Trump Partly Denies, Also Defends Vulgar Immigrant Comments

One participant at the meeting on Sunday denied that Trump used the term and another said he did not recall Trump making such comments. Durbin told reporters in Chicago.

Biden apologized after a 2007 comment where he said of then-Senator Barack Obama: 'I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.

"Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?" he asked.

Many Democrats want extending DACA to be a separate issue from building a wall - something they oppose anyway. "That's when he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from 'shitholes, '" Durbin said.

During a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers last week, Trump had expressed frustration over some participants pushing for immigrants from certain "shithole" countries.

A claim Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Purdue, R-Ga., backed up.

Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who has been critical of Mr Trump, said Democrats were serious about a bipartisan deal on immigration.

Trump also told reporters in Florida late Sunday he is still going to try to make a deal on DACA, the program that protects young immigrants illegally brought to the U.S.as children from deportation.

Meanwhile, dimming prospects for a 2018 spending agreement means lawmakers will have to resort to a temporary funding extension to avert a government shutdown on January 19.

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The senator from Arizona said Trump's remarks came in reaction to an element of the deal that would reallocate the visas given out in a lottery to immigrants who are now in a protected status, like Haitians and the Dreamers.

Trump took particular issue with the idea that people who'd fled to the US after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti would be allowed to stay as part of the deal, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly describe the discussion.

In November, the Trump administration made a decision to end the status for immigrants from Haiti and Nicaragua.

The administration announced a year ago that it would end a temporary residency permit program that allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the USA following a devastating 2010 natural disaster.

The tweet came hours after a bombshell report about Trump's comments, which the White House did not immediately deny. "What do we want Haitians here for?" the president reportedly asked.

Paul said immigration needs to have limits and be structured, and that the "saltiness" of Trump's language was unhelpful. Mr Graham also attended the meeting.

Durbin also recounted a "heartbreaking moment" when Trump and others "scoffed" at his comments about the importance of family-based immigration.

Love, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Haiti, said that the remarks were "really hard to hear, especially because my parents were such big supporters of the president and I think that we have to do everything we can to make sure that we're coming from a place of compassion and we're speaking from a place of kindness". "Sometimes he says things that are silly", she said.

"I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals (sic), you know taking all of the people from wherever they come from", Trump said in a joint interview published by German daily Bild and British newspaper The Times, referring to Merkel's open-door policy for refugees fleeing war and persecution. "African-Americans believe that they migrated to America in chains, and when you speak about 'chain migration, ' it hurts them personally", Durbin said.

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