President Donald Trump ranted against immigrants of color during an Oval Office meeting with controversial policy adviser Stephen Miller, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Citing six officials who attended the meeting or were briefed about it, The Times explains Trump was outraged after seeing a document showing the number of visas granted by country during the first five months of his administration.
They "all have AIDS" the commander in chief allegedly said about the 15,000 Haitian visas.
Trump also complained about 40,000 Nigerian visas, predicting none would "go back to their huts" after seeing the United States.
John Kelly, the current White House chief of staff, was then the secretary of homeland security and asked that the room be cleared of staff, but aides could still hear the president yelling from behind the closed door.
The White House lashed out at The Times for the report.
“General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed in a Saturday statement. “It’s both sad and telling The New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous ‘sources’ anyway.”
Despite the White House denials, immigrant rights advocates worry the episode is just the latest sign of President Trump's alleged racism.
“He’s basically saying, ‘You people of color coming to America seeking the American dream are a threat to the white people.' He’s come into office with an aggressive strategy of trying to reverse the demographic changes underway in America," explained Frank Sharry, the executive director of America's Voice.