Trump sends warmest regards to African leaders after sh*thole insult

US President Donald Trump today said he supports free trade but it has to be fair and reciprocal, as he reaffirmed his nuanced commitment to "America First" policy, saying it does not mean "America alone".

"The correspondence comes after Trump caused widespread outrage by reportedly referring to African nations as "shithole countries" in a bipartisan immigration meeting earlier this month".

As president, Trump said he would always protect the interests of his country, workers and companies. Others present insist he did.

The letter offers Trump's "deepest compliments" to the African leaders as they gather for Sunday's summit of their 55-nation continental body.

Trump told British journalist Piers Morgan that "I know nothing about" the Britain First group and "would certainly apologize, if you'd like me to do that". Please give my warmest regards.

For his part, Kagame tweeted: "Had very good bilateral meeting with @realDonaldTrump!"

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"Now is the flawless time to bring your business, your jobs, your investments to the United States", he said. Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster had said the two would discuss security and economic issues.

The 55-nation African Union chaired by Kagame demanded an apology, although Trump had denied making the remark as relayed by United States lawmakers that were present at the meeting. Dozens of former US ambassadors to African countries wrote to Trump expressing "deep concern" over his comments.

The State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, in trying to calm things down, has tweeted that "the United States will continue to robustly, enthusiastically and forcefully engage" with African countries.

"The letter - a copy of which was obtained by NBC News - is dated Thursday and was sent ahead of the African Union summit this weekend in Ethiopia", NBC reported Saturday. The U.S. will be represented at the gathering by Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, the U.S. envoy to the AU, instead of the traditional high-level Washington delegation.

Rwandan authorities have denied the charges. He has been praised for the country's economic growth, but human rights groups accuse his government of using state powers to silence opponents.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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