A Senior Republican Senator Admonishes Trump: ‘America Is an Idea, Not a Race’

To try to steer the political narrative, the president took to Twitter on Friday with a vague account of the meeting, saying his remarks at the meeting were “tough, but this was not the language used.”

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But Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who also attended the meeting on immigration, told reporters on Friday that the president had used the expletive several times, and had said “things which were hate-filled, vile and racist.”

“I cannot believe that, in the history of the White House in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” Mr. Durbin said.

Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, told The Post and Courier of Charleston that Mr. Graham had related Mr. Trump’s remarks to him after the meeting, and he called news reports about them “basically accurate” based on that account.

According to three people briefed about the meeting, it featured a dramatic moment between the president and Mr. Graham, who referred to Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign as a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot,” but who has recently grown close to the president and has advised him on immigration policy.

After Mr. Trump disparaged African nations in foul terms, they said, Mr. Graham answered with an impassioned defense of immigrants and immigration as…

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