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BREAKING: Nielsen testifies: ‘I did not hear’ Trump say ‘shithole’

The Homeland Security secretary was peppered with tough questions from senators about the president’s immigration remarks.


Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified Tuesday that she did not hear President Donald Trump refer to African nations as “shithole” countries — remarks he reportedly made last week that triggered an international uproar and roiled ongoing immigration talks on Capitol Hill.

The profane comments, confirmed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and multiple sources, were not disputed by White House officials immediately after they were reported by the Washington Post and other news outlets. But in the days since, Trump has denied specifically using that phrase, though he has stressed that he did use “tough” language.

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I did not hear that word used, no sir,” Nielsen said at a hearing under questioning from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Asked whether Trump used a similar word, the DHS chief responded: “The conversation was very impassioned. I don’t dispute that the president was using tough language. Others in the room were also using tough language.”

Trump’s remarks, during a meeting with Durbin and other lawmakers at the White House, came when Trump was expressing his desire to shift the nation’s immigration system into one based on merit, Nielsen said.

"He’d like to move away from a country-based quota system to a merit-based system," Nielsen said, explaining Trump's intent. "It shouldn’t matter where you’re from, it should matter what you can contribute to the United States."


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