Flake rips Trump: His remarks were ‘abhorrent and repulsive’ not 'tough'
© Greg Nash

Arizona Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase Senators press Amazon for answers on improper Echo recording incident Loyalty to Donald Trump is new normal for the Republican Party MORE (R) slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday Shows preview: Lawmakers, Trump allies discuss Russia probe, migrant family separation Seth McFarlane: Fox News makes me 'embarrassed' to work for this company  'Art of the Deal' co-author: Trump would act like Kim Jong Un if he had the same powers MORE Friday morning for comments he reportedly made referring to Haiti and several African nations as "shithole countries." 

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"The words used by the President, as related to me directly following the meeting by those in attendance, were not 'tough,' they were abhorrent and repulsive," Flake tweeted.

During a Thursday bipartisan meeting in the Oval Office on immigration reform, the president reportedly asked why the U.S. would accept immigrants from "shithole countries." The White House has been hosting bipartisan meetings this week in hopes of reaching a deal on immigration that would include protections for young immigrants as well as funding for border security.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to The Washington Post.

A White House statement on Thursday did not deny the account.

But on Friday morning, Trump tweeted a denial, claiming he used "tough" words but not the ones reported.

"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," the president wrote.

"Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said 'take them out.' Made up by Dems," Trump added.

Flake has emerged as a top critic of Trump since announcing that he would not seek reelection in a Senate floor speech in October that criticized the president.