GOP at Trump meeting clash over legitimacy of 's--thole' remark

GOP at Trump meeting clash over legitimacy of 's--thole' remark

Days after Donald Trump was accused of using racially charged language during bipartisan immigration talks, charges of bigotry once again threatened the president's agenda as lawmakers battled Sunday over his choice of words and his intentions. Cotton saying Mr. Durbin "has a history of misrepresenting what happens in White House meetings" during his "Face the Nation" appearance. "Durbin is telling the truth when he says that the president said, repeatedly, that, why do we let in people from these shithole countries?" Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said it was not "constructive" for Trump to have referred to African and other countries as "shitholes" but that it was "unfair" to call him racist.

But, the president tweeted "DACA is probably dead because Democrats don't really want it..."

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children - so-called "Dreamers" - face deportation unless a compromise can be reached that would grant them rights to stay.

"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people", Shah said.

Stephanopoulos pressed Perdue, saying that multiple sources have confirmed the president's language, of whom the most outspoken has been Sen.

"No, no, I'm not a racist".

"I don't recall that specific phrase being used, that's all I can say about that", she replied.

They did not state what they thought the president had said. "Whether you agree with him on the issues or not, he is one of the most honorable members of the Senate", Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, tweeted Sunday. "I think that would show real leadership".

When the discussion turned to immigration from Africa, Trump then reportedly asked why the US would allow "people from s-thole countries come here" and suggested instead that the USA bring in more people from places like Norway.

Despite being in the meeting, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, and Rep. Robert Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, have not made public comments.

The president sought to shift from the defensive by portraying Democrats as not truly interested in an immigration deal. "Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation".

Another Republican senator who was in the Oval Office meeting, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, said Sunday he "didn't hear" Trump use the term.

The dreamers would be allowed to stay but not become USA citizens, according to Flake.

Democrats are demanding an immigration deal that protects undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors.

"I believe there is a deal to be had", he said.

Trump meanwhile brushed off the backlash, telling reporters that his critics had him all wrong.

On Tuesday, however, a federal judge ordered the government to keep DACA going pending resolution of court challenges to the president's decision.

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