Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | former ambassador | thomas pickering | nonwhite countries | affected | trump remark

Fmr. Amb. Pickering: Nonwhite Countries 'Affected' by Trump Remark

Image: Fmr. Amb. Pickering: Nonwhite Countries 'Affected' by Trump Remark
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By    |   Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:01 PM

President Donald Trump's reported comments about Haiti and other African nations will cause harm to U.S. relationships with other countries, said Thomas Pickering, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Russia and India, on CNN Tuesday.

"All countries that, in fact, were non-lily white have been affected in a serious way by what is clearly not just a diplomatic gaffe, but what looks like a racist, studied insult… I was ambassador both in Nigeria and El Salvador, and from my personal experience in both of those countries, I can tell you they are outraged," Pickering said Tuesday on CNN's "New Day."

Trump has come under fire for using a vulgar term to refer to Haiti and other African nations during a meeting about immigration last week.

"Our vital interests are at stake here… the whole range of questions that we have to deal with on the international scene are affected by how our president describes our relationships and our attitude toward their countries."

"He speaks not just for himself, but the whole United States," the former ambassador added.

Pickering said that he hopes other countries know that the U.S. does not have racist views. "Hopefully our friends will know and understand that we are not a racist country, that we are struggling with this deep problem, that we haven't got a final, clear, obviously perfect answer to that problem, but that struggle goes on, despite what the president has said of an insulting character to developing countries and countries that are clearly not white dominated."

Statements from leaders such as Trump's reported comment "cannot and will not in any way at all convince anybody that we have a country here that is going to be a leader in the international community," Pickering said.

"We are in the problem creation mode, unfortunately, and that has had a very deleterious impact on our international standing and on our capacity to deliver as the leader of the free world," he added.

Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a Senate hearing Tuesday that a number of people in the room were using profanity.

"I don't remember a specific word," Nielsen said.

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President Donald Trump's reported comments about Haiti and other African nations will cause harm to U.S. relationships with other countries, said Thomas Pickering, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Russia, and India, on CNN Tuesday.
former ambassador, thomas pickering, nonwhite countries, affected, trump remark
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2018-01-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:01 PM
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