Metro Weekly

Mark Pocan: Why do we allow presidents from “shithole organizations” like Trump Org?

Openly gay congressman responds to reports that Trump complained about accepting immigrants from "shithole countries"

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan — Photo: Todd Franson

On Thursday, openly gay Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) fired back at President Trump on Twitter in response to reports that Trump made a racist remark about accepting immigrants from “shithole countries.”

“The real question is why we allow presidents from sh*thole companies like the Trump Organization?” Pocan tweeted, linking to the initial story from The Washington Post.

The Post reported earlier in the day that Trump made the comment during a meeting at the White House with lawmakers from Capitol Hill to discuss restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as part of a bipartisan immigration deal.

According to two people briefed on the meeting, Trump allegedly said: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” He then suggested that the United States should seek to attract immigrants from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met on Wednesday.

The comments reportedly caught lawmakers in attendance off guard. A White House spokesman later defended the president’s stance without directly addressing the comments

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”

Defenders of the president immediately attacked the congressman on Twitter, with The Daily Ire, a pro-Trump “news” website, referring to the Post story as “fake news.”

Another Twitter user accused Pocan of being “jealous” and put up the hashtag #BetaBitches, a popular right-wing turn of phrase used to insult men who do not support Trump or right-wing populism, by claiming they are not “alpha males.” Others claimed the congressman needed a “safe space,” a well-worn trope to make fun of people who ascribe to political correctness, or called Pocan an “asshole.”

Pocan was not the only lawmaker to respond to Trump, though he was the one using the most offensive language against the president. U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) issued her own response, calling Trump a “vile stain on our country’s reputation.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the key proponents of investigating whether Trump and his staff colluded with Russian authorities in order to win the presidency, said it would be better if Trump watched cartoons instead of Fox News.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at