South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was in the room when President Donald Trump reportedly referred to several third-world and African countries as a derogatory term during a bipartisan meeting on immigration.
Fellow Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Graham objected to the president's phrasing during the meeting.
"My colleague, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina spoke up and made a direct comment on what the president said. I was very proud of him, it took courage for what he did," Durbin said. "And I made my own comments in response to it, but for him to confront the president as he did, literally sitting next to him, took extraordinary political courage and I respect him for it."
Graham released a statement Friday afternoon on Twitter, saying:
Yesterday Senator Durbin and I met with President Trump at the White House to discuss our bipartisan proposal on border security and immigration.
Following comments by the President, I said my piece directly to him yesterday. The President and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel. I’ve always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals.
The American ideal is embraced by people all over the globe. It was best said a long time ago, E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Diversity has always been our strength, not our weakness. In reforming immigration we cannot lose these American Ideals.
The American people will ultimately judge us on the outcome we achieve, not the process which led to it.
I know the bipartisan proposal discussed at the White House can get a lot of support from both sides. As always, I look forward to considering additional ideas that could make the proposal even better.
I appreciate Senator Durbin’s statements and have enjoyed working with him and many others on this important issue. I believe it is vitally important to come to a bipartisan solution to the immigration and border challenges we face today. I am committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to find common ground so we can move forward.
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