The day after it was reported that President Donald Trump had called Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries” during an immigration meeting, two GOP lawmakers who were in attendance released a joint statement claiming that they “do not recall” Trump making those remarks. This morning, both of those senators made Sunday show appearances to double down on their statement.
On ABC’s This Week, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) went a bit further than merely saying that he didn’t remember the president saying “shithole.” In this instance, he issued an actual denial while claiming that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) — another attendee of the meeting — had mispresented what Trump had actually said.
After Perdue said that the report that came out of the meeting was a “gross misrepresentation,” host George Stephanopoulos pushed back, asking the Georgia Republican what exactly was misrepresented.
“The gross misrepresentation was that language there that was used was not used,” Perdue responded. “And that the tone of that meeting was not contributory and not constructive.”
The senator went on to assert that Durbin had a history of lying about what was said during private meetings, leading to Stephanopoulos that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) essentially backed up Durbin in a statement he released. He added that Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) has also said that Graham told him reports that Trump said “shithole” were “basically accurate.”
“You’ll have to deal with him,” Perdue stated. “Basically is an operative word.”
The ABC News host pressed Perdue again on whether he was “flat-out” denying that the president said those words.
“I’m saying that this is a gross misrepresentation,” Perdue replied. “It’s not the first time Senator Durbin has done it. It’s not productive to solving the problem.”
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.
[image via screengrab]