Democratic Senator Dick Durbin has said that President Trump definitely did scorn immigrants from Haiti and "shit hole countries" in Africa. Donald Trump just posted a tweet that mocked "Senator Dicky Durbin" and called him a liar.
Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2018
So who are we to believe--Senator Durbin or Donald Trump? Donald Trump is a serial liar. If he was Pinocchio his nose would be slamming into the Andromeda Galaxy. But just because Donald Trump is a serial liar, that doesn't mean we should necessarily automatically believe Senator Durbin.
Before looking at the evidence supporting Durbin's claim we must note that this is just the latest in a long history of racist incidents involving Donald Trump. David Leonhardt enumerated them as follows in his recent New York Times op-ed.
• Trump’s real-estate company was sued twice by the federal government in the 1970s for discouraging the renting of apartments to African-Americans and preferring white tenants, such as “Jews and executives.”
• In 1989, Trump took out ads in New York newspapers urging the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers accused of raping a white woman in Central Park; he continued to argue that they were guilty as late as October 2016, more than 10 years after DNA evidence had exonerated them.
• He spent years claiming that the nation’s first black president was born not in the United States but in Africa, an outright lie that Trump still has not acknowledged as such.
• He began his 2016 presidential campaign by disparaging Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.”
• He has retweeted white nationalists without apology.
• He frequently criticizes prominent African-Americans for being unpatriotic, ungrateful and disrespectful.
• He called some of those who marched alongside white supremacists in Charlottesville last August “very fine people.”
• He is quick to highlight crimes committed by dark-skinned people, sometimes exaggerating or lying about it (such as a claim about growing crime from “radical Islamic terror” in Britain). He is very slow to decry hate crimes committed against dark-skinned people (such as the murder of an Indian man in Kansas last year).
Now, let's look at the evidence for and against the claim that Donald Trump disparaged Haitians and called countries in Africa "shit hole countries".
Senators Tom Cotton and David Purdue said on Friday that they didn't remember Trump's "shit hole countries" comments.
They did not, however, initially deny that he made them. By Sunday they had changed their tune and said with absolute certainty that he didn't make those comments.
Senators Cotton and Purdue should inform the medical world of their secret for overcoming amnesia. It is remarkable how they both overcame their amnesia and were able to clarify their memories of the meeting on the same day.
I will post some evidence that strongly suggests Trump made his "shit hole countries" remark. But first, it is important to understand the timing behind the story and some key events.
A Timeline of key events
The story was originally reported by Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post.
You will note the story has a Jan. 12 date line, but that is apparently in error. We know that the story was originally published on Jan. 11 because:
1. Note the URL for the story includes "/2018/01/11" indicating it was first published on January 11.
2. The Washington Post sent out a tweet linking to the original story on Jan. 11 at 4:38pm
Exclusive: Trump attacks protections for immigrants from "shithole" countries in Oval Office meeting https://t.co/R1aOB8EAGB
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 11, 2018
3. Josh Dawsey, the Washington Post reporter who broke the story, also tweeted about it at 4:38 pm on Jan. 11
Trump attacks protections for immigrants from "shithole" countries in Oval Office meeting. https://t.co/KvsslFrzZ5
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 11, 2018
4. At 5:08 pm on 1/11/18 Dawsey tweets out that he went over every part of the story with the White House. He tweeted out the initial White House response to the story and they did not deny that Trump's "shithole countries" remark.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 11, 2018
Trump sort of denied that he used the words "shit hole" in a 7:28 am tweet on 1/12/ --nearly 15 hours after the story broke Actually, this tweet did not explicitly state that he denies using those words, but we can infer that's what he meant.
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Evidence Supporting Senator Durbin's Claim
So here is the evidence that Trump derogatorily referred to "shit hole countries".
1. If Trump did not slam "shit hole" countries in Africa, why didn't the White House deny this report when initially asked about the remark?
2. If Trump did not make this remark, why did it take Trump nearly 15 hours after the report to imply on Twitter (or anywhere else) that he never said this?
3. Though Lindsey Graham neither confirmed or denied the President's exact wording, he was upset by SOMETHING racist that the President had said. Whatever the President said caused him to respond to the President by saying, "America is an idea, not a race." He also said that he knew what he heard at the meeting and mocked Cotton and Purdue for their evolving memory.
4. Graham's fellow South Carolina Senator says that Graham had told him the "shithole" comment was "basically accurate".
5. Conservative writer, Erik Erickson, claims that Trump was bragging to his friend about his "shithole countries" remark.
6. Republican Jeff Flake says that he met with people who had just been in the meeting where Trump made his "shithole" remarks. Flake says those who were in the meeting told HIM about the President's remarks BEFORE they were made public.
7. The Washington Post reporter who initially broke this story, Josh Dawsey tweeted
White House official told me tonight there is debate internally on whether Trump said "shithole" or "shithouse." Perdue and Cotton seem to have heard latter, this person said, and are using to deny.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 15, 2018
If this is true then Purdue and Cotton are making a linguistic distinction without a difference to lie about what the President said in their meeting.