Sen. Perdue on Trump's 's---hole countries' comment: 'He did not use that word'

On "This Week," the Trump ally who attended the Oval Office immigration meeting denies the president made the inflammatory comments.
6:59 | 01/14/18

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Transcript for Sen. Perdue on Trump's 's---hole countries' comment: 'He did not use that word'
Want to bring in Republican senator David perdue of Georgia. I know you're one of president trump's closest Alice in the senate. How do you respond to what we heard from congressman Lewis, that he believes president trump is a racist? Of course, think that's ridiculous. I grew up in the south. I fully understand what that means. The congressman and I disagree on a couple of things. First, I'm from Georgia. I've been in the schools he's talking about. He's exactly right that regardless of race, religion, anything, those schools, those kids are doing great together. The problem is, is when you get to the Washington politicians. The career politicians, who want to pander to their base. What we have going on here right now is a gross misrepresentation. It started with a total misrepresentation of a meeting from Thursday. Two days earlier, the president, in an open media, with media in there for almost an hour, debated this with both sides. Democrats, Republicans, house members and the senate. We forget that 7% of Americans want us to solve this problem. We want to solve the DACA problem. We want border security with a wall. We want to end chain migration and the diversity lottery. That's the scope we all agreed on on Tuesday. In Thursday, we had a gross misrepresentation. It's not the first time. Let's get into that. No, let me finish, George. I wano know what the gross misrepresentation was? . That language was used that was not used. And that the tone was not contributory or constructive. In 2013, senator Durbin made the Sam allegation. He said the man chewed out the president. He said that in 2013. Later that day, the president's own press secretary came out and said, it did not happen. This is about a gross misrepresentation. It's not the first time. These people have been trying for 35 years to solve this immigration problem without success. For one reason. You said the words the president used were not used. That did not happen. But it's not just senator Durbin who said that. Senator Lindsey graham has put out a statement saying that he countered the president's words in the moment. He told his Republican colleagues from South Carolina, Tim Scott, that the reports of that meeting were basically accurate. Those comments had been confirmed by multiple sources. You're saying it didn't happen? Multiple sources? There were six of news the room. I haven't heard any of those six other than senator Durbin talk about what was said. Senator Scott said the reports were basically accurate. You'll have to deal with him. Basic sli an operative word. The trouble is, senator Durbin brought a proposal. You're saying flat out, defen actively, the president did not say those words. I'm saying that this is a gross misrepresentation. It's not the first time senator Durbin has done it. It's not productive to solving the problem. What did the president say? Most people in America, George, want us to solve the DACA situation. Republicans and Democrats want to solve the DACA situation. We want to make sure we're not back here if five years doing the same thing again. We have to secure our borders, George. This is a serious issue. Not just an immigration issue. A national security issue. The president wants a wall. We're not talking about 2,000 miles. We're talking about 600 miles or so. Not talking about anything unreasonable. Or that Democrats have not voted for in the past. The third thing we have to end chain my dprags. Where 72% of our population agrees. We need to limit to it the worker. The spouse, the immediate family. 72% George. Almost 60% believe we should move to a merit-based immigration system similar to what the commission did when you were in the white house in the '90s, president Clinton received a report from Barbara Jordan and a presidential commission on immigration that said they wanted to end chain migration and move more toward an immigration system based on merit, and who people were, not where they are from. The supporters of this bipartisan deal say they limit chin migration and there is $1.6 billion in wall spending. I'm not clear on what you say happened in the meeting. You say it's a gross misrepresentation. Senator Durbin is clear. Senator graham says the reports are basically factual. Are you telling me the president didn't use the term report snnchtd I'm saying he didn't. We had a press secretary of your pet president in a different meeting that said that didn't happen. We were listening to a proposing that the Democrats are bringing forth. It's not a serious proposal. With $1.8 billion basically approved. It's in the current budget. We want to get serious about a compromise. This deal has got to find symmetry. So far, the Poe item is there. We can solve the DACA. We may be able to solve some of the numbers. You're sounding -- It's no more complicated than that. You're sounding more optimistic than the president. He put out a tweet saying DACA is probably dead. We have to find common ground. Both parties, and Americans want this, both parties want to solve the DACA issue. I keep coming back to the stay 'tissics. 80% of Americans want the DACA situation fixed. Almost 75% want the chain immigration system fixed. Once and for all. So we're not back here in five years with the same problem. You're saying you're only going the see a deal if we have DACA in the context of overall immigration reform. You're against that more limited deal, DACA for border security in order to keep the government open? It's not a symmetric deal. I have done big deals before. They have to be symmetric. We have limited the debate from the comprehensive debate that has failed three times in the last 11 years. Now, we're dealing with just the legal immigration system. 1.1 million immigrants come into our country every year. We're focusing on four things. The president is consistent all along. I have been consistent. Senator cotton has been consistent. That any deal on DACA has to include border security, including a wall, and the end to chain migration. That's been consistent for the past year. Senator perdue, thank you for your time. Thanks, George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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