The president came into office with a clear idea of what he wanted national immigration policy to look like, and although he has claimed to be great at deal making, it’s not as though he has actually shown himself willing to make a deal when it comes to the contentious area of forging a path forward for national policy.
In that light, during last Thursday’s contentious immigration policy meeting between lawmakers and the president, there is one thing that all involved can, in fact, agree on — the president didn’t like the idea of imposing anything but an essentially entirely merit-based immigration system going forward.
That’s not where the story ends, however, with the president and his closest allies insisting that he was not racist in his dismissal of a plan for an immigration system based on immigrants’ country of origin and others insisting the opposite, saying that he wondered aloud why the U.S. would want more immigrants from “shithole countries” like Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations.
Now, Sen. Dick Durbin, who participated in the meeting and has insisted that press reports about Trump calling the aforementioned nations “shithole countries” are accurate, wants the White House to release any tapes that it may have of the meeting if they are so sure that the president didn’t say such a thing.
Durbin first backed up press reports about the president’s comments while speaking to reporters they day after they were allegedly made and first appeared in the press.
Durbin’s initial confirmation came alongside fellow meeting participant Sen. Lindsay Graham refusing to say one way or the other what the president had said and eventual denials of the reports from Republican participants in the meeting Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue.
Speaking to reporters about the whole thing again on Monday, Sen. Durbin made it clear that he’s not impressed with the Trump team’s dismissal of reports about what the president said.
As he put it:
‘When you get into tough, complicated, contentious issues, sometimes rhetoric gets very fiery. If you don’t have a tough skin, this is not a good business to get into. I know what happened… I’m focused on one thing — not that meeting, but on making sure that those who are being protected by DACA and eligible for the Dream Act have a future in America.’
It’s the Trump administration’s plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that prompted last Thursday’s contentious meeting.
Durbin went on to, after being asked about the matter, express disdain for the fact that there are reports about squabbling inside the Trump camp over whether the president said “shithole” or “shithouse.”
‘I don’t know if there was some other recording device that was being used within the Oval Office; if there was, I want to just call on the White House right now, release whatever you have. If they don’t have it so be it.’
Check out video of his comments below.
Sen Durbin this morning stands by his previous comments about what Pres Trump said in DACA meeting pic.twitter.com/AAgCEfBCJW
— Tony Arnold (@tonyjarnold) January 15, 2018
Ironically, the president has threatened to wield tapes of conversations against his opponents in the past only to be proven to be bluffing.
He made such a threat after the now former FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the president had tried to get him to wind up the Russia investigation.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video