After signing a proclamation at a Martin Luther King Jr. "You have seen the comments in the press", Durbin said.
On the streets of Lusaka, capital of the southern African country of Zambia, Trump's reported remark reinforced long-held views about the USA leader. "There is no other word one can use but 'racist'".
The President has since denied the comments; however, following Trump's denial, Sen.
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used", Trump insisted in a series of Friday morning tweets, pushing back on some depictions of the meeting.
"First thing that came to my mind was: Very unfortunate, unhelpful", he said. "He used those words", Durbin said.
During a meeting on Thursday with legislators about a proposed bipartisan deal on immigration, Mr Trump reportedly said: "Why do we want all these people from Africa here?"
Trump on Friday denied saying "anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country".More news: Seal blasts Oprah over claims she didn't know about Harvey Weinstein allegations
"It does not appeal to his base, that's a wrong assumption", Cindy Costa, a member of the Republican National Committee from SC and a Trump supporter, said in a phone interview. Made up by Dems.
Trump appeared to deny using the term later in tweet. "Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!"
The controversy flared just two months before the United States, Canada and Mexico must formally submit their joint bid to stage the 2026 World Cup to world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association on March 16.
Others who attended the meeting have said that Trump questioned why the US would accept immigrants from "shithole countries" like Haiti or those in Africa instead of places like Norway, whose prime minister he had met the day before.
At Thursday's White House meeting, Durbin and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham briefed the president on the newly drafted, bipartisan immigration bill.
In the meeting, Trump criticized the tentative bipartisan agreement drafted by Durbin, Arizona Republican Jeff Flake and four other senators. In an editorial, the local Daily Maverick called the comments "a new low", adding, "Casual Friday at the White House is soon to include hoods and tiki torches at this rate". Durbin recounted that Trump went on to discuss similarly protected immigration from Africa, "calling the nations they come from s-holes".
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used", Trump said, referring to the policy he rescinded past year that protected immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children.More news: S Korea open to summit with Kim
As for immigrants from Africa, the president suggested that instead, the US should allow more entrants from countries like Norway.
"President Trump, One day, I'll take you to a "shithole" country called Ghana", wrote Ghanaian Edmond Prime Sarpong on Facebook.
It is "offensive for President Trump to make derogatory statements about countries that do not share policy positions with the United States", the statement read. "Why do we want all these people from "shithole countries" coming here?"
Amid the furor the president criticized the immigration proposal.
"We have been here for a long time and have contributed to what the United States is today".
The remarks leaked out, transforming a debate about saving from deportation some 700,000 young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children into another drama about Trump himself.
"If this report is true, it is absolutely wrong to say or think this", Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.More news: Governor Accused of Blackmailing Mistress With Nude Photo Will Be Investigated
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