While Democrats have expressed openness to a deal that would combine legal status for "dreamers", as the group of young immigrants brought illegally as children are known, with funding for border security measures, Republicans have tried to broaden the talks. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, waiting to brief Trump on their bipartisan immigration negotiations.
A Republican senator is insisting that President Donald Trump did not use a vulgar term in referring to African countries during a closed-door meeting on immigration that he and five other senators attended last week. They did not condemn or outright deny the comments.
But Perdue said Sunday on ABC's "This Week: "I am telling you that he did not use that word".
The tone of discussion had looked very different early on Thursday.
Durbin gave a detailed rundown of the bipartisan meeting on immigration and recounted the president's comments during the discussion.
After the comments from Perdue and Cotton, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer defended Durbin on Twitter. "And he said them repeatedly". It's not the first time Senator Durbin has done it. Trump said previous year that he's killing the program unless Congress sends him legislation by March to keep it. Senator Durbin has a history of misrepresenting what happens in White House meetings though, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by that.
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Graham and Durbin laid out the details of their proposed legislation.
At one point, Trump, according to two sources, said: "Why do we want all these people from Africa here?" As he rushed across an unseasonably warm Washington, there was little to indicate the meeting he was about to enter would become so heated and ultimately go down as the time the President derided African countries as "shitholes" and asked why more immigrants couldn't come from Norway.
Commenting on the White House meeting, Graham said on Friday that diversity had always been the United States' strength. "But regrettably, it seems that not everyone is committed to negotiating in good faith", said Sens.
"The words used by the president, as related to me directly following the meeting by those in attendance, were not 'tough, ' they were abhorrent and repulsive", Flake tweeted. Never said 'take them out.' Made up by Dems. "We are now working to build support for that deal in Congress".
Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who supports Trump's immigration policies, had previously claimed that he did not recall whether or not Trump used this incendiary language.