Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said fellow South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham confirmed President Trump referred to some nations as “shithole countries” during a White House meeting that Graham attended with lawmakers Thursday.
Scott told the Post and Courier that Graham said the comments that have been widely reported by the press are “basically accurate.”
During the meeting in the Oval Office, where senators gathered to talk about a possible bipartisan immigration deal, Trump began to discuss immigration from African nations and questioned why the U.S. is “having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
The president also made derogatory comments about Haiti when the senators were discussing temporary protected status programs.
Trump’s comments drew widespread criticism from Republicans and Democrats, though Trump has denied he spoke negatively about Haiti.
Senators who attended the meeting have issued conflicting statements about whether the president did use vulgar and derogatory language to criticize Haiti and African nations. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., confirmed the president did make such remarks, and called them “hate-filled, vile, and racist.”
But Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia defended the president and said they “do not recall the president saying those comments specifically.”
Scott, meanwhile, called Trump’s comment on “shithole” nations “incredibly disappointing.”
“We ought not to disparage any other nation, frankly,” Scott told the Post and Courier. “Thinking about the success of America, it is the melting pot. It’s the ability to weave together multiple communities together for one nation.”