Paul Ryan says Trump's slur against African countries is 'unfortunate, unhelpful'

But Democratic Senator Dick Durbin who was reportedly at the meeting said the U.S. president used "shitholes" in the context of African countries.

In a response labelled by worldwide media as damage control, Mr Trump has denied using derogatory words but admitted his language was "tough". "What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made". Trump asked, sources told the Washington Post.

White House aides intended for President Donald Trump's Thursday interview with the Wall Street Journal to be a boon for the administration.

"The Government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump, must use this descriptor and derogatory word, when talking about countries with whom the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations for so many years", the Botswana government said in a statement condemning his remarks.

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In recounting the meeting, Durbin suggested that Trump's "shitholes" slur was aimed at African nations.

Trump also questioned why the United States lets Haitians into the country, and mocked Durbin's assertion that African-Americans might be offended by the term "chain migration", the senator said.

Altidor said Trump should apologize for any vulgarity. He also, according to CNN, "spent his Thursday night phoning aides, allies and friends, asking them how they thought the "shithole" remark was playing out in the press".

Mr Trump took particular issue with the characterisation of his comments on Haiti, responding on Twitter: "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians!" he posted. To Trump supporters, Lemon had no right to make assumptions about the president; to the Trump haters, Lemon is a hero. "Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust".

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U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Bucks County described the president's language as "unacceptable".

Rev. Sara Smith of the United Congregational Church in Bridgeport says President Trump's words go against everything she preaches to her very diverse church group.

"I seen the statement they said the president made about why we keep allowing immigrants to come into our country from sh*thole places like Haiti, Africa, El Salvador, why we can't have immigrants come in from places like Norway". Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who was in the meeting, said the reports were correct.

Salvador Sánchez, the president of El Salvador, said Trump's words had "struck at the dignity of Salvadorans".

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And when I mentioned that fact to him, he said "Haitians, do we need more Haitians?" "He said these hateful things and he said them repeatedly".

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