Nigerian President Mahammadu Buhari, the first leader from sub-Saharan Africa to visit President Trump in the White House, played the diplomat when questioned about his host’s reported “s–thole countries” remark.
Trump was excoriated in January after reports surfaced that the President, in an Oval Office about immigration, denigrated several African and Caribbean nations as “s–thole countries.”
Buhari, in town to discuss trade and security issues, took the high road, sparing Trump another round of s–thole headlines.
“Well, I’m very careful about what the press says about people other than myself,” Buhari said after being asked about the issue. “I’m not sure about the validity or whether that allegation against the President was true or not so the best thing for me is to keep quiet.
“We didn’t discuss it,” Trump chimed in, while Buhari chuckled. “And you do have some countries that are in very bad shape and very tough places to live in. 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 also did not deny using the term.
In January, Nigeria summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain the vulgar remarks.
The African Union also denounced the remarks saying they “dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity.” The AU also demanded a retraction of the comment and an apology.
Trump also offended Nigerians when he complained in December about the number of Nigerian immigrants in the U.S. According to reports, Trump said that once the Nigerians had seen the U.S. they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa.