Trump used racist, vulgar language to slur other countries, and his homeland security secretary admitted it.
Trump Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was at the Oval Office meeting during which Trump made his racist remarks, and has tried to pass off the "I don't recall" defense to avoid confirming the language that Trump used.
But at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Nielsen was grilled, under oath, by Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, and was forced to admit that Trump used "substantially similar" language to that reported by others in the room. Trump defenders had based their stonewalling on the fact that they reportedly heard Trump say "shithouse" rather than "shithole."
Leahy reminded Nielsen that she was under oath, and asked her if Trump had used the language reported.
"Did President Trump use this word or a substantially similar word to describe certain countries?" Leahy asked.
At first, Nielsen tried to cover for Trump, saying he did not use "that word." Leahy pressed again.
"Did he use anything similar to that, describing certain countries?" he asked.
Nielsen conceded that Trump used "tough language," then tried to change the subject to the policy of a "merit-based" immigration system.
Undeterred, Leahy pressed Nielsen again, asking, "Did he use what would be considered vulgar language referring to certain countries?"
Nielsen tried to soften the blow. "The president used tough language in general," she admitted, "as did other congressmen in the room, yes."
"The others aren't president," Leahy pointed out.
Leahy then noted that Trump's comments were not, in fact, related to a "merit-based" system.
"When he denigrated Haiti, El Salvador, Africa countries where we are trying to have some ability to match China and others in influence he didn't say it was because we needed more PhD students and skilled workers," Leahy said. "He said he wanted people from Norway. Being from Norway is not a skill."
Then Leahy very pointedly asked, "Norway is a predominantly white country, isn't it?"
"I I I actually do not know that, sir, but I imagine that is the case," Nielsen said.
There really was no doubt as to what Trump said, but this testimony is more than just a reminder of Trump's racist mind and racist policies. It is also a stark demonstration of the difference between political hacks who are willing to lie for Trump in public, and what happens when they are under oath. Trump should be very afraid.