[HOT] – A Senior Republican Senator Admonishes Trump: ‘American Is an Idea, Not a Race’

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WASHINGTON – It's just after President Trump has finished taunting the Oval Office against African immigrants that he says he came from "torn country" when a senior senator Republican, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, was there to negotiate "America is an idea, not a race," said Graham, according to three people familiar with Thursday's trade. Diversity was a strength, he said, not a weakness. And by the way, the senator added, he himself was a descendant of immigrants to the United States from "country without jurisdiction".

Trump's racist comments to several lawmakers, which also spread to immigrants from Haiti – followed by a day when members of Congress denounced the president, l 39; have defended or remained silent – now threaten what was an emerging agreement to protect undocumented migrants brought to the United States as children.

Several people familiar with the conversation said that the president had also asked if Haitian immigrants could be deported. The collapse of negotiations on an immigration agreement would increase the risk of a government shutdown next week, given that many Democrats have said that such an agreement must be included in any measure to continue funding after the January 19 deadline.

To try to recover the political narrative, the President took Twitter Friday with a vague denial, saying that his remarks at the meeting were "difficult, but this"

But Senator Richard J Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who also attended the meeting on immigration, told reporters on Friday that the president had used the insult several times, and had said: "

"I can not believe that in the history of the White House in this oval office, no president has ever uttered the words I've personally heard speak of our President yesterday, "Mr. Durbi

Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, told The Post and Courier that Mr. Graham had told him about Mr. Trump's remarks after the meeting, and he described as "fundamentally accurate "After three people informed of the meeting, there was a dramatic moment between the president and Mr Graham, who called Mr Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign a" race trap ". , xenophobe, religious bigot, "but who recently grew up near the president, advising him on immigration policy.

After Mr. Trump denigrated African nations in foul terms, they said Mr. Graham responded with an impassioned defense of immigrants and immigration as pillars of American ideals of diversity and inclusion.

Mr. Graham n & # 39; He did not respond to repeated requests for comments on the President's remarks or his own, but on Friday he issued a statement that seemed to confirm the content of both.

"Following the President's comments, I told him my room directly yesterday, "Graham said." The chair and everyone who attends the meeting know what I said and how I feel. I've always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals. "

In Twitter posts on Friday, Mr. Trump accused the Democrats had fabricated parts of the exchange while he was defending the sentiment that inspired them, the last turning point of the Saga surrounding a meeting held Thursday to discuss progress toward a bipartisan immigration agreement.

Trump said that he "never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country "and denied that he had asked to remove them from the proposal, adding:" Composed by Dems. "

President Trump at a meeting in the Roosevelt Hall of the White House Thursday Credit Tom Brenner / The New York Times ]

In a joint statement issued Friday, two se Republican nators who also attended the session, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, accused the Democrats of acting dishonorably, saying that they could not remember if M Trump used the words attributed to him.

"President Trump has brought everyone to the table this week and listened to both sides, but unfortunately everyone is negotiating in good faith," Enators said. Senator Durbin's accusation, we do not recall the President by saying these comments specifically but what he called was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our National Interest. "

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At an event in Wisconsin on Friday, President Paul D. Ryan described Mr. Trump's Mr. Ryan recalled that his own parents had immigrated to the United States from Ireland.

Senator Roy Blunt, Republi Missouri Cain, suggested that the President was unable to refrain from abstaining.

"It's an unacceptable view of the world and it's unacceptable to say," Blunt told the radio station. n KMBZ. "You would expect the president to guide you in the way you filter your thoughts, rather than continue to say things that take away a lot of what's really happening."

Cedric L. Richmond, Louisiana The President of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Representative Jerrold B. Nadler of New York, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that they would ask Republican leaders to submit a resolution reprimanding the president for "racist statements".

"We must show the world that this president does not represent the true feelings of the majority of the American people, which partly explains why he lost the popular vote," they said in a joint statement . "Congress must speak with one voice in condemning these offensive and anti-American remarks."

After President Trump used vulgar language about immigrants, televised information struggled with a question: were his remarks racist? Published on Jan. 12, 2018

The Repercussion The president's bipartisan comments intensified on Friday while Trump signed a proclamation at the White House for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, ignoring a question from a journalist

The Debate Mr. Trump 's anti – immigrant speeches took place a week before government funding was exhausted without congressional action, where Democrats insisted on including a political agenda. to protect individuals e 800,000 undocumented immigrants that Mr. Trump decided to cancel. Under the delayed action for child arrivals, a program created by President Barack Obama that is commonly known as DACA, they have obtained temporary and renewable work permits. Mr. Trump announced in September that he was ending the program by setting a six-month period before the expiry of the first permits and asking Congress to pass a law to create a permanent solution between -time.

A federal judge in San Francisco this week placed a national injunction on this action, ordering the Trump administration to continue the program pending a court challenge.

While the legislators had reached a bipartisan agreement on the issue and Mr. Durbin and Mr. Graham had hoped that Mr. Trump was about to approve it, the fury surrounding his remarks was seemed to deepen the divisions surrounding such a plan, prompting the president to rule out the odds of an agreement.

Denying reports of his remarks but describing his language as "hard," Mr. Trump said on Twitter: "What was really hard, it was the extravagant proposition made – a big setback for DACA! "

The President's comments came during a session during which Senators described a plan to end the diversity visa lottery and to allocate certain visas to vulnerable populations of El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti who have temporary protection status in the United States. . The measure under discussion would also confer legal status to DACA beneficiaries and work permits to their parents, prohibit children from sponsoring their parents for citizenship, and include $ 2.5 billion in funding for border security.

Trump responded positively to the proposal after hearing Mr. Graham and Mr. Durbin describe him on the phone on Thursday morning, according to people familiar with the conversations, but the couple arrived at the White House to inform the President about it shortly thereafter. to find several Republicans, they did not expect sitting on the session. Participants were surprised by the tone that Mr. Trump took at the meeting, and on Friday morning, Mr. Trump listed his objections to the measure on Twitter and was working preemptively to blame if the conflict resulted in the closure of the government.

"The United States would be forced to take a large number of people in high-crime countries that are doing badly," Trump said of the immigration plan. "The Dems will threaten to" shut down ", but what they do, is close our armed forces, when we need them the most."

Eileen Sullivan, Thomas Kaplan and Emily Baumgaertner

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