Sen. Cory Booker blasted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Tuesday for her selective amnesia surrounding President Donald Trump’s racist comments last week about Haiti and African nations.
Trump is facing international backlash for calling these nations “shithole countries” during a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform at the White House last week.
Nielsen, who was at the meeting, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she did not hear Trump use the term “s—thole” to describe these countries. She blamed “cross talk” for having missed the comment.
But Booker wasn’t having it, calling Nielsen out directly for her response.
“The commander-in-chief in an Oval Office meeting referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most vile and vulgar language, that language festers,” he said.
He added: “When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity.”
Booker was further set off when Nielsen tried to move on from the discussion.
”For you not to feel that hurt and that pain and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues, saying, ‘I’ve already answered that line of questions,’ when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now because of what they’re worried about happened in the White House, that’s unacceptable to me,“ he said.
Booker later explained his anger to CNN Tuesday night, saying that Trump’s comments were ”gut-churning.“
”It’s not the vulgarity. It’s definitely not the vulgarity. It’s the bigotry and the discrimination that comes from the mouth of the president that, in our climate today, causes damage,“ he said.