Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) confirmed Friday that President Donald Trump did refer to Haiti and African countries as “shithole countries” during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers discussing immigration reform Thursday.
Trump had denied using the word “shithole.”
“He used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from shitholes,” Durbin told reporters Friday morning. “The exact word used by the President. Not just once, but repeatedly.”
“He said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist,” Durbin continued. “I use those words advisably, I understand how powerful they are. … You’ve seen the comments in the press. I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate.”
“To no surprise, the President started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words,” Durbin said. “It is not true. He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly.”
Durbin said Trump not only called countries in Africa “shithole(s),” but also that he asked, “do we need more Haitians?” That was during a discussion of groups that have temporary protected status in the U.S. due to disasters or political upheaval in their home countries.
— Mike Puccinelli (@MPuccinelliCBS2) January 12, 2018
Durbin is the first member of Congress to publicly confirm that the President used the term “shithole.”
Trump had tweeted Friday morning denying he used that specific word.
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
In a statement Thursday evening, the White House did not challenge reports from The Washington Post and The New York Times about Trump’s language, but rather defended the President’s stance on striking merit-based immigration deal with lawmakers.
White House sources have also told reporters off the record that they think the President’s comments will please his base.