Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Did he, didn't he? Trump denies 'shithole' remark, Democratic senator disagrees

"It's very frustrating", a senior White House aide told Politico.

"I can not believe that in the history of the White House and that Oval Office any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday", Durbin told the press.

The question came at a White House event honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The President did not answer.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday that "I said my piece directly" to President Donald Trump after he reportedly made derogatory comments about Haiti and Africa - though the South Carolina Republican did not say whether the president had made the "s**thole countries" remark.

The government said Trump should apologize if he made such comments, and summoned the top United States diplomat in the country for an explanation.

El Salvador on Friday slammed a comment attributed to US President Donald Trump reportedly calling it and other nations "shithole" countries and demanded an official US denial or clarification.

"Why do we need more Haitians?" the Washington Post quoted him as saying, citing people briefed on the meeting. "Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!" he said.

Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, described the president's words as "hateful, vile and racist".

Mr. Trump's comments were allegedly made on Thursday at a White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform.

"I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level", Trump noted, adding: "I want safety and security for our people". His bigotry cannot be hidden, and even the most staunch defenders of Trump can no longer legitimately state that he doesn't hold racist attitudes. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who was in the meeting, said the reports were correct.

On Friday, Trump seemingly denied using the widely reported offensive language.

Trump did not just call the countries shitholes.

"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used", he wrote.

Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Trump's alleged comments were "completely unacceptable", telling local media in Miami that "if that's not racism, I don't know how you can define it".

CNN host Anderson Cooper gave an emotional send-off to the people of Haiti in response to Trump's comments.

Vice President Joe Biden too felt compelled to challenge President Trump for his racist rhetoric saying 'We're better than this'.

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