Illinois Senator Again Says Trump Made ‘Shithole Countries’ Comment After Republicans Dispute Account

Sen. Dick Durbin asserted Tuesday that President Donald Trump called certain African nations “shithole countries” during a bipartisan meeting on immigration reform at the White House last week, despite evolving explanations from some Republicans.

Sitting to the left of U.S. President Donald Trump at a meeting on immigration reform is Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) while House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is sitting on the right side. Durbin said Trump referred to some African nations as "shithole countries" during that same meeting, on Jan. 9, 2018. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sitting to the left of U.S. President Donald Trump at a meeting on immigration reform is Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) while House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is sitting on the right side. Durbin said Trump referred to some African nations as “shithole countries” during that same meeting, on Jan. 9, 2018. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Let me say they’re wrong. I can tell you explicitly they are wrong,” the Illinois Democrat told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an exclusive sit-down interview. “And let me also say, is that their defense, that S-House is acceptable, S-Hole he would never say? Come on. To think that the President of the United States would refer to any country on Earth as an S-House country, for goodness’ sakes, what does that say?”

Over the weekend, Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Purdue, who were both at the White House meeting, said the President did not say “shithole.” A senior GOP source familiar with the matter told CNN that instead of hearing the President say “shithole” during the meeting, some Republicans actually heard “shithouse.”

Perdue told ABC on Sunday that to say Trump used the word “shithole” would be a “gross misrepresentation.”

On Friday, Cotton and Perdue issued a statement saying they did not recall the “shithole” comment.