Friday, 14 December, 2018


Paul Ryan calls Trump's 'shithole countries' remark 'very unfortunate, unhelpful'

Drew Angerer  Getty Images North America Drew Angerer Getty Images North America
Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2018, 04:20

After President Donald Trump reportedly referred to African countries that benefit from the US visa lottery program as "shitholes", House Speaker Paul Ryan lightly rebuked the president on Friday, calling the comments "very unfortunate" and "unhelpful".

The Wisconsin Republican was asked about the remark during a Q&A event at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

"So, first thing that came to my mind: very unfortunate, unhelpful", Ryan said, adding that his own ancestors who immigrated to the United States from Ireland faced similar hostilities when they arrived in America.

"That is the story we have today and that is the story we had yesterday and that is what makes this is country so exceptional and unique in the first place", he said after describing how his great grandfather started a business now run by his cousins. "He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly".

"Ultimately, I think we should go to a merit-based immigration system", Ryan argued.

But after a tense White House meeting with lawmakers during which Trump was accused of using a racist slur, the negotiations took a sharp downward turn. The Washington Post reported Thursday that during a meeting about immigration reform, Trump made those comments and suggested he wanted to remove Haitian immigrants from the U.S.

While other Republicans have condemned the president's remarks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has not yet issued a response.

Speaker Ryan added that he remains committed to a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal aliens.

The speaker clarified that the immigration legislation will not be part of a government funding package that Congress will need to pass and that it'll be voted on separately. As a result, Ryan said he doubts there will be a government shutdown.

"No, I don't there there will be", he said.

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