Sen. Durbin Grills DHS Sec on Trump Sh*thole Remarks: ‘What Was That Strong Language?’


Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced a brutal grilling at the hands of Democratic lawmakers over President Donald Trump’s alleged “shithole” remarks at an Oval Office meeting on immigration last week.

Sen. Dick Durbin, who was at the meeting Nielsen and claimed Trump derided Haiti and African countries as “shitholes,” questioned the DHS secretary under oath at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday — and Nielsen’s memory was foggy.

“How did [Trump] characterize those countries in Africa?” Durbin asked Nielsen.

“I don’t specifically remember a categorization of countries in Africa,” the secretary replied, noting there was a lot of “cross-conversations” during the White House immigration meeting — as well as “a lot of tough talk by a lot of people in the room.”

Durbin followed up by asking: “Do you remember the president saying expressly, ‘I want more Europeans? Why can’t we have more immigrants from Norway?'”

Nielsen said this comment from Trump was a actually a question about countries “underrepresented” by the U.S. immigration policy.

“You said on Fox News that the president used strong language,” Durbin continued. “What was that strong language?”

And Nielsen came SO close to providing an answer:

“Uh, let’s see,” she started. “Strong language — there was, uh. I — apologies, I don’t remember a specific word.”

She added: “What I was struck with, frankly, as I’m sure you were, as well, was just the general profanity that was used in the room by almost everyone.”

“Did you hear me use profanity?” Durbin shot back.

“No, sir,” Nielsen replied, before noting that Sen. Lindsey Graham used “tough language” in the meeting.

Durbin went on to note that Graham stood up against the president’s comments on immigrants in the meeting:

I’m not going to ask you to say those words here. But I will just say for the record, Senator Graham spoke up in a way that I respect very much, countering what the president had said about countries in Africa. Reminding the president that his family did not come to America with great skills or wealth. But they came here, as most families do, looking for a chance to prove themselves and make this a better nation. In a defense of Senator Graham, his strong words repeated exactly the words used by the president, which you cannot remember.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin