From the moment he launched his candidacy by attacking Mexican immigrants as criminals, President Donald Trump has returned time and again to language that is racially charged and, to many, insensitive and highly offensive.
Whether it is a calculated strategy to appeal to less tolerant and broad-minded supporters or simply a filter-free chief executive saying what’s on his mind, the cycle is by now familiar: The president speaks, critics respond with outrage, and Trump’s defenders accuse his critics of hysterically overreacting.
The latest instance came Thursday, during a White House meeting with congressional lawmakers on immigration. Trump asked why the United States would accept immigrants from “shithole countries” in Africa and the Caribbean, rather than people from places like Norway, according to two people briefed on the meeting.
A glimpse at some of the president’s earlier provocations:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
– June 16, 2015, when Trump announced his campaign for president.
Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
– Dec. 7, 2015, at a South Carolina rally five days after the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attack.
“Look at my African-American over here. Look at him.”
– June 3, 2016, pointing to a black man surrounded by white Trump supporters at a campaign rally in Redding, Calif.
Trump said the Mexican ancestry of a federal judge born in Indiana should disqualify him from presiding over a fraud lawsuit against Trump because of his proposed border wall. After he called U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel “a member of a club or society very strongly pro-Mexican,” a reporter asked Trump whether he would also feel that a Muslim could not treat him fairly because of his proposed Muslim ban. “It’s possible, yes,” Trump said.
– June 5, 2016, in a CBS News interview.
“Our inner cities, African-Americans, Hispanics are living in hell because it’s so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.”
– Sept. 22, 2016, presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.
Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and Nigerian immigrants will never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
– June 2017, at Oval Office meeting, according to a New York Times report quoting unnamed officials. A White House spokeswoman denied the report.
“I think there is blame on both sides….You also had people that were very fine people on both sides. … Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
– Aug. 15, 2017, days after a woman was killed and dozens injured in Charlottesville, Va., after torch-bearing Ku Klux Klansmen and other white supremacists waving Confederate flags and chanting “Jews will not replace us” confronted counterprotesters over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.
“They’re trying to take away our culture. They’re trying to take away our history. And our weak leaders, they do it overnight. These things have been there for 150 years, for a hundred years. You go back to a university and it’s gone. Weak, weak people.”
– Aug. 22, 2017, at a rally in Phoenix, referring to the removal of Confederate monuments.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!'”
– Sept. 22, 2017, at a political rally in Alabama, where he denounced black football players who have taken a knee during the national anthem to protest racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.
“You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahantas.”
– Nov. 27, 2017, slur directed at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has claimed Native American heritage, in his remarks honoring Navajo veterans for their service in World War II.