Cotton hits Durbin for claims of Trump's 's---hole countries' comment

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Hillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract Lawmakers urge Google to drop partnership with Chinese phone maker Huawei MORE (R-Ark.) on Sunday reiterated that he didn’t hear President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics laws MORE call Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries,” suggesting Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington Senate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration MORE (D-Ill.) misrepresented the president’s comments.

"I certainly didn’t hear what Sen. Durbin has said repeatedly. Sen. Durbin has a history of misrepresenting what happens in White House meetings, though, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by that,” Cotton said on CBS's “Face The Nation.”

Pressed on whether he didn’t hear the comment or if it wasn’t said, Cotton said, “I didn’t hear it.”

ADVERTISEMENT
“And I was sitting no farther away from Donald Trump than Dick Durbin was, and I know what Dick Durbin has said about the president's repeated statements is incorrect,” Cotton added.

Trump during a meeting with lawmakers last week reportedly questioned why the U.S. accepted so many immigrants from “shithole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries. He suggested the U.S. should instead should take in more immigrants from countries like Norway.

Cotton, Durbin, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate panel advances three spending bills Trump says he will sign executive order to end family separations Trump backs narrow bill halting family separations: official MORE (R-S.C.) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) were among those present during the meeting.

Cotton and Perdue have said they did not hear the comment.

Durbin confirmed Trump’s comments, then reiterated that claim even after the president denied making them.

“He said those hateful things, and he said them repeatedly,” Durbin said.

Graham has neither confirmed nor denied hearing the comments, but reportedly told Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottGOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border Anti-Trump Republicans better look out — voters might send you packing Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA MORE (R-S.C.) the reports are “basically accurate.” 

Cotton claimed Sunday that Durbin and Graham proposed expanding the existing immigration legislation to create more quotas for certain countries, and Trump reacted with “pretty tough language,” a phrase Trump used when denying he made the vulgar remarks.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Trump caves under immense pressure — what now? Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Manchin up 9 points over GOP challenger in W.Va. Senate race MORE (D-W.Va.), who appeared on "Face The Nation" after Cotton on Sunday, criticized the suggestion that Durbin misrepresented the comments.

“Someone saying that Sen. Durbin or Sen. Graham is going to make something up that the president of the United States has said, and thinking they would do that to gin up people one way or another, that’s wrong," Manchin said.