Senator Cory Booker blasted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for saying she didn’t hear President Trump refer to Haiti and parts of Africa as “shithole countries”
The New Jersey Democratic senator went into a tirade, claiming Nielsen denied hearing President Trump use the derogatory word during a meeting on immigration.
“The commander in chief in an Oval Office meeting referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most vile and vulgar language, that language festers,” Booker said. “When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicit in it, Booker said to Nielsen.
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During the hearing, Nielsen was asked if Trump used “shithole” or similar language to describe African countries during Trump’s immigration policy meeting a week ago. During the hearing, Nielsen said she “did not hear” President Trump say the word “shithole.” Nielsen said she wanted to “move forward” from discussing the language Trump used in a meeting that happened a week ago.
Cory Booker shakes hands with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 'Oversight of the United States Department of Homeland Security' on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Credit: Getty Images
Booker, appearing to be outraged shouted, “I hurt!” “When Dick Durbin called me, I had tears of rage when I heard about his experience in that meeting, and for you not to feel that hurt and that pain and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues … when tens of millions of Americas are hurting right now because of what they're worried about what happened in the White House, that's unacceptable to me! Booker said it was “unacceptable” that Nielsen said she didn’t recall Trump’s words.