The head of a large Christian university in the US has defended...
US President Donald Trump has distanced himself from accusations that he’s racist by celebrating equality while honouring Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
On Friday at the White House, Mr Trump signed a proclamation honouring MLK.
In the ceremony celebrating MLK’s birthday, the US president highlighted how the civil rights activist followed in his grandfather’s footsteps to become a “Christian pastor” and preached “love for each other, for neighbours, and for our fellow Americans”.
Today, it was my great honor to proclaim January 15, 2018, as Martin Luther King Jr., Federal Holiday. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community, and service activities in honor of Dr. King's life and legacy. pic.twitter.com/samlJsz1Nt— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
According to the White House press office, Mr Trump added: “Today, we celebrate Dr. King for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the colour of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by God.”
The president’s comments come after mass criticism of alleged racist language at a bi-partisan immigration meeting on Thursday.
There are several claims that Mr Trump used vulgar language to reject an immigration bill, asking why the US would take in more people from Haiti and *expletive* “countries” in Africa.
I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday. President Trump said things that were hate-filled, vile, and racist. He used those words repeatedly. pic.twitter.com/6gHW5cLVvU— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) January 12, 2018
The African group of ambassadors to the United Nations have issued a statement condemning the "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks" and demanded a retraction and apology.
Mr Trump has denied using such language.
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said "take them out." Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
The group’s new statement expresses concern over the Trump administration's apparent increasing denigration of Africa "and people of colour".