President Donald Trump, in an attempt to steer clear of the controversy surrounding his reported use of foul language while referring to immigrants in an Oval Office meeting with Congressmen, has vowed that he is not a racist.
“No No I’m not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you,” Trump told White House press pool reporters Sunday night.
“Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments? They weren’t made,” he said outside the Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach in Florida before dining with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Trump reportedly made the controversial remarks in a meeting with senators and House members Thursday about immigration reform.
“Why are we having all these people from shi*hole countries come here,?” he was quoted as saying apparently referring to impoverished African, Central American and Caribbean countries like Eritrea, Haiti, and El Salvador.
The US media, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, Politico and the Wall Street Journal, reported the comments, quoting witnesses or people with knowledge of the meeting.
The White House didn’t deny that the President used that slur, but on Friday morning Trump gave a detailed explanation of his controversial remarks on Twitter.
He said what was reported was not the language he used though it was “tough.”
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, who was in the room when Trump addressed 23 members of Congress, insisted that the President made the “shi*hole” remark, and said other offensive things.
Trump also questioned why the US lets Haitians into the country and mocked Durbin’s assertion that African-Americans might be offended by the term “chain migration,” according to the Democrat Senator from Illinois.
“In the course of his comments, President Trump said things that were hate-filled, vile, and racist. He used those words, and he used them repeatedly,” he said in a statement.