The Washington Post reporter who broke the story Thursday that President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE referred to Haiti, El Salvador and several African nations as "shithole countries" during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers says he stands by his reporting following Trump's denials.
Josh Dawsey told CNN the fact that the White House did not deny the story until Trump's tweet this morning was proof enough the quote was real.
"In the course of our reporting yesterday we took the comments we were going to report directly to the White House, told them exactly what we were going to say. We did not get a denial," Dawsey told CNN.
"Obviously, [White House spokesman Raj Shah's] statement did not deny. We got it confirmed from multiple places, The New York Times, The Associated Press, CNN have confirmed it as well," he added. "This comes 15 hours later. So the president obviously has the right to express his opinion on the story, as he has on Twitter, but we stand by our reporting 100 percent."
Trump on Friday denied the reports in a pair of tweets, saying that while he used tough language in his meetings, reports about his specific language were wrong. The Washington Post first reported that Trump called the nations "shithole countries" on Thursday.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump asked, according to multiple people briefed on the meeting.
"Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country," Trump said on Twitter Friday morning. "Never said 'take them out.' Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings — unfortunately, no trust!"
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," he added.