Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd questioned Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) about his claim President Donald Trump did not call some counties “shitholes.”
Thus, Todd accused Cotton of calling Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) “liars.”
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: I’ve got to ask you about the infamous meeting of ten days ago. Did the president use a vulgarity?
COTTON: Chuck, I’m not going to get into every word that was or was not said. I will say, as many people have said, Kirstjen Nielsen under oath, a lot of strong language was used. I think it is fair to say there was cursing behind closed doors.
TODD: What I don’t understand is in the first 48 hours if there was a controversy about whether it was said, you implied it wasn’t said at all. you didn’t — and it made it seem as if you were accusing Dick Durbin of being a liar and Lindsey Graham of being a liar.
COTTON: As far as I know Lindsey Graham hasn’t spoken on the record about this, Chuck. Here’s the point that Senator Durbin represented that President Trump used repeatedly, repeatedly used vile, racist, lays if the language. That’s not the case. If he was, why didn’t he slam anything and slam his paper up and get up and walk out. What Trump and others in that meeting expressed was astonishment that Senator Durbin and Senator Graham would bring a proposal that won’t move us towards a skill-based system but towards a system where we’re rewarding people based on where they come from, not who they are. the point of immigration reform is to judge people as individuals based on who they are and what they can contribute to society, not who they are and who they are related to.
TODD: But to go back to the issue of trust on both sides, You let it sort of hang out there that Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham were misleading the public completely and only now are you admitting, well, yeah, there was some vulgarity used. That isn’t what you said a week ago or ten days ago at the time. Why?
COTTON: Chuck, I’ve never denied that there wasn’t strong language used in the meeting by lots of people. You know, I’m not a shrinking violet about these things. I’ve been in a command post overseas and I’ve heard salty language before. What I’m saying it’s a gross mess representation.
TODD: Were you offended? Lindsey Graham appears to be offended. He said his piece. Were you offended by what the president said.
COTTON: I was not offended and nobody in the meeting expressed their offense.
TODD: Lindsey Graham didn’t make his peace?
COTTON: Lindsey Graham made a case about immigration policies, not about what the president was saying.
TODD: He said he said his peace about what American ideals are about.
COTTON: Yes, he did and that’s part of immigration policy because immigration policy is a part of who we are, who we’re going to bring to this country to become new American citizens.