A top Senate Democrat who attended an immigration meeting with President Trump said Friday that the president is lying when he denies calling African nations “sh—hole countries.”
Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat, told reporters in Chicago that the president “said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist.”
The lawmaker said that during a bipartisan meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday, the conversation turned to immigration from African nations. He said Mr. Trump began “calling the nations they come from ‘sh—holes’ — the exact word used by the president, not just once, repeatedly. That was the nature of this conversation.”
“To no surprise, the president started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words. It is not true,” Mr. Durbin said in comments aired on MSNBC. “He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly. I cannot believe 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.”
Mr. Trump said on Twitter Friday morning that the “language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”
Mr. Durbin said he intends to introduce bipartisan legislation next week to address the status of young illegal immigrants, a measure that would give legal status to the approximately 800,000 people and “as many members of their families as possible.”
“If the Republican leadership has a better alternative, bring it forward. If they don’t, for goodness sakes, give us a vote,” Mr. Durbin said. “Time is running out. My thought that we might get a bipartisan agreement approved by the White House died yesterday. We have to do this and show leadership in Congress.”
• Dave Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
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