As Trump continues to deny having referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and various African nations as “shithole countries” in a private meeting at the White House last week, conservative writer Erick Erickson says the president actually called friends to “brag” about having made those remarks.
It’s weird that people in the room don’t remember Trump using that word when Trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards. I spoke to one of those friends. The President thought it would play well with the base.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 14, 2018
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) were all reported to have been at the merting, according to the initial report from The Washington Post. Interestingly, the first mouthpiece to speak on Trump’s behalf following the intense backlash regarding his comments during that meeting did not actually issue a denial.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said:
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (IL) told reporters on Friday morning that Lindsey Graham stood up to the president after he reportedly made the derogatory comments about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.
“(Graham) spoke up and made a direct comment on what the president said,” Durbin told reporters. “For him to confront the president as he did, literally sitting next to him, took extraordinary political courage and I respect him for it.”
Lindsey Graham later issued a public statement in which he thanked Durbin, but fell short of confirming the exact terminology the president used in that meeting. Graham’s statement reads as follows:
Yesterday Senator Durbin and I met with President Trump at the White House to discuss our bipartisan proposal on border security and immigration.
“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. I’ve always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals.
“The American ideal is embraced by people all over the globe. It was best said a long time ago, E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Diversity has always been our strength, not our weakness. In reforming immigration we cannot lose these American Ideals.
“The American people will ultimately judge us on the outcome we achieve, not the process which led to it.
“I know the bipartisan proposal discussed at the White House can get a lot of support from both sides. As always, I look forward to considering additional ideas that could make the proposal even better.
“I appreciate Senator Durbin’s statements and have enjoyed working with him and many others on this important issue. I believe it is vitally important to come to a bipartisan solution to the immigration and border challenges we face today. I am committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to find common ground so we can move forward.”
What this means to me is that Lindsey Graham, who has been one of Trump’s strongest critics from within his own party, needs some degree of cooperation in order to move forward with DACA. That is why he doesn’t want to be the singular Republican from that meeting to confirm what we all pretty much know to be true: Trump said it. Of course he said it.
This president is many things. Racist and liar are only two facets of the shithole that is Donald Trump’s presidency.