Trump inflammatory comments on 's---hole countries' in Oval Office immigration meeting

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on the president's comment amid a history of racially divisive actions.
3:42 | 01/14/18

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Transcript for Trump inflammatory comments on 's---hole countries' in Oval Office immigration meeting
This week was supposed to be a fresh start for president trump. To combat the fallout from the explosive book, "Fire and fury" he called cameras into the white house to watch him negotiate an immigration deal with a bipartisan group of legislators. It was an extraordinary moment. And it seemed to work. Until Thursday. Another immigration meeting. This one behind closed doors in the oval office. Where the president repeated that pro fancy when discussing immigration from Africa and Haiti. Stunning remarks that put a lingering question in stark relief. Is president trump a racist? Today, we celebrate Dr. King for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear, that no matter what the color of our skin or the place of our birth, we are all created equal by god. President trump at the white house on Friday, praising martin Luther king like so many presidents before. Then came the questions. Mr. President, will you give an apology for the statement yesterday? Mr. President, are you a racist? Will you respond to these serious questions about your statement, sir? Questions about the vulgar and racist slur he used when discussing immigration from Africa and Haiti. It happened on Thursday. The president was frustrate bid a bipartisan plan that would scale back the Visa lotter E roory program. The president asked those in the room why day would want people from Haiti, Africa, and other expletive countries coming into the United States? Instead he suggested the U.S. Should bring the more people from European countries like Norway. The white house didn't deny the statement. The next day, trump tweeted. Lindsey graham said he countered the president's comments in the moment. Richard Durbin said trump could not have been more clear. He used the vile and vulgar comments calling the nations they come from . The exact word used by the president. Not once but repeatedly. That was the nature of the conversation. I'm sorry, there is no other word one can use but racist. Reporter: Condemnation from Haiti, El Salvador. And the meeting of the African ambassadors,alled on trump to apologize. Questions about trump and race have dogged him for decades. In 1973, the use disdepartment pseudohim and his father for discriminating against black persons in the operation of their buildings. The case was settled. In 1989, te campaign against the central park five. He placed full page ads in four New York newspapers. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and when day kill, they should be executed for their crimes. Trump promoted the birther movement against president Obama. When he prepared to run for president. Of course there's a question. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. Some people say it wasn't his birth certificate. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Reporter: A blast against Mexican immigrants. They're brinking drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume are good people. Reporter: A Mexican American judge. There's a hostile till toward me by the judge. Beyond belief. I believe he happens to be Spanish, which is fine. Reporter: And as president, those inflammatory comments after a white supremacist rally in charlottesville. You also had people that were very fine people. On both sides.

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

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