Anderson Cooper was on the verge of tears towards the end of his CNN show on Thursday night after slamming President Donald Trump's reported 's**thole countries' comments as 'racist'.
The CNN host said the president could learn something about 'dignity' from Haiti as he recalled his emotional coverage of the deadly earthquake on the Caribbean island eight years ago.
'The President of the United States is tired of so many black people coming to into this country,' the AC360 host told his audience Thursday night. 'Tired of immigrants from Haiti and Africa being allowed in.'
Cooper's statement was in reference to remarks the President reportedly made during a meeting held at the White House earlier in the day.
'Let me be clear.... the people of Haiti have been through more, withstood more, fought back against more injustice... than our President ever has' Anderson Cooper choked back tears as he reflected on his relationship with Haiti, and its people https://t.co/3arEalkKOM— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 12, 2018
Cooper's statement was in reference to remarks the President reportedly made during a meeting held at the White House earlier in the day
The CNN host could be seen fighting back tears as he recalled how he witnessed a 5-year-old Haitian boy being rescued after being buried for more than a week
'Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?,' two sources who attended the meeting told The Washington Post.
'Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,' he continued, lamenting the fact that more Norwegians were not coming into the country.
This file photo taken on September 7, 2017 shows a boy as he takes cover from the rain in the Shada neighborhood, in Cap-Haitien as Hurricane Irma approaches
'Let's not kid ourselves,' Cooper said. 'Let's not pretend or dance around it. The sentiment the President expressed today is a racist sentiment.'
During the emotional monologue, Copper recalled his many visits to Haiti, both as a reporter and tourist, since his first trip to the Caribbean island in the 1990s.
'Let me be clear … the people of Haiti have been through more, they've withstood more, they've fought back against more injustice than our President ever has,' Cooper said.
In 2010, Haiti was rocked by 7.0 magnitude earthquake that led to an estimated 200,000 deaths and the displacement of nearly a million more.
The CNN host could be seen fighting back tears as he recalled how he witnessed a 5-year-old Haitian boy being rescued from the rubble after being buried for more than a week, surviving on nothing but rainwater.
'Haitians slap your hand hard when they shake it, they look you in the eye — they don't blink. They stand tall and have dignity,' Cooper said.
'It's a dignity many in this White House could learn from. It's a dignity the President, with all his money and all his power, could learn from as well.'
His CNN colleague Don Lemon later said: 'The president of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that. There's other language I'd like to use, but we are on television.
'But you know what? They're not shocking. They're not even really surprising.
'Because this is who Donald Trump is, this is what he thinks. Apparently we have to go this repertoire every time he says something like this and exhibits some racist behavior.'
The White House didn't deny Trump made the vulgar comment when referring to Caribbean and African countries.
CNN reported that the outburst came at the private Oval Office meeting as Democratic senator Dick Durbin outlined a bipartisan immigration deal put together by six senators which they took to Trump for backing.
During the emotional monologue, Copper recalled his many visits to Haiti, both as a reporter and tourist, since his first trip to the Caribbean island in the 1990s. He is pictured reporting on the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010
In 2010, Haiti was rocked by 7.0 magnitude earthquake that led to an estimated 200,000 deaths and the displacement of nearly a million moreTRUMP ASKS WHY PEOPLE FROM 'S**THOLE' COUNTRIES ARE COMING TO AMERICA
President Donald Trump, frustrated with America's continued responsibility for immigrants fleeing Third World natural disasters, asked members of Congress Thursday in vulgar terms why the United States had to shoulder such a burden.
'Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?' Trump said, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting and then leaked the comment to The Washington Post .
Trump was reportedly speaking about Haitians and citizens of various African nations.
President Donald Trump reportedly told lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office that he was mystified about why the U.S. imports people from 's***hole countries' in the Third World
'Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,' he told people in the meeting, according to CNN .
Instead, he said, the US should seek to assimilate people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met with a day earlier. Unlike Haiti and all the nations of Africa, Norway is both a NATO member and a stalwart US ally.
The outburst came at the private Oval Office meeting as Democratic senator Dick Durbin outlined a bipartisan immigration deal put together by six senators which they took to Trump for backing.
Durbin, the Democratic senator who is minority whip, was outlining his proposal in which the visa lottery system, of which Trump has been a fierce critic, would be ended in return for 'temporary protected status', known as TPS, resuming for El Salvador and Haiti.
Trump has moved to end it for immigrants from those countries but as Durbin went through a list of countries which would gain TPS under the deal, he reached Haiti and 'Trump asked why the US wants more people from Haiti and African countries'.
'S***HOLE COUNTRY': shows people walking past a street damaged by Hurricane Matthew, in Jeremie, in western Haiti. The country's perilous state had meant its citizens have temporary protected status in the U.S. - apparently one of the causes of Trump's extraordinary outburst - which is now being rescinded
TROUBLED: Members of the MS-13 gang, notorious for its brutality, detained in San Salvador, one of the many troubles the country is suffering from
The White House issued a needle-threading statement on immigration policy Thursday afternoon, while not denying the story's accuracy.
'Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,' deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in the statement. 'The President will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration – two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country.'
'Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation,' Shah added.
'He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.'
Policy squabbles notwithstanding, Trump's comments shocked senators from both major parties.
NATO PARADISE: Trump told senators that instead of importing immigrants from the Third World, America should seek out people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister Erna Solberg he met Wednesday at the White HouseIMMIGRATION FROM HAITI, AND EL SALVADOR, WHICH TRUMP CALLED 'S***HOLES'
Until November, Haitians had 'temporary protected status', or TPS, which means hey are not subject to removal even if they have no other legal status.
It was introduced after the devastating 2010 earthquake, which shattered the country and killed 230,000 people.
But that status is ending, with the change to take effect on July 22 2019, which will force all Haitians who have the status to either find a legal way to stay or face deportation.
The total number of people affected is estimated at 46,000 but that may be a significant under-estimate.
Already large numbers of Haitians have fled to Canada, generating a mini-crisis there last year as it dealt with arrivals at its border crossings.
Haiti, however, is itself in bad shape. It is by far the poorest country in the Americas, and rated 209th poorest country in the world, out of 230 in total, putting it below Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
Unemployment is 40 per cent, and less than a third of the workforce have formal jobs, while the economy is still recovering from the latest massive natural disaster, Hurricane Mathtew, which hit in 2016.
Other statistics are also appalling: illiteracy is as high as 40 per cent, average per capita income has been estimated at $400 per person, and even though the country's debt was canceled in 2010, it has already reached more than $2 billion, mostly owed to Venezuela.
A mass arrival of tens of thousands from the U.S. would be doubly bad news, economists say, as there are no jobs for them and the cash from remittances which they sent has become a key part of the economy.
El Salvadorans have had TPS since 2001, when an earthquake similar to Haiti's hit an already troubled country.
It had never truly recovered from the 12-year-long civil war which started in 1980 and killed an estimated 75,000, and January 2001's earthquake and the mudslides it triggered caused more havoc.
The death toll was less than 1,000, but up to a quarter of a million homes and buildings were destroyed or damaged and the country lost half its economic output.
In total, an estimated 250,000 El Salvadorans are in the U.S. on TPS, compared to a population of 6.1 million - making their remittances once of the key sources of foreign cash. In total remittances from all emigrants account for a fifth of its gross domestic product.
Compared to Haiti, El Salvador is far wealthier, ranking 143rd in the world on wealth, and literacy rates are far higher, but it is scarred by gang crime which makes it one of the world's most dangerous places.
There were 81.2 murders for every 100,000 people in 2016, the highest casualty rate outside a war zone anywhere in the world. In 2016, there were 5,200 murders.
In comparison, the U.S. had 17,25 murders in 2016, a rate of 5.3 per 100,000. The rate in Norway - where Trump welcome arrivals from - was 0.6 per 100,000 in 2015.
The most notorious in the U.S. is MS-13, which ironically originated in Los Angeles, as did its rival M-18.
Their bitter rivalry fueled the murder rate and also overshadows the criminal justice system, with police constantly in the crossfire.