SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

The remarkable Republican underreaction on 'shithole'

On Thursday afternoon, in a meeting on a potential deal on immigration, President Donald Trump disparaged immigrants ...

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 7:58 AM
Updated: Jan 14, 2018 7:58 AM

On Thursday afternoon, in a meeting on a potential deal on immigration, President Donald Trump disparaged immigrants from a numbers of countries including African nations and El Salvador.

No one -- not even Trump himself -- really disputes that.

The question appears to be whether Trump used the phrase "shithole countries" to describe these countries or whether he used some other coarse term. Trump tweeted Friday morning that "the language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used."

On the other hand, Sen Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who was in the meeting, said that Trump did, in fact, use the word "shithole" to describe the countries. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, seemed to confirm that report in a statement in which he said "following comments by the President, I said my piece directly to him yesterday."

(Two Trump allies -- Republicans Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia -- released a carefully-worded statement Friday;-"We do not recall the President saying these comments specifically," it read.")

Here's the thing: Anyone who knows anything -- including Republican congressional leaders -- knows that Trump either said the word "shithole" or something very, very like it. -And that his intent was clear: To question why immigrants from certain countries (African nations etc) were being let into the U.S. and not more immigrants from countries like Norway.

And yet, despite the fact that everyone in politics knows what Trump said (and meant), the response from Republican leaders was stunningly quiet.

Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump's comments "unfortunate [and] unhelpful" in an interview in Wisconsin. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said nothing as this newsletter went to press. Mitt Romney, the party's 2012 presidential nominee and a likely Utah Senate candidate in 2018 was also silent.

RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel failed to address the issue at all.

"I think the media chooses to focus on these distracting issues and not on the policies that are helping the American people," she said during a radio interview, according to Politico.

Not all Republicans were so quiet. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona put out statements condemning Trump's use of a slur to describe foreign countries.

But, they were isolated voices within a party that, yet again, was trying its best to pretend its putative leader didn't exist at all. ("Donald Trump? Name doesn't ring a bell!")

Which is odd. This feels like a no-brainer. The president of the United States disparaged immigrants from countries dominated by black and brown folks while asking why there weren't more immigrants coming to the US from an almost-totally white country.

It's pretty cut and dry. Apparently not to Republican leaders, however.

Read Friday's full edition of The Point.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 879645

Reported Deaths: 16982
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2893666877
Riverside640751272
San Bernardino597791021
Orange570711410
San Diego52735853
Kern33448410
Fresno30051429
Sacramento24425468
Santa Clara23355378
Alameda22738433
San Joaquin21187484
Contra Costa18157234
Stanislaus17341392
Tulare17120275
Ventura13901160
Imperial12475335
San Francisco11901133
Monterey1109183
San Mateo10810157
Santa Barbara9608119
Merced9314152
Sonoma8934129
Kings815983
Solano711774
Marin7019124
Madera488673
San Luis Obispo400932
Placer397852
Yolo307356
Butte301950
Santa Cruz270623
Napa188214
Sutter179612
Shasta172329
San Benito140314
El Dorado12834
Yuba125310
Mendocino110321
Tehama7748
Lassen7571
Lake67015
Glenn6393
Nevada5828
Humboldt5549
Colusa5456
Calaveras33317
Amador31316
Tuolumne2494
Inyo21515
Siskiyou1840
Mono1752
Del Norte1731
Mariposa782
Plumas540
Modoc270
Trinity230
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 69°
Paradise
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 49°
Red Bluff
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
Willows
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Gusty winds, hot temperatures, and dry conditions are prompting a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger today. Gusty winds will keep fire danger high through the end of the week, but a welcome cooling trend is on the way in your extended forecast.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events