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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

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

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