Trump Admits ‘Tough Language’ but Not ‘Shithole’ in Lengthy Defense of Anti-Immigration Push

“That was not the language used,” POTUS tweets Friday after firestorm over reported comments

Last Updated: January 12, 2018 @ 10:06 AM

President Donald Trump issued a four-part tweet storm Friday morning, implicitly denying that he called Haiti and certain African nations “shitthole countries” — though he did admit to using “tough language” in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday with lawmakers about immigration reform.

Trump said that his comments — which have been widely denounced by members of both parties — emerged from a meeting about a proposed compromise deal to extend DACA protection to immigrants who came to the U.S. as children without documentation.

The president deemed the proposal “outlandish.”

Trump has come under heavy fire since the Washington Post reported that he used foul and dismissive language to question the U.S. interest in accepting immigrants from disadvantaged countries over more first-world nations such as Norway.

While his tweet did not specifically what he meant by “that was not the language used,” the president sought to distance himself from the “shithole” label that has been roundly criticized by members of both parties.

His rejection of the DACA compromise is a reversal from Tuesday, when he promised members of Congress in a public meeting that he would sign any compromise they brought to him — a move that sparked an outcry from members of his Republican base.

“I’m not going to say, ‘Oh gee, I want this or I want that’ — I will be signing it,” said Trump at the time.

In his tweets on Friday, Trump clearly tried to reassert his unwillingness to sign just any deal presented to him.

“The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards,” Trump wrote. “Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly.”

“I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs.”

But in a statement of his own, one of the Senator’s in the Oval Office at the time of the alleged incident said the comments were 100 percent Trump’s

“In the course of his comments [Trump] said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist,” said Sen. Dick Durbin D-Illinois) in a press statement Friday. “I cannot believe that in the history of the White house and in that Oval Office, any president has spoke the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”

“You’ve seen the comments in the press. I’ve not read one of them that’s inaccurate,” he added.