Mr Trump's reported remarks were remarkable even by the standards of a president who has been accused by his foes of racist attitudes and has routinely smashed through public decorum that his modern predecessors have generally embraced.
Trump did not respond Friday to several questions about the incident, including whether he actually used vulgar language to describe African nations, or if he is racist. But I can not believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard the president speak yesterday. I have not read one of them that's inaccurate.
US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said: "The first thing that came to mind was very unfortunate and unhelpful". Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of IL on Friday said Trump had indeed made the comments about 's***hole countries'.
Trump is claimed to have questioned why the USA was would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "sh**hole" countries. "It was a heartbreaking moment", Durbin said.
Trump appeared to deny he made the comments in a tweet on Friday, but the AP reported that privately he has defended the remark as a "straightforward" assessment of conditions in the countries under discussion.
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"All of you who over the last few years have uttered that exhausted, lazy, uninformed, uneducated response of calling me and others who point out racist behavior "racists, ' you know what you can go do?"
Durbin made a point of bringing up Graham's reaction while the meeting was taking place. "The president and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel", he said.
Trump is also taking criticism from his own party.
The president allegedly made the comment Thursday during an Oval Office meeting with democrats on a bipartisan immigration deal.
"I think it was stupid and irresponsible and childish", said Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho". Instead, the deputy press secretary issued a statement arguing, "Trump will always fight for the American people".
It said the "remarks dishonour the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity". "Maybe, maybe not. Maybe we ought to talk it through and decide before we continue with our current immigration policy", Carlson said. "Can we take him off the screen?"