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

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonEx-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Republicans raise concerns about Olympians using digital yuan during Beijing Games MORE (R-Ark.) on Sunday reiterated that he didn’t hear President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE call Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries,” suggesting Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinNew York gun rights case before Supreme Court with massive consequences  Schumer leaves door open for second vote on bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor 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 braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor How Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform 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 ScottNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying The Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics 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 ManchinJoe ManchinWhy Biden's Interior Department isn't shutting down oil and gas Overnight Energy: Senate panel advances controversial public lands nominee | Nevada Democrat introduces bill requiring feds to develop fire management plan | NJ requiring public water systems to replace lead pipes in 10 years Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal 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.