Trump defends his comments, says: 'I'm not a racist'

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday blamed Senator Dick Durbin for blowing up talks on a deal to help immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and said the Democratic lawmaker misrepresented his comments about Haiti and African countries.

Trump made the denial late Sunday as he arrived for dinner with House majority leader Kevin McCarthy at his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

President Donald Trump says a program to protect immigrants brought into the US illegally as children is "probably dead".

President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that he was "not a racist", after his reported denunciation of immigration from "shithole" countries triggered a global firestorm of criticism.

"I'm telling you he did not use that word, George, and I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation", Perdue told moderator George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week". I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed.

A key issue they need to agree on is what to do with an Obama-era scheme that protects some 800,000 young people who entered the USA illegally as children - known as the Dreamers. Many Democrats have said they will not vote for a spending bill this week needed to avoid a partial government shutdown without a deal on DACA.

While some senators and Trump aides have said they did not hear him use that exact word, others said they did.

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He reiterated the remark to reporters at Mar-a-Lago Sunday evening, saying that he and congressional Republicans were "ready, willing, and able to make a deal" on DACA "but Democrats don't want to".

Georgia Sen. David Perdue and Arkansas Sen. Trump said past year that he's killing the program unless Congress sends him legislation by March to keep it.

"The AU mission condemns the statement in the strongest terms and demands a retraction of the comment as well as an apology to not only the Africans but to all people of African descent across the globe". "No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST", the U.S. president tweeted on Sunday.

Trump, in front of a room full of congressmen said that he would prefer people from "Norway" to come to the United States instead of places such as Haiti and El Salvador.

Graham made the comments to the news program as controversy continues to swirl around supposed comments Trump made at a meeting about immigration reform January 11.

They also said that during the meeting, the President questioned the need to admit more Haitians to the US.

Sen. Jeff Flake, a fierce Republican critic of the president, was not at the meeting but tweeted that he had heard directly from those who were in attendance.

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