On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told NBC’s Meet the Press that racism charges directed at President Donald Trump are unfounded. Paul said on Meet the Press, “I think it’s unfair to sort of paint him, ‘oh well, he’s a racist,’ when I know for a fact that he cares very deeply about the people of Haiti because he helped finance a trip where they would get vision back for 200 people in Haiti.”
The interview with Paul followed several days of controversy over a rumor that President Trump had reportedly referred to Haiti and other African countries as “shithole countries.” He supposedly said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” The remarks came during a White House meeting that brought together members of the House and Senate of both parties to discuss border security and immigration reform, which Democrats have tied to the federal spending resolution that will expire on Friday.
On Sunday, Trump was asked by reporters to affirm that he is not a racist. “No. I’m not a racist,” he replied. “I’m the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.”
In August 2014, Sen. Paul (a practicing eye surgeon) and a medical team from the the University of Utah performed more than 100 surgeries in Guatemala and Haiti. Members of the media tagged along, including representatives of NBC and The Washington Post. At the time, media reports noted that Donald Trump contributed $10,000 to the effort.