Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) accused President Donald Trump on Friday of referring to African countries as “s***holes” during a meeting that they both attended on Thursday.
Durbin told reporters that what Trump said was “hate-filled, vile and racist,” adding that “the most disheartening thing to me is my belief that that was the first time words that hateful had been spoken in the Oval Office of the White House.”
There’s just one problem with Durbin’s claims: He has a history of making up statements from private White House meetings.
In 2013, Politico reported:
“In a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told [President Barack Obama]: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you,’” Durbin wrote in a post on his Facebook page over the weekend.
However, both the White House and the House speaker’s office denied Durbin’s account of events.
Asked about the post in the White House daily briefing, press secretary Jay Carney said he checked with a participant of the meeting in question.
“I looked into this and spoke with somebody who was in that meeting and it did not happen,” Carney said.
Politico added that Durbin’s office “had no comment on the post and offered no further details.”
“Sen. Durbin’s accusation is a serious one, and it appears to have been invented out of thin air,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for then-House Speaker John Boehner. “The senator should disclose who told him this account of events, retract his reckless allegation immediately, and apologize.”
Trump denied the claims on Friday, tweeting: “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!”
“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!” Trump said.