I'm not a racist

US shutdown extended

US shutdown extended

President Trump on Sunday emphatically denied saying Haiti and other African countries were "s--hole countries", adding that he is the "least racist person" reporters "have ever interviewed".

The president's reportedly harsh comments about Africa and Haiti angered Democrats and were also condemned by a number of Republicans - throwing some doubt on Congress' willingness to make an immigration deal with the White House at this time. "Let me put it to you this way - mental instability, mendacity, now bigotry".

Trump's second son Eric also jumped to his father's defence during an interview with Fox & Friends saying the president "does not see race".

Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, who along with Durbin were among seven lawmakers at the White House meeting Thursday, denied that the president used the word and questioned Durbin's overall honesty.

More: Did Trump use vulgar language at an immigration meeting?

Trump was meeting with lawmakers about a potential deal on immigration last week when he questioned why the US should admit more people from Africa and Haiti.

In a hearing Tuesday, Graham said Trump had reversed course, expressing openness on an immigration deal early last Thursday, only to reject it hours later.

Mr Trump was said to have told them that instead of granting temporary residency to citizens of countries hit by natural disasters, war or epidemics, the United States should instead be taking in migrants from countries like Norway.

Farris clarified that he was not defending Trump, but a principle, and explained how Trump is not a racist in the same manner as George Wallace.

After the reports surfaced, Trump faced widespread backlash and accusations of racism.

The US President was confirmed to have said: "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" with reference to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

Trump also allegedly said in that meeting that instead of granting temporary residence to citizens of countries affected by natural disasters, wars or epidemics, the U.S. should receive immigrants from countries like Norway. On Sunday, they backtracked and challenged other senators' descriptions of the remarks.

Another Republican who was in the room, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, has implicitly affirmed Durbin's account in a statement. Lindsey Graham, who was in the meeting, told him what's been reported is "basically accurate".

Photo "I don't dispute that the president was using tough language", Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. "And I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation", Perdue said on ABC's "This Week".

But Senator Dick Durbin insisted the USA leader had used "hate-filled, vile and racist language during the meeting". Deals can't get made when there is no trust!

"The Department will provide an opportunity to the Chargé d'Affaires to explain the statement that African countries, alongside Haiti and El Savador, constitute "shitholes" from where migrants into the United States are undesirable", the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

On Monday, two senators who said he did indeed use the disparaging remark stood by their account of what took place.

In November, the Trump administration a July 2019 date to end a special status given to about 59,000 Haitian immigrants who were affected by a devastating 2010 natural disaster. The program includes hundreds of thousands of college-age students.

Many came to the U.S.as babies and toddlers illegally with their families, but this is the only country they know. The program shielded these immigrants, often referred to as "Dreamers", from deportation and granted them permits to work.

Efforts to extend the program are further complicated because it could make a funding bill to avert a government shutdown due Friday more hard. "I think they talk about DACA, but they don't want to help the DACA people".

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