CBSN

"I am not a racist": Trump responds to reported "sh*thole" comment

President Trump had dinner with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at Trump International in Miami, Fla., on Sun., Jan. 14, 2018.

CBS News

President Trump said Sunday that he's not a racist days after his reported use of vulgar language to describe immigrants from African nations, Haiti and El Salvador. He also denies the "sh*thole" comment was ever made.

Mr. Trump was meeting with with House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, at Trump International in Miami to discuss a new immigration deal when he was asked about the disparaging remarks.

trump.png

President Trump had dinner with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at Trump International in Miami, Fla., on Sun., Jan. 14, 2018.  

CBS News

"Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comment?" Mr. Trump said, with McCarthy standing next to him. "They weren't made."

A reporter followed up with a question about the global outcry labeling him as a "racist."

"No, no, I am not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That, I can tell you," he said.

Mr. Trump also accused Democrats of failing to advance any bipartisan agreement regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) -- the Obama-era program protecting young immigrants from deportation.

"I don't think the Democrats want to make a deal," he said. "They talk about DACA but they don't want to help the DACA people."

Earlier, he blamed the Democrats on Twitter, saying they're all "talk." 

DACA has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas. The program includes hundreds of thousands of college-age students. Currently, a federal judge in the state of California has blocked the Trump administration's decision to end the DACA program.

While meeting with lawmakers about a potential immigration deal, Mr. Trump questioned why the U.S. accepts immigrants from what he called "sh*thole countries," according to Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, who was at the meeting.

"Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?" the president said Thursday afternoon in the Oval Office. Two Republican senators present at the meeting have disputed Durbin's account.

When the comments initially came to light, the African group of ambassadors to the United Nations issued an extraordinary statement condemning the "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks" by Mr. Trump and demanding a retraction and apology on Friday.