Jan 14, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Who can and can't recall what Trump said in immigration meeting

Sen. Dick Durbin and President Trump.

Sen. Dick Durbin and President Trump. Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Since the report broke on Thursday that President Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries," there have been conflicting reports from the lawmakers who were in the room.

The bottom line: This is a straightforward question about a meeting that happened just a few days ago, yet some participants seem to have forgotten what was said remarkably quickly. Meanwhile, Sen. Dick Durbin told the press that Trump made such remarks "repeatedly," while Sen. David Perdue denies the account entirely.

  • President Donald Trump: "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used."
  • Sen. David Perdue: "I'm telling you he did not use that word...and I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation." Perdue had previously said he couldn't recall.
Can't recall
  • Sen. Dick Durbin: "You've seen the comments in the press, I've not read one of them that's inaccurate ... He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly."
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham: "Following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him yesterday. The president and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel."
    • It's also been reported that Graham told Sen. Tim Scott that reports of Trump's remarks are "basically accurate."
Won't comment
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart: "Nothing will divert my focus to stop the deportation of these innocent people whose futures are at stake."
  • Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy hasn't commented.
  • Rep. Bob Goodlatte hasn't commented.

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