President Donald Trump suggested that a “pretty Korean lady,” a career intelligence analyst who was discussing an impending hostage situation in Pakistan with him in the Oval Office, be reassigned to North Korea.
The Korean American woman, who visited the White House last fall to brief Trump on a family being released by militants in Pakistan, was asked where “your people” were from by the president after grilling her on her ethnicity, according to NBC News.
The analyst, whose name has been withheld and is an expert in hostage policy, replied that she was originally from New York City.
But after admitting that both of her parents were from Korea, Trump reportedly asked an adviser why the “pretty Korean lady” was not negotiating with North Korea’s government on behalf of the United States.
The story comes just a day after he allegedly used the term “shithole” to describe Haiti, El Salvador and several countries in Africa during an immigration meeting with lawmakers on Thursday.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump asked, according to The Hill, adding why the U.S. wasn’t bringing more people in from countries like Norway.
Trump defended himself in a tweet on Friday, claiming that he did not say “anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.”
The president’s remarks attracted criticism from lawmakers, politicians on both sides of the aisle, and the media.
Following a Trump’s speech to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. journalist April Ryan, of American Urban Radio, accused him of racism, calling out, “Mr. President, are you a racist?”