Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) took to Twitter Friday to slam President Donald Trump for comments he reportedly made referring to Haiti and several African nations as “shithole countries” during a bi-partisan meeting Thursday in the Oval Office on immigration reform.
Flake is one of the “Gang of Six” senators who drafted the proposal which Trump rejected.
“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,” Flake tweeted.
During the Thursday meeting, the president reportedly asked why the U.S. would accept immigrants from “shithole countries.” The White House has been hosting bipartisan meetings this week in hopes of reaching a deal on immigration that would include protections for young immigrants as well as funding for border security.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said. A White House statement on Thursday did not deny the account.
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
But on Friday morning, Trump tweeted a denial, claiming he used “tough” words but not the ones reported.
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” the president wrote.
“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems,” Trump added.
Flake is a long-time a top critic of Trump, and announced that he would not seek reelection in a Senate floor speech in October that criticized the president, according to a report in The Hill.
This is the immigration Graham/Durbin “deal” that was presented to Potus yesterday. What an insult! You should all be ashamed! We want the wall FULLY funded! @LindseyGrahamSC @DickDurbin @JeffFlake @JohnCornyn @GOPLeader @WhipHoyer #EndDACA #EndChainMigration #BUILDTHATWALL pic.twitter.com/Y23MnDxxO2
— Gina (@OwnYourWallet) January 12, 2018
In the following news broadcast from Thursday, Sen. Flake had touted that the group of six senators had “reached a deal” on DACA, and that “we pretty much have a bill.” MSNBC was reporting it as if the deal was practically a sure bet. However, the meeting with President Trump changed that completely.