- Thomson Reuters
- Two Republican Senators claim to have not heard President Trump saying that certain African and Latin American nations are “shithole” countries.
- Multiple reports and one Democratic senator have claimed Trump used the word.
Two Republican senators on Friday claimed to have not heard the comments by President Donald Trump that certain countries are a “shithole” compared to European ones.
In a joint statement, Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Purdue of Georgia said they did not recall Trump’s remarks.
“President Trump brought everyone to the table this week and listened to both sides. But regrettably, it seems that not everyone is committed to negotiating in good faith,” the statement said. “In regards to Senator Durbin’s accusation, we do not recall the President saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest.”
“We, along with the President, are committed to solving an issue many in Congress have failed to deliver on for decades,” they added.
The senators’ claim that they did not recall the comments is in contrast to what Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said of the meeting at the White House.
“You’ve seen the comments in the press – I have not read one of them that’s inaccurate,” Durbin said Friday. “To no surprise, the president started tweeting this morning denying that he using those words. It is not true. He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.”
Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, told the Post and Courier that Sen. Lindsey Graham, a fellow South Carolina Republican, had told him the reported comments were “basically accurate.”
Many lawmakers have condemned the comments as racist and unbecoming of the presidency. In addition, the president has denied the specific remarks, but added that he did use “tough” language.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”