Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen's statement to Congress that she couldn't remember whether President Trump referred to some nations as "sh*thole countries" enraged New Jersey Democratic Sen.
The top official at the Department Of Homeland Security on Tuesday declined to say directly whether President Donald Trump used a vulgar slur to describe several foreign countries during a recent White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration that she attended.
"When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a risky force in our country", Booker told Nielsen during a Department of Homeland Security oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But Nielsen said she did not hear him use the words "shithole" or "shithouse" in reference to Africa or Haiti.
'Do you remember explicitly the president saying expressly I want more Europeans why can't we have more immigrants from Norway?' Durbin asked her - picking up on another detail from an explosive Washington Post report. "The concept and the context, I believe, in which this came up was the concept that the president would like to move to a merit-based [immigration] system", she explained, to which Vermont senator Patrick Leahy responded by dryly noting that the quality of "being from Norway" is not, in fact, a skill.
During the Oval Office meeting, Trump reportedly praised Norway even as he attacking majority black nations. "When Dick Durbin called me, I had tears of rage when I heard about his experience in that meeting". People plotting. I receive enough death threats to know the reality.
"I'm sure that we are not, any of us, suggesting that Canada and Australia and their leaders are racists", she said.
"The prime minister was telling him that the people of Norway work very hard", Nielsen said.
The Illinois Democrat also said he and a handful of other senators who crafted a bipartisan immigration deal are working to win over additional supporters.
The White House has not denied that Trump made the comments.
NIELSEN: I did hear tough language from Senator Graham, yes.
"The conversation was very impassioned".
Durbin: Did you hear me use profanity?
"This report is a clear reminder of why we can not continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists", Nielsen said in a statement.
Nielsen did not directly answer the question about a bank account for Mexican border wall deposits but said her "priority was to increase border security", and build "that wall". If she did know this but wanted to give cover to Trump, she may have just lied under oath.