"Your silence and your amnesia is complicity": Sen. Cory Booker unleashes on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen after she says she doesn't remember President Trump using the word "shithole" to refer to African countries at the DACA meeting https://t.co/tPCw1t4SSR pic.twitter.com/HY3ff6M637
- CNN (@CNN) January 16, 2018
Public figures have been quick to slam Donald Trump's alleged comments about accepting people from "sh*thole countries," and one person who delivered a particularly impassioned speech in response to the news was Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Jan. 16, Booker directed an epic tirade at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who claimed she "did not hear" Trump refer to African nations as "sh*thole countries" despite attending last week's immigration-focused meeting at which the president reportedly said those words.
"Your silence and your amnesia is complicity."
"When ignorance and bigotry is aligned with power, it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity," Booker said to Nielsen, who sat and listened. He continued, "There are threats in this country. . . . I receive enough death threats to know the reality. Kamala [Harris] receives enough death threats to know the reality. . . . And I've got a president of the United States, whose office I respect, who talks about the countries of origins of my fellow citizens in the most despicable manner. . . . You can't remember the words of your Commander in Chief. I find that unacceptable."
There is one senator who can confirm Trump's comments, however, and that's Dick Durbin. Durbin spoke out about the meeting, saying, "I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday." Trump then tweeted a response, saying "Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented" what he said.
Regardless of Trump's or Nielsen's unwillingness to own up to the comments, Booker made sure to use the chance to have his voice heard, and it didn't go unappreciated. Watch CNN's clip above to hear it for yourself.