An explosive report from The New York Times seemed to confirm the worst fears of many about Donald Trump — that he's a xenophobic racist with a deep resentments against those of African origin.
In an Oval Office meeting in June regarding his failed immigration bans, an incensed Trump lashed out at Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other top aides. Trump was specifically angered that thousands of foreigners had obtained visas during the first year of his presidency, even though he promised campaign supporters he would curtail immigration.
Reacting to a document that said 15,000 Haitians had received visas to the U.S. in 2017, Trump grumbled, "They all have AIDS." The New York Times attributes the quote to an anonymous source and another unnamed person told of the comment by someone else at the meeting.
Regarding the 40,000 Nigerians with visas, Trump said these people would never "go back to their huts" in Africa after experiencing the wealth of the U.S, according to the same people connected to the meeting.
Tillerson was reportedly frustrated by Trump's anger and accusations, but the president was backed up by his nativist adviser Stephen Miller and his chief of staff John Kelly, who, later in the year, unapologetically lied about and defamed Frederica Wilson, a prominent African-African congresswoman from Florida.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders unsurprisingly denied The New York Times report, saying Trump never uttered those racist phrases, but she did not challenge that the meeting took place.
"General Kelly, General (and National Security Adviser) McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, (Homeland Security) Secretary Nielsen, and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims and it's both sad and telling the New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous 'sources' anyway," Sanders said, according to CNN.
The Times report said Trump has long held contempt for immigrants, which is likely a surprise to few.