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Trump Denies "Sh*thole Countries" Comment, But Top Democrat Reiterates Claim


President Donald Trump has denied reports that he used foul language while referring to immigrants in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers.

"Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?" Trump reportedly said in a meeting with senators and congressmen about immigration reform on Thursday.

The president was apparently referring to impoverished African, Central American, and Caribbean countries like Eritrea, Haiti, and El Salvador.

The Washington Post quoted Trump as telling lawmakers, "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out."

The meeting was convened to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country and restrict the green card visa lottery in exchange for providing protections for young illegal immigrants brought to the country.

The White House didn't deny that Trump used the slur, saying in a statement, "Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people."

But on Friday morning Trump gave a detailed explanation of his controversial remarks on Twitter. Trump said what was reported was not the language he used, although he acknowledged it was "tough."

He also claimed that he never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than "Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country."

Trump also denied saying, "take them out," claiming it was made up by Democrats. The president maintained he has a wonderful relationship with Haitians.

He argued that such incidents point to the need to record future meetings, adding, "Unfortunately, no trust!"

Regarding the bipartisan DACA deal presented at the meeting, Trump said it was a big step backwards.

"Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly," Trump tweeted.

Trump said he wants a merit-based system of immigration and people who will help take the country to the next level.

"I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs. I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund," he tweeted.

However, Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., refuted Trump's claims, telling reporters the president "repeatedly" used derogatory language when referring to the immigrants.

"To no surprise, the president started tweeting this morning denying that he used those words," Durbin said. "It is not true. He said these hate-filled things. And he said them repeatedly."

Durbin, who attended the meeting, claimed "sh*tholes" was the exact word used by the president, "not just once, but repeatedly."

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