April 30 (UPI) — U.S. President Donald Trump declined to apologize for derogatory remarks he made about African countries during a joint news conference with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.
Trump said there is no reason to apologize for the remarks described as “vile and racist” by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in January and referred to U.S. immigration policies as “a disaster.”
“They’re laughed at all over the world for their stupidity and we have to have strong immigration laws,” he said.
In response to the remarks, which Trump initially denied, Buhari said he is “very careful with what the press says about people other than myself.”
“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,” Buhari said.
Trump said the comments didn’t come up in his discussion with Buhari earlier in the day, adding some African countries are “very tough places to live in.”
“You do have some countries that are in very bad shape,” Trump said to Buhari. “The president [Buhari] knows me, and he knows where I’m coming from, and I appreciate that.”
Trump said he was moved and inspired by stories of Chibok schoolgirls rescued after being kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria and called for Congress to close “deadly immigration loopholes exploited by terrorists, traffickers and criminals.”
Trump also said he has been monitoring the caravan of Central American migrants making their way to the U.S.-Mexico border and again called for increased border security.
“We have to have changes in Congress and we have to have it quickly. We need a wall,” Trump said.
While discussing his threat to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, Trump said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegation that Iran is secretly pursuing a nuclear program has proven he’s been “100 percent right.”
“I’ve been saying that’s happening, they’re not siting back idly, they’re setting off missiles which they say are for television purposes, I don’t think so,” Trump said.
Trump said he would make a final decision on whether or not to pull out of the deal on May 12.
Trump added his stance on Iran’s nuclear program would also “send the right message” to North Korea, ahead of proposed talks with Pyongyang, which he suggested could be held in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
“Some people don’t like the look of that, some people like that very much,” he said. “There’s something I like about it because you’re there, you’re actually there where if things work out there’s a great celebration to be had on the site not in a third party country.”
Trump added he believes the discussions with North Korea will be a success and reiterated that he is willing to leave the talks.
“If its not a success, I will respectfully leave,” he said.