Trump Attempts to Clean Up “Shithole”

A Democratic lawmaker, who was in the immigration meeting Thursday, confirmed the president’s “hate-filled” remarks.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump appeared to deny using the word “shithole” to describe countries such as Haiti, El Salvador, and other African nations during a meeting on immigration, as reported in the Washington Post on ThursdayTrump on Friday did not directly reference using the expletive, but insisted that the language was more generally “tough.”

Trump’s meek denial came during a series of tweets blasting an immigration deal reached by six bipartisan senators on Thursday. He slammed the proposal as a “big step backwards” and claimed Democratic lawmakers were not interested in border security.

Trump’s disparaging remarks on Thursday, which also included a call to bring in more immigrants from countries like Norway, sparked intense international outrage for what many condemned as plainly racist. “If confirmed these are shocking and shameful comments from the president of the United States,” United Nations human rights spokesman Rupert Coleville said. “There is no other word you can use but racist.”

The White House on Thursday did not deny the president’s alarming remarks, and instead defended Trump’s stance on immigration and will to “fight for the American people.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), one of the lawmakers present for the immigration meeting with the president, condemned Trump’s “hate-filled, vile, and racist” comments, adding that he had not seen any reports in the press that were “inaccurate.”

“To no surprise, the president started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words,” Durbin said. “It is not true. He said these hate-filled these things and he said them repeatedly.”

An hour after Trump’s first vague denial on Thursday, he followed up with a more specific reference to the Post report, but still failed to directly address the “shithole” comment.

This post has been updated throughout.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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