WATCH: Key senators blame White House staff for Trump reversals

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are blaming White House staff for President Trump’s tough comments at a meeting last week, which both said was a significant reversal in tone from just hours before. 

Trump at the meeting took a hard line on an immigration deal to protect undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” and strengthen border security. He also said the U.S. should not take more immigrants from “shithole countries" such as Haiti, Durbin said. 


“I don’t think he was well served by his staff,” Graham said Tuesday, referring to the change in tone from a 10 a.m. phone call Thursday that he and Durbin had with the president hours before the “shithole” comment. 

Graham also said that White House chief of staff John Kelly “pretty much missed the mark here.” 

“I think that Gen. Kelly is a fine man but he’s also part of the staff,” Graham said of the retired Marine general.  

During the phone call, Durbin said Trump “said I can't wait to hear what's involved in it and I'm not going to let the slow walkers take control of this situation, let's get it done.” 

Durbin said the tone shift at the meeting could be explained by the fact that Republicans from Capitol Hill had arrived at the White House and convinced Trump to take a tougher line. 

“Someone, I think I know who, decided that they would bring in five members of Congress, two Senators and three House members, who generally oppose all immigration reform” to participate in the briefing with Graham, Durbin said.

Asked if that “someone” was White House staffer Stephen Miller, Durbin said "any effort to kill immigration reform usually has Mr. Miller's fingerprints on it.” 

Watch the video above to hear Graham and Durbin in their own words.