GOP Senator on Trump: 'He Did Not Use That Word'

David Perdue defends president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2018 12:10 PM CST
President Trump speaks during a joint news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Jan. 10.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Advocates of a program to protect young immigrants got a dose of good news with this White House decision, but then some bad news from the president himself. "DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. The tweet further reduces hopes that lawmakers will be able to salvage the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as part of budget negotiations currently underway, reports the Washington Post. The newspaper also suggests that hopes of a broader bipartisan deal to avoid a shutdown at the end of next week are similarly in trouble. Though lawmakers had struck a tentative deal last week, it seemed to collapse in the White House immigration meeting where Trump allegedly referred to "shithole countries."

On that front, Republican Sen. David Perdue insisted on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos that Trump never used the term. “I’m telling you he did not use that word, George,” said Perdue, contradicting the earlier assertion of Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and accusing Durbin of a “gross misrepresentation." Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul said on Meet the Press on NBC News that Trump's alleged comments were not "constructive," but that "we shouldn’t draw conclusions that he didn’t intend." Referring to a 2015 venture, Paul added: “I think it’s unfair to sort of paint him, ‘Oh well, he’s a racist,’ when I know for a fact that he cares very deeply about the people of Haiti because he helped finance a trip where they would get vision back for 200 people in Haiti." Rep. John Lewis disagrees: "I think he is a racist," Lewis said of Trump on ABC, per Politico.

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