Trump Risks Staff Departures, Jeopardizes Immigration Deal With 'Shithole' Comments

President Trump has landed himself back in the center of debate over whether he is personally racist, months after a handful of senior administration officials threatened to leave their posts over his muted response to a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The White House faced international backlash on Friday after Trump was accused of describing Haiti, El Salvador, and impoverished African nations as “shithole countries” during a White House discussion with lawmakers about which immigrants should continue to receive temporary protected status, or TPS, within the United States.

Congressional Republicans were quick to distance themselves from Trump’s remarks, with some blaming the president for jeopardizing bipartisan immigration reform talks at a critical moment for those who have been working feverishly to broker a deal that addresses recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"I think some of the outrage being expressed by Democrats is in an effort to get a better deal for their side," veteran GOP strategist Ford O'Connell told the Washington Examiner. "It would be better if he didn't denigrate specific countries, but if a deal is to be had, it's going to happen."

Meanwhile, O'Connell predicted that while there may be some "behind-the-scenes nervousness," the president's latest comments are unlikely to attract as much disapproval inside White House.

Read more from Gabby Morrongiello at the Washington Examiner

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