'I'm not a racist,' Trump declares; his Palm Beach weekend ends today

President Trump speaks to the media as he meets with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the Oval Office on Jan. 10

President Trump speaks to the media as he meets with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the Oval Office on Jan. 10

"No, I am not a racist", he said. "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed", Trump told reporters as he arrived at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida for dinner with Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The alleged expletive came during a Thursday meeting between Trump and legislators about immigration reform.

Asked what he thinks about people who think he is racist, Mr Trump said, "No, No". The was preceded by his "rapists" comments about Mexico, which he subsequently doubled down on during an interview with CNN's Don Lemon. "That I can tell you", he said. "I am the least racist person", he added, noting his "certain street sense" as a defense.

An alternate vulgarity theory emerged Sunday, with conservative National Review editor Rich Lowry suggesting on ABC's "This Week" that Trump might have used the term "shithouse" instead of "shithole".

"The US embassy and the US charge d'affaires responded to the concerns of SA by stating that "there has been no change in the US's dedication to our partners across the continent" and that "the US deeply respects the people of Africa and the people of SA‚ and values its partnerships with them", said Monyela.

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Trump and some of the lawmakers in the closed-door meeting Thursday have since pushed back on the characterization of his comments, with the President denying making the derogatory remarks and allied Republican senators taking to the Sunday morning shows to claim Trump never used the vulgar phrase.

Trump has insisted he is not racist following an worldwide outcry over an offensive comment he is accused of making about some African, central American and Caribbean countries.

Trump tweets Monday: "Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting".

Trump took particular issue with the idea that people who'd fled to the USA after disasters hit their homes in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Haiti would be allowed to stay as part of the deal, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly describe the discussion.

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children - so-called "Dreamers" - face deportation unless a compromise can be reached that would grant them rights to stay.

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Trump and fellow Republicans have disputed public accounts of the discussion. Trump said, according to the source.

"Honestly I don't think the Democrats want to make a deal", Trump said.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) said on Sunday that he heard from participants about the president's comments soon afterwards.

The statement cast doubt on Mr. Trump's tweeted denial, noting that it was "not categorical" since it referred "only to Haiti" and failed to address the entirety of the reported comments. "Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military".

Trump on Sunday denied that he made the "shithole" remarks, though some lawmakers in the room with him when he made them have confirmed them.

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