Trump criticised immigration to his country from El Salvador, Haiti and the African continent, by calling the group "shithole countries" at a meeting with Congress members at the White House on Thursday, according to U.S. media.
Trump on Thursday reportedly asked why the USA should permit immigrants from "s--hole countries", according to three people briefed on the oval office conversation.
In a tweet on Friday, Trump denied using the word "shithole", but Durbin insisted that the president had indeed said it. Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire said no one at the White House denied "that he used these vulgar terms to describe these immigrants".
In a series of tweets, Trump said: "The language used by me at the DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] meeting was tough, but this was not the language used".
In 2009 Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, chose Ghana's capital Accra to set out his foreign policy goals for Africa in a speech in which he said he saw Africa "as a fundamental part of our interconnected world". Lindsey Graham, who was also at the meeting, seemed to confirm that report in a statement in which he said "following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him yesterday". Tom Cotton and David Perdue, said they "do not recall the President saying these comments specifically".
On people from Haiti: "While Haitian immigrants typically arrive in the United States with lower levels of education and income than the general population, they sacrifice as parents to scrap and save and to ensure that their children can make the most of the opportunity to be here".
"It is incomprehensible that these words came out of the mouth of the president of the United States of America, a country that was founded on being free from discrimination", said Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican congresswoman. And for all of you who over the last few years who have uttered that exhausted, lazy, uninformed, uneducated, ignorant, response of calling me and others who point out racist behavior "racist"?
A White House spokesman defended Trump's position on immigration without directly addressing Trump's remarks.
The president implied Friday morning on Twitter that maybe he should start recording meetings because there is no trust. He also claimed the deal would force the United States to "to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly", but did not offer any specifics or evidence. Trump allegedly said after being presented with a proposal to restore protections for immigrants from the countries in question.
Donald Trump paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr on Saturday at a time when the US President is facing accusations of racism for his alleged insult of Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries. "I want to see the tape".