Sen. Dick Durbin refuted President Trump's tweeted denials that he used the phrase "sh*thole countries" when discussing legal protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries. Durbin, who was in the meeting with the president when he made the remarks, said of Mr. Trump's denial, "It's not true. He said those hateful things, and he said them repeatedly."
Durbin attended an event in Chicago Friday and then held a press conference on the president's comments afterward. He told reporters how the issue came up:
When the question was raised about Haitians, for example, we have a group that have temporary protected status in the United States because they were the victims of crises and disasters and political upheaval. The largest group is El Salvadoran. The second is Honduran and the third is Haitian, and when I mentioned that fact to him, he said 'Haitians? Do we need more Haitians?' And then he went on and started to describe the immigration from Africa that was being protected in this bipartisan measure. That's where he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from "sh*tholes" -- the exact word used by the president not just once, but repeatedly.
Mr. Trump on Friday morning tweeted that he had used "tough language" but denied he had used the profane phrase.