After President Donald Trump denied that he had referred to Haiti and African countries as “shithole countries,” Senator Dick Durbin fired back.
Durbin, who had been in the meeting where the comments were made, said that Trump’s denial was simply “not true.”
“In the course of his comments, [Trump] said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist,” the Democrat from Illinois told reporters on Friday. “I cannot believe in this history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”
“You’ve seen the comments in the press,” Durbin added. “I’ve not seen one of them that’s inaccurate. To no surprise, the President started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words. It is not true. He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 12, 2018
Durbin’s comments come after Trump took to Twitter on Friday to defend himself against the story.
“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!” the president tweeted.
‘Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?’
In a meeting on immigration on Thursday, Trump used damning language in reference to immigrants from Africa, Haiti and other “shithole countries.”
“Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” Trump told a bipartisan group of senators in the Oval Office, according to the Washington Post and CNN.
The president’s comment was made during a meeting with six senators hoping to come to a compromise on immigration.
After Durbin had proposed to end the visa lottery in exchange for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for countries like El Salvador, Trump reportedly interrupted him when Durbin got to Haiti.
Trump went on to ask why the US would want more people from Haiti and African countries, rather than countries like Norway. The president also asked if Haiti could be left out of the plan, reports the New York Times, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”