WASHINGTON — Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat who attended an immigration meeting with President Trump on Thursday, confirmed Friday that the president made comments he considered "vile and racist" about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.
Others who attended the meeting have said that Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept immigrants from "sh**hole countries" like Haiti or those n Africa instead of places like Norway, whose prime minister he had met the day before.
"I have seen the comments in the press, I have not read one of them that's inaccurate," Durbin told reporters in Chicago.
"In the course of (Trump's) comments, he said things that were hate-filled, vile and racist," the Illinois senator said Friday. "l use those words advisingly, I understand how powerful they are. I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and that Oval Office any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday."
The Washington Post reported the comments Thursday.
On Friday, Trump denied using the language, about Haiti, and tried to turn the conversation to Democrats.
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," Trump tweeted. "What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!"
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is the law that gave residency status to people who were brought to the country illegally. Trump and Congress are trying to resolve it after Trump ended the program.
Shortly after, he tweeted "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country."
Contributing: David Jackson