2018-04-30 17:11:12 UTC
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump welcomed the first leader from
sub-Saharan Africa to the White House on Monday nearly 15 months into his term.
The discussions with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari were likely to center
around security challenges, including the nearly decade-long insurgency by Boko
Haram terrorists in Nigeria's northeast. But the meeting's tricky subtext is
Trump's broader view of Africa, including his description of some African
nations as "shithole countries" during a private meeting early this year.
Trump denied making the comment, though acknowledged in a tweet he had used
"tough" language in the meeting, which was about immigration. He insisted to
reporters afterward that he wasn't a racist.
The crude remark, along with another reported conversation in which Trump mused
Nigerians wouldn't want to return to their "huts" if they came to the US, remain
the President's most well-known views of Africa, a place he talks about rarely
and hasn't visited.
The White House hopes Monday's meeting will help shift those perceptions, at
least slightly. The two leaders held talks in the Oval Office before moving to a
working lunch. They'll take questions from reporters at a joint news conference
in the afternoon.
"We have many things that we do together, as you know, especially on terrorism,
terrorism-related," Trump said in the Oval Office before the meeting began. "I
look forward to our discussion today, very important, again, especially as it
relates to terrorism. That's terrorism here and terrorism all over the world.
It's a hotbed, and we're going to be stopping that."