Donald Trump repeatedly called African nations ‘shitholes,’ senator says
Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin said U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly called African nations “shitholes” during a meeting with congressional leaders on Thursday.
During the meeting, Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and Africa rather than places like Norway.
WATCH: Trump denies he made racist ‘shithole countries’ comment during immigration meeting
The president had been discussing a potential deal with a team of senators that would have restored protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries, the Washington Post and others reported Thursday night.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump asked senators.
“Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump reportedly said. “Take them out.”
On Friday, Trump seemingly denied using the widely reported offensive language.
“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.
Durbin, who was in the meeting with Trump, told reporters the president did say “these hate-filled things” and repeatedly called African nations “shitholes.”
WATCH: Trump trashes protections for immigrants; calls Haiti, El Salvador, African Nations “shithole countries”
“The exact word used by the president, not just once but repeatedly,” the senator said.
In a statement late Thursday, the White House did not dispute the vulgar language reportedly used by Trump during the meeting.
The president later tweeted on Friday adding that he never said “anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.”
“Never said take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!” Trump tweeted.
Durbin told reporters on Friday that throughout the president’s remarks, Trump said “things which were hate-filled, vile and racist.”
“I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” the senator said.
Durbin added, “When the question was asked about Haitians … he said, ‘Hatians? Do we need more Hatians?”‘
WATCH: Anderson Cooper gives emotional message about Haiti in response to Trump’s comments
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement. “The president will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.”
–with a file from Rebecca Joseph
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.