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Why I didn’t discuss ‘shithole’ comment with Trump – Buhari

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US President Donald Trump and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari shake hands as they take part in a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 30, 2018, in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari Monday said he avoided bringing up President Donald Trump’s alleged vulgar remarks about African countries when the two presidents met today at the White House because he was not sure his American counterpart truly made comment.

Buhari, the first sub-Saharan Africa president to meet Trump since he was sworn in January 2017, is currently in the US for bilateral talks on the invitation of the American president.

“I am not sure about the validity or whether that allegation against the President was true or not, so the best thing to do for me is to keep quiet,” Buhari said during a joint press conference with Trump at the Rose Garden at the White House.

Trump came under fire early in the year after he reportedly called some African countries ‘shithole’ at a private White House meeting on January 12. But he denied making the comment and labelled his accusers as fake news peddlers.

“We didn’t discuss it, because the president knows me, and he knows where I’m coming from and I appreciate that. We did not discuss it,” Trump said.

He, however, insisted that there are “some countries that are in very bad shape and very tough places to live in.”

Although he doubled down on that denial during the press conference – though not in clear terms -, a former director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the White House under Trump confirmed that the American president’s shithole comment.

“President @MBuhari FYI he said it,” she tweeted.


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