President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed protections for immigrants from "s**thole" countries during an Oval Office meeting about a bipartisan immigration deal, The Washington Post reported.
The Post, citing two unnamed sources briefed on the meeting, reported the president became frustrated with lawmakers when they floated the idea of restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as part of a deal.
"Why are we having all these people from s**thole countries come here?" Trump said, the Post reported, referring to African countries and Haiti.
He suggested the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, the Post reported; Trump met with the prime minister Wednesday.
A White House official said Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., had proposed cutting the visa lottery program by 50 percent — and prioritizing countries already in the system, the Post reported.
But the president's crude slam left lawmakers at the meeting taken aback.
A White House spokesman declined to comment.
In the Oval Office talks, lawmakers had outlined a potential bipartisan deal in discussions about restoring protections for countries that have been removed from the temporary protected status program while adding $1.5 billion for a border wall and making changes to the visa lottery system, the Post reported.
The administration announced earlier this week it was removing the protection for El Salvador, possibly affecting some 200,000 residents.
Trump had seemed amenable to a deal earlier in Thursday, aides said told the Post — but did not seem interested in the Oval Office talks.
Meanwhile, the Post reported Graham and Durbin thought they would be meeting with Trump alone about the deal, and were surprised immigration hard-liners like Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., were included.
After the meeting, Marc Short, Trump's legislative aide, said the White House was nowhere near a bipartisan deal on immigration, the Post reported.
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