In a 14-hour span after The Washington Post first reported that President Donald Trump talked about "people from sh*thole countries" during an oval office meeting about DACA, Trump sent out 11 tweets — which the White House said are "official statements" — with none of them addressing the The Post's report. Trump's 12th tweet, however, appears to be different. In an apparent response to the controversial quote that was attributed to him, Trump's tweet about his reported DACA comment seemingly offered a denial, which included the words "this was not the language used."
On Friday morning, Jan. 12, the president tweeted in full, "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!"
Before posting the apparent denial, Trump shared three other tweets that criticized a bipartisan proposal on immigration — or, in other words, what he called an "the outlandish proposal."
The proposal was discussed in the oval office on Thursday. It is during that discussion that he "grew frustrated" with congress members, according to The Washington Post, and asked "Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?" The Post also reported that the president further asked, "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out."
After The Post published its report, the White House released an official statement about the president's stance on immigration, asserting that Trump "will always fight for the American people."
The statement read,
Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. The President will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration — two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country. Like there nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy, and assimilate into our great nation. He will always reject temporary, weak, and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.
The White House statement released on Thursday differed from a separate White House statement that was delivered a month, in a similar scenario. In December, The New York Times reported about a meeting during which President Trump had been reading a document detailing the amount of immigrants who had received visas in 2017.
When Trump discussed the amount that came from Haiti, he said they "all have AIDS," The Times reported. When Trump discussed the amount that had come from Nigeria, he said they would never "go back to their huts," according to The Times' account.
In that December report, The Times cited two sources — one official who had been in the meeting and another who had been briefed about the meeting by a different person.
In response, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the comments attributed to Trump in the report and told The New York Times, "General Kelly, General McMaster, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Nielsen and all other senior staff actually in the meeting deny these outrageous claims. It’s both sad and telling The New York Times would print the lies of their anonymous ‘sources’ anyway."
This time around, though, after The Washington Post reported the president asked why the United States was letting in so many people from "sh*thole countries" — while discussing African nations, Haiti and El Salvador — the White House did not offer a denial.
On Friday morning, however, President Trump appeared to tweet a denial of his own.