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Cotton hits Durbin for claims of Trump’s ‘s—hole countries’ comment

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday reiterated that he didn’t hear President Trump call Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries,” suggesting Sen. Dick Durbin (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.”

{mosads}“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 Graham (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 Scott (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 Manchin (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.

Tags Dick Durbin Donald Trump Haiti Joe Manchin Lindsey Graham Tim Scott Tom Cotton
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