Now, of course, Cotton and Perdue saying they “do not recall” is not exactly a strong rebuke of Durbin or reports of the meeting, as it leaves open the possibility that those words were said and they just didn’t hear them. On the flip side, another Republican senator claims that he was told that reports of the president’s comments were “basically accurate.” Speaking to the Post and Courier, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) confirmed to him that Trump said “shithole countries.” “If that comment is accurate, the comment is incredibly disappointing,” Scott added. At the time of publication, Graham had not publicly commented on the president’s remarks. Earlier today, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) tweeted out that the comments relayed to him by those in attendance were “abhorrent and repulsive.” At the same time, he didn’t explicitly state that Trump said “shithole countries.”
COTTON & PERDUE put out joint stmt: "we do not recall the President saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system…" pic.twitter.com/asINkO9t84— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 12, 2018
So, what’s the bottom line? The lack of full-throated denials from Trump, GOP lawmakers in attendance and the White House likely speak for themselves. UPDATE 2:46 PM ET: Graham finally released a statement about the meeting and the president’s remarks. Graham stated that he said his piece to the president following comments Trump made.
The words used by the President, as related to me directly following the meeting by those in attendance, were not “tough,” they were abhorrent and repulsive. — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 12, 2018
[image via screengrab] — Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona
JUST IN: @LindseyGrahamSC releases statement on immigration meeting: "Following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him." https://t.co/DtvLfPNVTH pic.twitter.com/1ltK191X5b — ABC News (@ABC) January 12, 2018