Republicans are trying to clean up Trump's "shithole" comments

Perdue and Mr. Cotton were an escalation from a statement they released on Friday, when they said they did "not recall the president saying these comments specifically". "They're shithole countries. We should have more people from Norway".

The Washington Post, citing people brief on the meeting, reported last week that Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as s--thole countries, setting of a political firestorm.

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

On Sunday morning, Durbin's communications director tweeted a response to Perdue's apparent questioning of the credibility of the IL senator's account of what Trump said at Thursday's Oval Office meeting.

Their statement, however, isn't an outright denial that Trump uttered the phrase - which news organizations have run unfiltered in print, on television and on the radio. Instead, just as Attorney General Jeff Sessions had before the Senate intelligence committee in June, they simply said they could not recall what had happened.

Both the White House and the House speaker's office denied Durbin's account at the time, with then-White House press secretary Jay Carney saying at a briefing, "I looked into this and spoke with somebody who was in that meeting and it did not happen".

"He continued: ".countries which are doing badly. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs. "Get smart, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" "Take care of our Military, and our Country, FIRST!" "That's one of the most un-American immigration systems that I can imagine".

Democrats have made clear they would not consider some of the suggestions and the demands risk exacerbating already tense talks as both sides are entrenched in negotiating position. The other lawmakers at the meeting, all Republicans, have either not discussed it publicly or made only vague comments.

Trump's agreement has always been essential to any immigration deal. Sen.

In a separate televised appearance, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton also defended the president.

After Perdue said that the report that came out of the meeting was a "gross misrepresentation", host George Stephanopoulos pushed back, asking the Georgia Republican what exactly was misrepresented.

  • Jon Douglas