Dem senator: Trump 'made clear' that he wants 'white people to come to our country'

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoFemale senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster Female senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster Trump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation MORE (D-Hawaii) said early Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE “made clear … that he wants, basically, white people to come to our country.”

Hirono said on CNN’s "New Day" that Trump’s reported comments on “shithole countries” during a White House meeting with lawmakers show that he wants “white people" to come to the U.S.

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“So that is your interpretation?” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Hirono.

“It’s hard not to have that interpretation. That’s not just my interpretation,” the senator replied.

Hirono said that she is “very saddened” that GOP Sens. David Perdue (Ga.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Iran announces it will exceed uranium stockpile restraints of nuclear deal MORE (Ark.) are now saying that Trump didn’t make the reference to “shithole countries” after initially saying they didn’t recall the comments.

“They’re enabling the president to go on with his denials, and that doesn’t serve our country at all,” she said.

The senator added that she is planning to ask Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Five memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House MORE about Trump’s immigration policies during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump is facing widespread criticism for reportedly describing Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries” during an Oval Office meeting last week, saying that the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from Norway.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions MORE (D-Ill.) confirmed the remarks to reporters last week.

Trump has denied claims of racism over the comments, telling reporters on Sunday that he's "the least racist person you will ever interview."