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BRIAN KIERAN
BRIAN KIERAN

“Stranger Things” is a popular fantasy/horror television show distributed by Netflix that tells a story about secret government experiments into the paranormal and supernatural that accidently open a portal into an alternate dimension called “the upside down,” an alternate universe populated by ghastly and deadly creatures. The story is set in Hawkins, Indiana which becomes affected by the “upside down” in terrible ways.

I would like to stop writing about the White House and Washington, D.C. but every week stranger things said or done by Mr. Trump force a return to the “upside down” world that the president has created in our nation’s capital.

“Hate-filled, vile, and racist,” “insulting and reprehensible,” and “shocking and shameful” are some of the words used to describe Mr. Trump’s question about why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “s—hole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway while he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal during a meeting in the White House.

The comment is divisive and racist, and does not reflect the values upon which our society has been built. Our society has moved beyond discrimination and racism and has rewarded diverse immigrants with opportunity while being repaid with hard work and exemplary citizenship in return.

We are a great nation of diverse peoples who come together for the fulfillment of the American dream and those many peoples come together as one for the good of the nation.

Mr. Trump has belatedly denied his comment in a tweet but only after it was reported by  CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC and NBC as well as other news sources.

Trump said in the tweet that he used tough language to reflect his position that the United States should change its immigration policies, and that Haiti is a poor country. The denial is not credible.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who attended the meeting, reported, “I’ve seen the comments in the press. I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate.” This is just another example of Trumpian dissembling and misdirection when confronted with an embarrassing truth. He uses resentment and racial division for political advantage and his contemptible comment is just another attempt to stoke the fires of hatred for his benefit.

Senator Durbin said that Trump made the “hateful” remarks. In addition, Senator Tim Scott reported that he spoke with fellow South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham about the “s—hole countries” comment and Graham confirmed to him that the president had said it.

Mr. Graham was sitting next to Mr. Trump at the meeting. Graham, Scott said, told him the reported comments are “basically accurate.” If true, then the denial is a lie.

Speaker Paul Ryan  (R-Wis.) called President Trump’s “s—hole countries” remarks “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful” while noting his ancestors immigrated from Ireland and faced discrimination in America.

Republican Representative Mia Love of Utah, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, said Mr. Trump’s comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly failed to condemn racist and divisive comments and actions during his first year in office. Mr. Trump, when faced with an embarrassing truth, has no compunction about lying about it. That may work in an upside down world but it will not work in America.

In his never-ending campaign of bizarre misdirection, Mr. Trump, earlier that day, spoke to The Wall Street Journal to claim that he had developed a positive relationship with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un.

He said, “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”  He refused to confirm if he has communicated with Kim and said, “I just don’t want to comment.”  This is good stuff for a television show but it is no good for a nation of laws and principles.

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