Republicans in immigrant-rich Florida scramble in wake of Trump's vulgar remark

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was equally critical of her onetime rival in last year's presidential campaign and the U.S. ambassador to Panama has tendered his resignation amid the ongoing scandal.

Initially, the White House did not deny Trump's racially charged comments, but Trump claimed today he did not utter such disparaging words during a recent meeting at the Oval Office.

In response, the White House defended Trump's position on immigration.

For Haitian immigrants, enormous problems also persist.

Trump's words, as widely reported, cast the homelands of people from Haiti, El Salvador and poor African nations as "shithole countries" during a discussion Thursday at the White House on immigration.

Trump allegedly said our nation should be taking more refugees from wealthier nations such as Norway.

James Hunder, the president of the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont, said he was surprised that Trump made the vulgar remark. The President and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel.

US Ambassador Robert "Woody" Johnson - a Trump appointee - also explained in an article for the Evening Standard the decision to move the embassy was made in 2008 because of security fears after 9/11. "I think it fundamentally poisons the relationship with numerous countries".

But the government of Haiti which Friday marked the eighth anniversary of a devastating quake that killed at least 200,000 people declared itself "outraged and shocked" by the "racist" slur.

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U.S. President Donald Trump (right) listens as U.S. Senator Dick Durbin speaks during a bipartisan meeting with legislators on immigration reform at the White House in Washington on January 9, 2018.

The group called for a retraction and apology, and also expressed concern at what it described as the "growing trend from the USA administration" to "denigrate the continent and people of color".

Instead, Cuomo lauded the United States for welcoming all "no matter what race, what color, what creed, what income level, what education level", and as an experiment that's worked well. "We are enraged, but the pain that we went to bed with" on learning of those remarks "woke us up with actions to be taken". Many advocates said the comments shed light on why the Trump administration last fall stripped Haitians of Temporary Protected Status - specialized protection granted to people from countries experiencing significant turmoil - in which it would be unsafe for its citizens to return.

Trump's language triggered a barrage of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

"We sent guidance to our folks and told them that we must reiterate that we have great respect for the people of Africa and all nations, and our commitment remains strong", he said.

Now Haitians and other immigrants are urging compassion from the United States leader. "So I don't believe in him", Brhe told ABC11.

Some Republicans were also plainly unhappy, with House Speaker Paul Ryan describing the reported comments as "very unfortunate" and "unhelpful".

El Salvador's foreign ministry said the USA president had "implicitly" accepted the use of "harsh terms detrimental to the dignity of El Salvador and other countries".

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