Frustrated at protests by Native Americans of various oil pipelines set to be built across Native lands and precious water sources, United States President Donald Trump tweeted that discontented Native Americans "should go back to the totally broken and crime-infested country from which they came."
The tweet produced a firestorm of political controversy, leaving many Americans bewildered as to exactly what the president had meant by his remark. Nevertheless, when confronted by journalists who questioned whether he realized what he'd actually said, Trump defended his vitriolic Twitter post. "I meant every word, and then some," he said. And "I'll say it again: if Native Americans don't like it here, they can go back to where they came from - immediately."
And, while some labeled his remarks ignorant at best, and racist at worst, Trump himself denied such assertions. "Why is that racist?" he said. "What's wrong with wanting them to be happy?"
At the same time, Trump noted that he wasn't surprised that his tweet had disconcerted or even baffled some Americans. "People aren't used to hearing straight talk from politicians," he said. "I can see why they might be a little confused."