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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. Casting a cloud over already tenuous negotiations, President Donald Trump said Sunday, Jan. 14, that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, a program that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and live here illegally is “probably dead” and blamed Democrats, days before some government functions would start shutting down unless a deal is reached. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON — As the fallout over President Donald Trump's use of a vulgarity bleeds into a second week, aides to the president are locked in an internal debate over which version of the word the president used to describe certain countries during immigration talks with senators.

Trump was said to have uttered "s---hole" during last Thursday's conversation in the Oval Office, a version backed up by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and some Republicans.

Asked about Trump's comments challenging his honesty, Durbin told reporters Tuesday: "I stand by every word I said about what was said."

But Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified under oath Tuesday that she "did not hear" Trump use the vulgarity to describe African countries. But she said she doesn't "dispute the president was using tough language."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked her specifically if she heard the vulgarity used or a "substantially similar word" to describe certain countries. She said "others in the room were also using tough language."

There is internal debate in the West Wing over whether Trump said "s---hole" or "s---house." One person who attended the meeting told aides they heard the latter expletive, while others recalled the president saying the more widely reported "s---hole," according to a person briefed on the meeting but not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

The person believes the discrepancy may be why some Republican senators are denying having heard the president say "s---hole."

Trump has not clarified to aides what he said but told reporters Sunday night in Florida that comments attributed to him "weren't made." The White House has not denied that Trump used a vulgar ter and indicated Tuesday that no apology would be forthcoming. There appears to be little difference in meaning between the two words.

"The president hasn't said he didn't use strong language," press secretary Sarah Sanders said. "This is an important issue, he's passionate about it, he's not going to apologize for trying to fix our immigration system."

The debate continued to play out Tuesday as Washington faced the threat of a shutdown at midnight Friday, when temporary government funding is set to run out, in the absence of a deal on immigration and other matters. The path to a deal seems even more complicated after last week's coarse Oval Office conversation, and Trump has accused Durbin of undermining the trust necessary to reach an agreement.

Without explicitly denying using the vulgarity, Trump lashed out at Durbin, who said Trump uttered it several times during the meeting.

"Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting," Trump tweeted Monday, using a nickname to needle the Illinois senator. "Deals can't get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military."

He was referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young people who came to the U.S. as children and are living here illegally. Trump said last year that he will end the Obama-era DACA program unless lawmakers come up with a solution by March. Members of Congress from both parties are trying to strike a deal that Trump would support to extend that protection.

Asked about Trump's comments, Durbin said, "Politics ain't beanbag. I understand that. But I'll tell you this: I stand by every word I said about what was said and what happened."

Durbin has said the White House should release whatever recording it might have of the meeting. The White House said there are no tapes.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the six senators in the meeting with Trump on Thursday, supported Durbin's account.

Durbin and people who were briefed on the conversation but were not authorized to describe it publicly said Trump also questioned the need to admit more Haitians. They said Trump expressed a preference for immigrants from countries like Norway, which is overwhelmingly white.

Republican Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who also attended Thursday's meeting, initially said they did not hear Trump utter the word in question, then revised their account to deny he said it at all.

Durbin said after the Oval Office meeting that Trump's words to the senators were "vile, hate-filled and clearly racial in their content."

A confidant of Trump told The Associated Press that the president spent Thursday evening calling friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction to his remarks. Trump wasn't apologetic and denied he was racist, said the confidant, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation.

Trump insisted afterward in a tweet that he "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." Trump wrote, "I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians.

The comments came as Durbin was presenting details of a compromise immigration plan that had money for a first installment of the president's long-sought border wall.

Trump took particular issue with the idea that people who'd fled to the U.S. after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti would be allowed to stay as part of the deal, according to the people briefed on the conversation.

When it came to talk of extending protections for Haitians, Durbin said Trump replied, "We don't need more Haitians.'"

"He said, 'Put me down for wanting more Europeans to come to this country. Why don't we get more people from Norway?'" Durbin said.

Democrats have condemned Trump's remarks as "racist," a charge Sanders rejected as "outrageous."

If the allegation were true, she asked reporters, "Why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV? Why did Chuck Schumer and all of his colleagues come and beg Donald Trump for money?"

Comments

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  • JakeTidmore
    January 16, 2018 at 11:59 a.m.

    Lies always try to get out in front of the truth. Looks like you accomplished that Woozy. A$$holes tend to be experts on SH*Tholes and you're no exception Wooze.
    Of course, demonstrating fake intelligence is your specialty W. No one does a turn as the resident chump like you do, bro!

  • JakeTidmore
    January 16, 2018 at 12:14 p.m.

    Kerry Walter speaks to the epidemic of faux christianity that currently infects American politics:

    "When it comes to politicians who profess to be Christians, it’s difficult to know which is the more egregious betrayal: simply ignoring Jesus for the sake of a partisan political agenda, or enlisting Jesus in support of an agenda that runs contrary to the letter and spirit of his teachings.

    Yet the vast majority of Republican congresspersons, a full 99% of whom say they’re Christian—not to mention the current president, who trumpeted his faith during last year’s campaign—endorse political policies that run counter to one of the most fundamental tenets of Christian morality: respect for the common good.

    If these politicians took the common good seriously, they wouldn’t be seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act; roll back environmental protection measures; deregulate the financial sector; endorse huge tax breaks for the super rich; prevent families fleeing from war-torn nations from seeking refuge on our shores; penalize and deport hardworking undocumented workers; relegate gays and lesbians to second-class legal citizenship; and tolerate as the leader of their party a man who has a history of deception, bullying, and narcissistic braggadocio.

    And yet I’ll bet at least some of them wore WWJD bracelets when the things were still in vogue.

    What is meant by the “common good”? The Vatican II document Gaudium et spes (26) put it like this: the common good is “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.”

    What’s the Christian basis for the moral imperative of the common good?

    This means that all residents in a nation have a vested interest in the maintenance of social, political, and economic conditions that enable them to become fully actualized persons. But it also means that those members of society who are especially hard-pressed through no fault of their own are entitled to extra support to help them reach a material standard of living consonant with psychological and spiritual well-being."
    **
    Here's the link to the full essay:
    h ttps://ww w.huffingtonpost.co m/entry/trump-republicans-and-the-betrayal-of-the-common_us_58e3b640e4b02ef7e0e6e0d9

  • 3WorldState1
    January 16, 2018 at 12:31 p.m.

    AD - Do we have to read blatantly racist comments here? I understand this could possible be the President writing these, but there has to be some kind of guideline no? Look at Wowy and Gohogs. These are trolls that make the others seem reasonable. Like Trump makes Ted Cruze seem moderate.
    "Send those dreamers back down that s***hole they came from along with all those illegal wetbacks." Is this kind of statement OK?

  • ARMNAR
    January 16, 2018 at 12:36 p.m.

    Let them out themselves as the despicable racists they are with their foul words.

  • carpenterretired
    January 16, 2018 at 12:46 p.m.

    Bingo to Jake but republican politicians do excel at public piety on every street corner which appeals to their evangelical base ,as to which version Trump spoke (ether in Trump's viewpoint would fit Arkansas and make Arkansans s***holers ), but Ranger Tom and Sarah will stick together while lying kissing the orange ones buttocks.

  • Razrbacker1961
    January 16, 2018 at 1:25 p.m.

    Considering the fact it's never been proven he said it, it doesn't really matter. This is "news"?? Ok...glad my subscription is only .99 cents for the first month, lol! Because there won't be a second.

  • glh05230944
    January 16, 2018 at 1:46 p.m.

    Good article describing how our taxpayer dollars are being spent by this administration.

  • DoubleBlind
    January 16, 2018 at 1:48 p.m.

    Anyone who still thinks Trump didn’t use the term in question, is either in denial or just not paying attention. Even Lindsey Graham has said Dick Durbin’s account of events is accurate.

  • RBear
    January 16, 2018 at 2:46 p.m.

    Razrbacker, buh bye.

  • NoUserName
    January 16, 2018 at 3:18 p.m.

    "glad my subscription is only .99 cents for the first month, lol! Because there won't be a second."
    .
    Given that you said in 2013 isn't wasn't worth $28 much less $.02, why bother coming back now?

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