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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.

Deny
  • 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
Confirm
  • 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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Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

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