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Trump sends clarification letter to African leaders amid 'shithole' scandal

Trump sends clarification letter to African leaders amid 'shithole' scandal

The missive, sent after Trump reportedly referred to African nations as "shithole countries", addressed leaders ahead of the African Union summit being held this weekend in Ethiopia.

On January 13, Trump had "questioned" why the U.S. only accepted immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, during a meeting at the Oval Office in White House to discuss reforming the country's immigration policy. Trump reportedly said, in a reference to African nations and Haiti.

U.S. diplomats have scrambled for days to address shock and condemnation after Trump's reported description of African nations "s****hole countries". Many in Africa were taken aback, especially considering the Trump administration has paid little attention to the continent throughout the first year in power.

The President insisted in the letter that the U.S.

He said the U.S. supports AU's fight against terrorism, something he said will collectively improve air transport security, foster better trade between the United States and the African continent and safeguard legal immigration.

The letter does not include details about Tillerson's upcoming visit.

Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said: "It is expected that the 36th Session of the NEPAD heads of state meeting will convene on the margins of the summit". The Rwandan government said Kagame had "observed that numerous world's fastest-growing economies are in Africa".

Trump's vulgar comments, which he has denied, caused widespread outrage.

An AU spokeswoman has said the organization was "frankly alarmed" by Trump's remark, and a number of African nations have spoken out or summoned USA diplomats for an explanation.

In the letter to the AU, Trump goes personal and even compliments individual AU leaders for their good leadership.

The U.S. will be represented at the gathering by Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, the U.S. envoy to the AU, instead of the traditional high-level Washington delegation. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, however, countered by expressing his love for Trump and saying he should be praised for not mincing his words.

US diplomats have scrambled to clean up the mess Trump made with his comments.

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