Sen. Tom Cotton appeared on Meet the Press today and offered at least his third version of Donald Trump’s profane talk about immigrants, this time confirming that he’d used foul language, just not “repeatedly.”

You may recalll that Cotton initially couldn’t recall what was said in the meeting where Sen. Dick Durbin said, and others have confirmed, that Trump ranted about immigrants from “shithole” countries in Africa, Central America and Haiti. Later, Cotton said Durbin was lying. Now, he says, Trump indeed used profane words. But Cotton lied again, by insisting he had never said otherwise.

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Here’s just one account to the contrary:

Addressing the controversy Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Cotton said that his prior remarks ― when he said in a Sunday interview that he “did not hear derogatory comments about individuals or persons” from the president and that the president was mischaracterized ― were accurate.

“I stand by every word I said,” Cotton said, echoing Durbin. “The difference is, I’m right.” Cotton declined, however, to elaborate on what language Trump specifically used in the meeting. The Arkansas Republican disputed the notion that the president said anything “vile” or “racist.” Cotton dodged questions about whether the president expressed a preference for immigrants of some nations over others.

Cotton sang a different tune today on national TV, as the NBC recording shows. I suspect he’s divined that this is another Trump controversy that has all but blown over, plus he holds a derogatory view of immigrants, as the president does, and is happy to find himself guiding Trump on policy.


Chuck Todd said Cotton had implied Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham were liars. Cotton responded thatTrump had not said bad words repeatedly and he tried to change the subject to differences on immigration policy. B

But said Cotton. “I never denied there wasn’t strong language in the room used by lots of people.”


This is one cold, slippery fish. He said, too, he’d vote in the interest of Arkansans. That’s not true either. A majority here don’t want to punish the Dreamers, polls show. Cotton \ pairs any consideration for them with a punitive approach to immigration generally, particularly one that encourages broken families.