CNN news host's emotional speech after Trump's alleged 's***hole' remarks

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1 NEWS | Associated Press

CNN news host Anderson Cooper has hit out at President Trump in an emotional speech in defence of Haiti after reports Trump questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from "s***hole countries" in Africa.

His remarks were allegedly made at an Oval Office meeting held on the eve of the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, one of the deadliest disasters in modern history.

The CNN anchor holds a close relationship with Haiti after he was one of the first foreign journalists to arrive and report on the devastating earthquake that killed thousands in 2010.  

"I want to take a moment to talk about Haiti, one of the places the President of the United States called a 'sh**hole country'", Mr Cooper started his speech live on air. 

He went on to talk about he witnessed in Haiti, stating the nation's people had "been through more, they've withstood more, they've fought back against more injustice than our President ever has."

"Like all countries, Haiti is a collection of people: it's rich and poor, well-educated and not, good and bad," he said. "But I've never met a Haitian who isn't strong."

When discussing the people he saw rescued after being trapped under rubble for days, Mr Cooper paused to take a moment as tears started to well up in his eyes. 

"Haitians slap your hand hard when they shake it. They look you in the eye. They don't blink. They stand tall and they have dignity. It's a dignity many in this White House could learn from. It's a dignity that this President, with all his money and all his power could learn from as well."

At first the White House did not deny that the remark was made. On Friday (local time) the President tweeted that his language was "tough" but insisted he did not say anything derogatory about Haiti aside from noting it's a poor country.

"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," Trump insisted in a series of Friday (local time) morning tweets. "What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA."

But Senator Dick Durbin, the only Democrat in the room, disputed the president's account.

"He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly," Mr Durbin said,

Mr Durbin added, "When the question was asked about Haitians ... he said, 'Haitians? Do we need more Haitians?'"

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