Words by Roman White
In an interview with Reuters published Wednesday night, President Trump says he has, “lost all trust” in Illinois Senator Dick Durbin who revealed comments that Trump made about El Salvador, Haiti and African countries referring to them as “Shitholes” while saying that the United States needs more people from countries like Norway, a predominantly white country. The comments sparked a wide debate on President Trump’s inability to see the racial implications in his language.
The Washington Post reported that Trump made the comments following a closed meeting on an immigration bill put together by Durbin and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
The White House did not deny that Trump made the comment initially. Trump had been active on Twitter the day the story broke but did not deny the story until the following day. It wasn’t until Trump’s denial that Senator Durbin came forward to confirm that Trump did in fact make the comment which was corroborated by Graham. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and Georgia Senator David Perdue were also in the meeting and could not recall Trump making the comment.
Although Trump denies he used this language, for him to lose trust in Senator Durbin carries implications that the comments were in fact made during the meeting. Trump had previously expressed his distrust of Durbin in a tweet following the media attention and criticisms from using racist language.
Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2018
Trump did not tell Reuters the specific language he used in the meeting although he admits that it was “tough.”
The biggest debate between Congress and The Executive Branch is between funding DACA, a program that grants protection undocumented immigrant minors from being deported, and funding Trump’s proposed border wall, one of Trump’s major immigration policy ideas that he touted during the campaign. The deal proposed last week was said to have bi-partisan support, but after Trump’s comments the negotiations took a turn for the worst.
If the President and Congress do not come up with a spending bill by Friday, the government is looking at a shutdown. If a shutdown were to happen, President Trump and many Republicans have said that Democrats would be blamed despite Republicans having control of the Senate, House and Presidency.