Durbin: GOP senators wrong on Trump comments

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asserted that President Donald Trump called certain African nations "shithole countries" during a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform at the White House last week, despite evolving explanations from some Republicans.

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 6:26 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 6:26 AM

Sen. Dick Durbin asserted Tuesday that President Donald Trump called certain African nations "shithole countries" during a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform at the White House last week, despite evolving explanations from some Republicans.

"Let me say they're wrong. I can tell you explicitly they are wrong," the Illinois Democrat told CNN's Jake Tapper in an exclusive sit-down interview. "And let me also say, is that their defense, that S-House is acceptable, S-Hole he would never say? Come on. To think that the President of the United States would refer to any country on Earth as an S-House country, for goodness' sakes, what does that say?"

Over the weekend, Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Purdue, who were both at the White House meeting, said the President did not say "shithole." A senior GOP source familiar with the matter told CNN that instead of hearing the President say "shithole" during the meeting, some Republicans actually heard "shithouse."

Perdue told ABC on Sunday that to say Trump used the word "shithole" would be a "gross misrepresentation."

On Friday, Cotton and Perdue issued a statement saying they did not recall the "shithole" comment.

No one disputes that the President expressed a preference for immigrants from places like Norway over places like Haiti, Central America and Africa.

Durbin also told Tapper the last two weeks have been "bizarre," recalling the recently televised meeting between bipartisan members of Congress and Trump, in which Trump agreed to go forward with a permanent legislative solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as well as comprehensive immigration reform.

"Then we called him two days later, (Republican) Senator (Lindsey) Graham and I, and said we've done it. We've met your criteria. We have a bipartisan bill. We're ready to go. And then to be called into the President's office to explain it to him and find that we've been sandbagged," Durbin added.

He said White House chief of staff John Kelly and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller brought in five other members of Congress "to refute any assertions ... that this was good policy," adding that "any attempt to kill immigration reform probably has Mr. Miller's fingerprints on it."

Durbin said Graham pushed back on Trump for his vulgar remark during the meeting.

"(H)e said 'My family was from one of those s-hole countries.' He used the word himself," Durbin continued, adding that Graham said, "'They came here with limited training, limited experience. They made a life, they started a business and they gave me a chance. That's what America is all about.'"

Trump's "shithole" remark has had implications in Washington and abroad. On Capitol Hill, Democrats and some Republicans denounced Trump's remark as they've tried to reach a deal on immigration, which could be essential to avoiding a government shutdown later this week.

And according to the State Department, several countries have summoned US diplomats to the respective nations they reside in to answer for Trump's comment, with more expected this week.

Terre Haute
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 67°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 60°
Indianapolis
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 67°
Rockville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 63°
Casey
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 67°
Brazil
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 67°
Marshall
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
A Comfortable Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Indiana State sees significant enrollment drop

Image

ISU sees significant drop in enrollment

Image

Sullivan VB

Image

Loogootee VB

Image

THS Boys Soccer

Image

Brodie Crowe

Image

Garzolini putting up big numbers this season

Image

The impact of COVID-19 deaths in the Wabash Valley

Image

Farm celebrates over 200 years of ownership by the same family

Image

Farm celebrates over 200 years of ownership by the same family

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1582392

Reported Deaths: 26884
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60726610902
DuPage1026891351
Will862101080
Lake761221053
Kane65145838
Winnebago38503541
Madison37519564
St. Clair34621558
McHenry32619311
Peoria25609359
Champaign25478182
Sangamon24108264
McLean21470203
Tazewell19477326
Rock Island17502342
Kankakee16409232
Kendall15177104
LaSalle14258273
Macon14134230
Vermilion12805180
Adams12525147
DeKalb11460126
Williamson11116152
Whiteside7759176
Boone753381
Jackson748379
Coles7121109
Ogle699985
Grundy690481
Clinton673597
Franklin658994
Knox6439163
Marion6392135
Macoupin629997
Henry604172
Jefferson5933130
Effingham580980
Livingston560294
Woodford548291
Stephenson534088
Randolph517096
Monroe501098
Morgan477995
Fulton475369
Christian474980
Logan471373
Montgomery459776
Lee452456
Bureau421687
Perry407770
Saline393562
Iroquois389170
Fayette385256
McDonough350855
Jersey318753
Douglas301236
Shelby296943
Crawford294030
Union292445
Lawrence291031
Wayne263956
White259229
Richland254052
Hancock250934
Pike249456
Cass245628
Bond241524
Clark241038
Ford232755
Clay230547
Edgar226844
Carroll223637
Warren218655
Johnson207821
Moultrie206730
Washington203827
Jo Daviess201624
Greene197738
Mason194551
Wabash193715
Massac192643
De Witt191230
Piatt188314
Mercer185434
Cumberland172423
Menard154112
Jasper148718
Marshall132721
Hamilton125720
Brown10127
Pulaski96711
Schuyler9568
Edwards94015
Stark75426
Gallatin7214
Scott6885
Alexander66011
Calhoun6342
Henderson62614
Hardin55413
Putnam5414
Pope4685
Unassigned1192432
Out of IL80

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461