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

Arizona Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Huckabee Sanders: Dems need to decide if they 'hate' Trump 'more than they love this country' Trump spokeswoman fires back at Flake: 'His numbers are in the tank' MORE (R) slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' 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.