Two Republican senators lied about hearing President Donald Trump's remark about "shithole" countries to try protecting the commander-in-chief from allegations of racism, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough said Tuesday.
A former GOP Congress member himself, Scarborough eviscerated Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia for their denials or claims of failing to "recall" Trump's insult toward Haiti and African countries. The Washington Post reported the remark last week.
Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) went public and confirmed Trump’s comments last week, while Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) all but confirmed Durbin's account Friday and Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) claimed others who attended the meeting heard Trump's vulgar language.
“Tom Cotton heard the vulgarity. David Perdue heard the vulgarity,” Scarborough said. “They lied to the American people. They lied to their constituents in Georgia and Arkansas. They lied to cover the president’s racist remarks. We know that.”
Scarborough, a frequent Trump critic who last year tussled with the president over Twitter, also went so far as to call the president a “bigot.”
“They were lying to their constituents, they were lying to the American people. They were lying to the press. All to cover up the fact that the President of the United States is a bigot,” Scarborough said.
Trump and the White House denied the Post’s account of the meeting.
Still, allegations of Trump being racist are nothing new.
On the campaign trail, Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and criminals, and accused a judge of Mexican heritage of being unable to properly rule on a case involving Trump. He also notoriously called for a ban on all Muslim travel to the U.S.
Last summer, one of Trump's biggest presidential scandals came after he hesitated to denounce white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, Va. and later said the counter-protesters deserved blame as well.
In the wake of the latest allegations, Trump has accused Democrats of not wanting to strike a deal on a new immigration policy or make progress on preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
“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,” the president tweeted Sunday.
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