White House aides intended for President Donald Trump's Thursday interview with the Wall Street Journal to be a boon for the administration. His "sh*thole" comment, printed in The Washington Post the same time the Journal ran their piece, ruined those plans.
As Politico reported Friday, staffers felt the Journal's piece would "help drive the message" home that Trump has bolstered the economy with his tax bill.
The president, however, was "frustrated that an immigration deal would include protections for people from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries," and lashed out, calling them "sh*thole countries" and claiming he'd rather people come from places like Norway instead.
"It’s very frustrating,” a senior White House aide told Politico. “We keep going off the rails with this other stuff.”
As the administration attempted to "stabilize" and move the conversation away from the president's mental fitness, his comment welcomed detractions even from his allies. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the "sh*thole" comment was "very unfortunate" and "unhelpful," while the CEO of the pro-Trump media outlet Newsmax said that if the president indeed uttered the comment, it would be "not appropriate."