Trump denies making 'shithole countries' comment
Posted January 12, 2018 7:07 a.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2018 7:53 a.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Donald Trump on Friday denied describing certain nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting where he rejected a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!" Trump tweeted.
White House spokesperson Raj Shah did not deny the "shithole" remark on Thursday evening, but instead said in a statement that Trump "is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation."
This denial came among a series of other tweets Friday where Trump defended his immigration stance.
"The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime.....," Trump tweeted.
He continued: "....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. I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund....
"....Because of the Democrats not being interested in life and safety, DACA has now taken a big step backwards. The Dems will threaten 'shutdown,' but what they are really doing is shutting down our military, at a time we need it most. Get smart, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
DACA protects hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.
Trump on Thursday rejected a pitch from a bipartisan team of senators on a compromise immigration deal to protect DACA participants while increasing border security.
"Why do we want all these people from 'shithole countries' coming here?" Trump told senators in the Oval Office, according to a source briefed on the meeting. The Washington Post first reported on Trump's comments.