Many Norwegians rejected on Friday a suggestion by U.S. President Donald Trump in which they would certainly be more welcome to move to the United States than immigrants coming from “shithole countries” such as Haiti or African nations.
The Nordic country, one of the richest inside planet by GDP per capita, was last year named the happiest nation on the planet in addition to also is actually known for a cradle-to-grave welfare state funded in part by large reserves of oil in addition to also natural gas.
Trump mentioned Norway in derogatory comments about various other countries of migration as U.S. senators briefed him on Thursday on a newly drafted bipartisan immigration bill, according to two sources who asked not to be identified.
One of the sources who was briefed on the conversation quoted him as saying: “Why do we want all these people coming from Africa here? They’re shithole countries … We should have more people coming from Norway.”
In one of several Twitter posts on Friday,
Trump defended his stance on a bipartisan Senate immigration deal, however denied using the vulgar language ascribed to him.
“The language used by me at the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) meeting was tough, however This kind of was not the language used,” he said. He also later denied using derogatory language about Haitians.
“On behalf of Norway: Thanks, however no thanks,” tweeted Torbjoern Saetre, a politician representing Norway’s Conservative Party in a municipality near Oslo.
Others condemned the U.S. president’s comments as inappropriate or racist.
“We are not coming. Cheers coming from Norway,” one woman wrote.
While hundreds of thousands of Norwegians emigrated to the U.S. inside 19th century, just 502 out of a population of 5.3 million people moved there in 2016, down 59 coming from the previous year, according to Statistics Norway.
“Will there be more today?” the statistics agency asked in a tweet.
Government officials, seeking to deflect attention, turned down a chance to comment. “We respectfully decline the opportunity,” one government official said when contacted by Reuters.
The reference to Norway may have been prompted by Prime Minister Erna Solberg who visited the White House on Wednesday when the president praised Norway for running a trade deficit with the United States in addition to also for buying U.S. military equipment.
Christian Christensen, an American professor of journalism at Stockholm University in neighboring Sweden, tweeted:
“Of course people coming from #Norway would certainly love to move to a country where people are far more likely to be shot, live in poverty, get no healthcare because they’re poor, get no paid parental leave or subsidized daycare in addition to also see fewer women in political power. #Shithole”
Before the “shithole” controversy, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt tweeted in which, judging by Solberg’s visit, “keys to success with Trump is actually personal charm, a solid trade deficit with the U.S. in addition to also buying tons of U.S. military hardware.”
Solberg, whose office also declined to comment on Trump’s remarks, is actually supposed to announce soon an expansion of her cabinet to include Norway’s Liberal Party, a centrist group in which favors strong environmental policies in addition to also more immigration.
“The first point of order inside completely new government declaration: Norway will still not be a shithole country,” tweeted Kjetil Alstadheim, the political editor of financial daily Dagens Naeringsliv.