U.S. President Donald Trump insisted on Sunday "I'm not a racist" in response to reports that he had described immigrants from Haiti and African countries as coming from "s___hole countries."
Trump also said he was "ready, willing and able" to reach a deal to protect illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children from being deported but that he did not believe Democrats wanted an agreement. He tweeted earlier on Sunday that the existing program would "probably" be discontinued.
The debate over immigration policy became increasingly acrimonious after it was reported on Thursday that the Republican president used the word "shithole" to describe Haiti and African countries in a private meeting with lawmakers.
The comments led to harsh recriminations from Democrats and Republicans alike, with some critics accusing Trump of racism, even as bipartisan talks continued in the U.S. Congress to seek a bipartisan compromise to salvage the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.