Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives US Vice President Mike Pence (L) during an official welcome ceremony at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, 22 January 2018.
Ilia Yefimovich—Ilia Yefimovich/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
By Associated Press
January 22, 2018

(JERUSALEM) — Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump on the president’s disparaging comments about immigrants from Africa and Haiti.

Pence tells The Associated Press in an interview in Jerusalem that he “knows the president’s heart.” He says Trump is determined to implement a merit-based system that encourages immigration by those who will “contribute to a growing American economy and thriving communities” and one that does not take into account the immigrants’ “race or creed.”

Pence made the comments during an interview Monday while on a four-day tour of the Middle East.

He was responding to reports that Trump last week in a private meeting made vulgar and disparaging remarks about immigration from countries in Africa and Haiti and said the U.S. should welcome more immigration from countries like Norway.

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