Guest Post, Two Republican senators have come down with a case of “shithole”-related amnesia

Tom Cotton and David Perdue were in the room yesterday. They claim not to “recall” Trump’s comments.

By Andrew  Jan 12, 2018, 2:25pm EST

Two Republican senators who attended yesterday’s meeting in which President Trump reportedly disparaged immigrants from “shithole countries” seem to have come down with a case of amnesia.

In a joint statement this afternoon, Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) wrote that they “do not recall the President saying those comments specifically” — but conspicuously didn’t outright deny that he said them.

Since Trump’s comments were confirmed by multiple other sources who attended the meeting or quickly heard about it, Cotton and Perdue’s statement doesn’t pass the laugh test. Indeed, it seems to be an unusually craven attempt to deny reality and curry favor with the president.

Trump’s “shithole” remark was first reported by the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey on Thursday afternoon. Per “several people briefed” on an Oval Office meeting Trump held with lawmakers that day, Dawsey wrote, Trump asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

Dawsey’s report quickly drew an enormous amount of attention. And through Thursday night, Trump never denied making the comments, despite tweeting on several other topics. (Per NBC News, Trump was calling friends and allies to attempt to gauge how his comments would be received.)

Finally, by Friday morning, Trump appeared to conclude that the comments were politically inconvenient for him, and hazily denied them. “This was not the language used,” he tweeted.

Others in the room, however, tell a very different story.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who attended the meeting with Trump, has publicly confirmed that “he said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly.”Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) told the Post and Courier that his South Carolina colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham, who attended the meeting, told him Trump’s reported comments were “basically accurate.”And Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who also didn’t attend the meeting, told the Washington Post he heard about Trump’s comments before they went public, and they matched the later reports.

Meanwhile, other Republican attendees of the meeting, like Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), have simply remained silent on the matter or tried to dodge the question, rather than outright denying it.

It is only Cotton and Perdue who are now publicly claiming to be unable to “recall” what would seem to be very memorable comments in a meeting they both attended just yesterday.

If true, it’s worrying that two US senators have been stricken with such a devastating memory-related malady, and I hope they find the help they need.

Views: 147

Comment by Ron Powell on January 12, 2018 at 4:25pm

 “We do not recall the president saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest.”

--Senators Cotton & Perdue

What we have here is a pair of white life,  white privilege, sycophantic weasels trying to whitewash the most incindiary Oval Office Incident since Bill Clinton got some head from Monica Lewinsky.

They should rename that White House location the 'Oral Office' given what goes in and out of people's mouths in the place.

Comment by Maui Surfer on January 12, 2018 at 7:04pm

Those MotherFucking Grand Wizards ought to be tarred and feathered for such lying, seditious bastards. Cotton in particular stands out, even in the KKK Party, as a piece of lying shit, to use vernacular normally reserved for presidential sermons.

Comment by moki ikom on January 12, 2018 at 9:55pm

Welcome to Tom Cotton’s World:


Update: November 30, 2017 Mehdi Hasan October 18 2017, 3:33 a.m.

This story was updated to include the imminent possibility of Cotton’s takeover of the CIA.

Is there a more dangerous member of Congress than Tom Cotton?

The hawkish Republican senator and former U.S. Army captain has never hidden his relentless obsession with confronting Iran. He has led the charge on Capitol Hill to dismantle the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic while constantly banging the drum for tougher sanctions and even airstrikes against Iranian nuclear facilities...  Cotton seems to have won over the know-nothing president of the United States. Last week, President Donald Trump refused to certify to Congress that the Iran nuclear deal is in the U.S. national interest and warned that U.S participation in that agreement could “be cancelled by me, as president, at any time.”

You might call Cotton, who is now being touted as the next director of the CIA, the “Trump whisperer.” In fact, according to the Weekly Standard, in a recent meeting with his top national security and foreign policy advisers, “having failed to receive the decertification option from his own team, Trump called Senator Tom Cotton and put him on speakerphone. The president asked Cotton to make the case for decertifying the Iran deal. Cotton took five minutes and walked Trump and his team through the case, emphasizing one point in particular: re-certifying the deal would be declaring that it was in the national security interest of the United States, something Cotton understood that Trump didn’t believe.”

The Weekly Standard report added that Trump “left the phone call” convinced that the decision to decertify was “the right one.”

Got that? The reality TV star who now occupies the Oval Office defied the advice of his own inner circle, including Defense Secretary James Mattis; ignored the pleas of America’s closest allies; and dismissed the evidence offered by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the deal. Instead, he decided to go with the advice of a 40-year-old freshman senator from Arkansas, who has zero expertise in Middle East diplomacy and none in the field of nuclear proliferation.

  despite his two degrees from Harvard. Like Ryan, Cotton’s policy ideas fall apart the minute they are applied to the real world. “The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran,” Cotton declared in June, before explaining how he believed the United States should “support internal domestic dissent” in Iran by backing minority ethnic groups, including Arabs, Turkmen, and Baloches, who “aren’t enthusiastic about living in a Persian Shia despotism.”

This is madness.  Have we forgotten how much blood was spilled in Iraq thanks to such a nakedly sectarian “divide and rule” strategy? Are we supposed to ignore the way in which outside powers stirred up “internal domestic dissent” in Syria, by arming and funding vicious jihadist groups?

Then again, though Cotton may now be the most hawkish senator in the United States — step aside John McCain and Lindsey Graham — we should perhaps thank him for his bluntness.

… Cotton is clear about regime change. He is clear about airstrikes. He is clear about wanting to crush Iran. Consider his recent remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations where, referring to the impact of sanctions on Iran’s economy, Cotton said: “One thing I learned in the Army is that when your opponent is on his knees, you drive him to the ground and choke him out,” later adding, “If they’re on their knees in surrender, then you accept their surrender.”

This is the kind of language you might expect from a tinpot African dictator trying to suppress a domestic revolt — or maybe from a teenager obsessed with playing “Call of Duty” on his Playstation — and not from a leading member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

… “If we are forced to take action,” the senator told his audience at the Council of Foreign Relations, “the United States has the ability to totally destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.”

… a stark warning to hawks like Cotton, who seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing:  U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni, “Like I tell my friends, if you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran.--

Comment by moki ikom on January 12, 2018 at 10:02pm

10 Things You Didn't Know About Tom Cotton

The senator from Arkansas has been branded a 'conservative superstar.'

1. Thomas B. "Tom" Cotton was born on May 13, 1977, in Yell County, Arkansas, to Len and Avis Cotton. The family lived on a small farm in the Dardanelle area. Before retirement, Len had a long career at the Arkansas Department of Health; Avis was the longtime principal of Dardanelle Middle School.

2. Cotton barely spoke until he was 3, and a speech impediment made it hard for people to understand him, so his older sister Sarah acted as a translator of sorts. Cotton underwent intensive speech therapy during much of his elementary school years.

3. Cotton is 6-foot-5 and played basketball in high school; his school's team was the Dardanelle Sand Lizards. He played on the JV squad and then intramurals at Harvard University, where he majored in government and earned a bachelor's degree. He earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2002.

4. Cotton's senior thesis at Harvard focused on the Federalist Papers. He wrote that "the Founders were wise not to put too much faith in democracy, because people are inherently selfish, narrow-minded, and impulsive."

5. After law school, Cotton served as a clerk with the U.S. Court of Appeals before joining a private law practice to help pay off his student loans. He left the practice to enlist in the Army.

6. Cotton was sworn into the U.S. Army in Houston on Jan. 11, 2005. He deployed to Iraq in May 2006 as a platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. Cotton returned to combat and served as a captain in Afghanistan, where he was among the soldiers to earn a Bronze Star for distinguished service. Cotton was discharged from active duty in September 2009.

7. In 2006, The New York Times published a report on a secret U.S. program to track and thwart terrorist financing networks. The George W. Bush administration claimed national security would be compromised by publishing the report. Cotton, in Baghdad, composed a letter to the Times – "You may think you have done a public service," he wrote, "but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here." – that he emailed to the newspaper and to the conservative Power Line blog. The Times didn't publish it; Power Line did.

8. In 2013, Politico pegged Cotton as the face of the "hell no caucus" that created challenges for then-House Speaker John Boehner.

9. Cotton penned a letter in 2015 to Iranian leaders warning against a nuclear deal with the Obama administration. ''The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen, and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,'' the letter noted. Signed by 47 Republican senators, the open letter was dismissed in Iran.

10. Earlier in 2017, Cotton tweeted about the GOP's alternative to the Affordable Care Act: "House health-care bill can't pass Senate w/o major changes," he wrote. "To my friends in House: pause, start over. Get it right, don't get it fast."

By Sara Clarke |May 31, 2017, at 1:05 p.m.

Sara Clarke is assistant managing editor for special reports at U.S. News & World Report.\

Follow her on Twitter or reach her at


Comment by moki ikom on January 12, 2018 at 10:09pm

This is from a newspaper in Cotton's state before he slimed into u.s. Senate:

Tom Cotton at last being paid what he's worth in U.S. Congress: Zero

Posted By Max Brantley on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton (Club for Growth, 4th District of Ark.) has piled disingenuous B.S. on top of more B.S.  this morning, a pile worthy of a Yell County feed lot.

In addition to lying about the supposed special benefits given congressional staff under Obamacare (none), he's announced through his non-responsive spokesperson that he'll give his $174,000 salary to charity during the time the government is shut down.

Will he take a tax deduction for that contribution, and thus allow all U.S. taxpayers to subsidize his publicity stunt?


Comment by cheshyre on January 12, 2018 at 10:51pm

What I wouldn't give for a reporter to ask them if they remembered Trump calling them to be shitholes.

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 12, 2018 at 11:46pm

“This was not the language used,” Talk about a non-denial denial. This must be what tRump meant, when he said he "knew words". Especially telling was his claim that he did not trash Haitians – but even if that was true, which it obviously isn't, since he previously said all Haitians have AIDS, that doesn't mean he didn't trash Haiti.

Comment by koshersalaami on January 13, 2018 at 6:35am

This is getting typical

Comment by Robert Young on January 13, 2018 at 8:52am

Trump is the Tea Baggers' useful idiot.  without a Blue Tsunami in November, this will go on and on.  stock up on brown shirts and perfect your goose step.

Comment by Ron Powell on January 13, 2018 at 9:46am

The real danger is in people like Cotton and Perdue...


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