Several officials who were in the room at the time of US President Donald Trump's alleged use of a vulgar term to refer to African countries say they did not hear such language.
Trump allegedly questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "s***hole countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and people briefed on the conversation.
Georgia Sen. David Perdue called the reports a "gross misrepresentation" and said Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham were mistaken in indicating that was the case.
Perdue said Sunday on ABC's "This Week: "I am telling you that he did not use that word. And I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation."
He and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton had previously issued a statement saying they "do not recall the President saying those comments specifically."
Cotton said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he "didn't hear" the vulgar word used.
Georgia Sen. Jeff Flake, also a Republican, didn't doubt Trump's use of the term, saying he heard first from people in the meeting that the words had been used before the reports went public.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was also in the room at the time of the meeting, said "I don't recall him saying that exact phrase."