friday, after having left the controversy alone for almost an entire day, Trump wrote, in part:
‘The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.’
Notably, even in the course of his comments supposedly denying that he’d made the alleged racist comments, he managed to fit in a jab at Haiti, writing that the country is “obviously a very poor and troubled country.”
This is not normal.
On Friday, notably, one of the lawmakers who had participated in the Thursday meeting in question backed up the press reports about what was said.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 12, 2018
This confirmation comes in addition to the fact that it’s not hard to imagine the president saying this in the first place considering his past behavior.
Check out Twitter’s response to Comey taking on the president’s latest display of racism below.
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