US President Donald Trump gestures as he boards Airforce One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland on January 12, 2018, for a weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago. (AFP / Nicholas Kamm)
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President Donald Trump offered a partial denial in public but privately defended his extraordinary remarks disparaging Haitians and African countries.Trump said he was only expressing what many people think but won't say about immigrants from economically depressed countries, according to a person who spoke to the president as criticism of his comments ricocheted around the globe. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the only Democrat in the room, said Trump had indeed said what he was reported to have said. The remarks, Durbin said, were "vile, hate-filled and clearly racial in their content". He said Trump used the most vulgar term "more than once". Trump's comments came as Durbin was presenting details of the compromise plan that included providing $1.6 billion for a first installment of the president's long-sought border wall.Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said by Durbin to have voiced objection to Trump's comments during the meeting, issued a statement that did not dispute the remarks.
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