President Trump's intent could not be more explicit: He wants immigration policies that admit white people and shut the door to black and brown people. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she did not recall "that exact phrase". Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), one of the stakeholders who publicly disclosed Trump's remarks last week, told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday: "I stand by every word I said about what was said and what happened at that meeting".
Republicans are struggling to get their stories straight as President Donald Trump's Homeland Security secretary became the latest GOP official to offer an inconclusive version of a meeting in which Trump is said to have used vulgar remarks that have been criticized as racist. But she says she doesn't "dispute the President was using tough language".
During an oversight hearing Tuesday, Nielsen testified that she did not hear that specific word come from the President during the meeting. "Others in the room were also using tough language".
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was also at last week's meeting and has backed Durbin's account, urged lawmakers and the White House to focus on reaching a budget deal and preserving the status of those young immigrants protected by DACA, saying the public demands it.
The person believes the discrepancy may be why some Republican senators are denying having heard the president say "s***hole".More news: Google Arts & Culture's art selfies are bringing fun back to the internet
"No. I'm not a racist", he told reporters on Sunday night in West Palm Beach.
The bill includes a slew of other provisions, such as the delay of three Obamacare taxes, but does not long-term funding guarantees for the military or a codification of the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Graham said he would continue to press for a deal based on what had been tentatively agreed the meeting tomorrow.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, called the current state of immigration negotiations quote an "s-show", and indicated he's been whip sawed by the president's changing position.More news: Army kills 7 Pakistani soldiers, injures 4 along LoC in 'retaliatory action'
I mention them all because they deserve to be enshrined in a Hall of Shame. All they care about is getting Donald Trump, no matter who gets hurt. Many on both sides of the aisle were quick to call out the comment as racist, a claim that Trump denied. But the fact Trump never smoked or used alcohol helped.
The contentious comments came as Durbin was presenting details of a compromise immigration plan that had money for a first installment of the president's long-sought border wall.
"After the President pretty much besmirched so many Americans and says they're from "shithole" countries because they're from Africa and we need more people from Norway, that kind of put a damper on things, yeah", said Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison.
Left to its own devices, the State Department came up with its own talking points to be used by USA missions in Africa working to stem the damage, said a US official, who wasn't authorized to disclose internal deliberations and demanded anonymity. "As soon as we figure out what he is for then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels going to this issue on the floor", said McConnell.More news: Accord, Navigator, XC60 take top prize at Detroit auto show
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