Since becoming President of the United States of America last year, Donald Trump has had a fraught relationship with numerous countries around the world, from his “Muslim ban” to his provocative tweets towards North Korea. He turned things up a gear this week, however, by apparently referring to several countries around the world as “s***hole countries”.
El Salvador, Haiti and unspecified “African nations” were the targets of his outburst, according to the Washington Post.
However, his history of insulting other nations is a lengthy one. Here’s what he’s said about places that aren’t the United States of America.
Trump said: “s***hole” (allegedly; January 2018)
The reality: impoverished by almost two centuries of paying reparations to the French for kicking out their colonial rulers, and ravaged by the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew, Haiti is a troubled country – but a beautiful one.
The first black republic in the world is home to deserted Caribbean beaches and astonishing ruins like the Sanssouci Palace near Cap-Haitien.
The Independent last year called capital city Port-au-Prince an “intoxicating mix of music, gingerbread architecture and colourful art”.
Trump said: “We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant.” (December 2015, MSNBC)
The reality: the UK capital continues to draw visitors in their millions due to its free museums, gorgeous inner-city parks, rich historical attractions and world-class dining.
Trump said: “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, I will send in the Feds!” (Twitter, January 2017)
The reality: the Windy City is one of the liveliest, most diverse cities in the world, and a popular destination for tourists. It’s famed for its Chicago Bulls basketball team, Cubs baseballers, festivals and music scene. Home to Oprah Winfrey, the city has given the world numerous cultural icons, from Robin Williams to Kanye West.
Trump said: “As I have long been saying, South Africa is a total – and very dangerous – mess”. (Twitter, April 2015)
The reality: though its crime rate is, admittedly, high, South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, from Table Mountain in the south to Kruger National Park in the north. With coastline, exciting cities and the Big Five in its parks, there’s little wonder it’s a popular honeymoon destination.
Trump said: “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden – Sweden – who would believe this? Sweden? They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.” (February 2017, campaign rally)
The reality: one of the most socially progressive countries in the world, Sweden is popular with visitors for its bohemian capital Stockholm, friendly people and stunning natural parks such as Sonfjallet National Park, where lucky visitors may run into elk and lynxes.
Trump said: “s***holes” (allegedly; January 2018)
The reality: El Salvador has a rich culture, with beautiful cathedrals and churches such as the Iglesia El Rosario and a lively bar and café scene in capital city San Salvador.
Trump said: before and during his presidential campaign, Trump referred to Mexicans in various negative ways, calling them “rapists”, criminals, drug traffickers and “bad hombres”.
The reality: Mexico’s Baja California was voted one of Lonely Planet’s Best Value destinations for 2018. While tourists are advised to avoid certain areas of the country, much of it is safe to explore, including thriving Mexico City and Guadalajara.
Trump said: in November 2017, Trump’s anti-immigrant policies saw him announce plans to end special immigration status to over 5,000 Nicaraguans.
The reality: the Central American country is popular for adventure tourism and its natural beauty, with 78 protected areas and verdant national parks.
There are 54 countries in Africa, as recognised by the UN. All s***holes? Here are two: you be the judge.
Here’s Rwanda, one of the greenest countries in the world; famous for its lush mountains and gorilla inhabitants.
Capital Kigali is gaining a reputation as a luxury destination.
And here’s Morocco, in North Africa, known for its bustling souks, rich history and World Heritage sites including the Medina of Marrakech and the historic city of Meknes.