Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is calling on the White House to release the tape of the meeting where Donald Trump referred to Haiti and other African nations as “shitholes.”
Durbin’s move is in response to Trump’s denial of the vulgar slur as well as other denials from congressional representatives, David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who were in also attendance, and heard what the president said. Senator Lindsey Graham, who was also at the immigration meeting refused to confirm or deny what Durbin is alleging. In a statement to the Charleston Courier, Graham said, “My memory hasn’t evolved. I know what was said and I know what I said.”
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Durbin said he didn’t record the meeting because White House visitors are required to check their mobile phones before entering the Oval Office. The Democratic lawmaker said he isn’t aware if the White House has a recording of the meeting and added, “If there was,” he said, “I want to just call on the White House right now, release whatever you have. If they don’t have it, so be it.”
Some Republicans are arguing Trump used the term “shithouse” and not “shithole,” but Durbin is calling foul, “I know what happened,” Durbin asserted, and noted he was at the meeting on immigration reform in the Oval Office. “I stand behind every word that I said.”
“I don’t know that changing the word from ‘hole’ to ‘house’ changes the impact,” the Durbin argued, “I don’t think a majority of Americans agree with the president whichever word that he used. I don’t believe that a majority of the Republican Party agrees with the president, whichever word that he used.”
The Illinois Senator said he’s “stunned that this is their defense.”
“I don’t know if there was some other recording device in use within the Oval Office,” Durbin added. “If there was, I just want to call on the White House right now, release whatever you have.”
Trump’s reaction to Durbin call for a recording:
Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2018
Durbin’s plea for White House to release the tape if there is one:
Sen Durbin this morning stands by his previous comments about what Pres Trump said in DACA meeting pic.twitter.com/AAgCEfBCJW
— Tony Arnold (@tonyjarnold) January 15, 2018