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WASHINGTON (AP) - As the fallout over President Donald Trump ’s use of a vulgarity bleeds into a second week, aides to the president are locked in an internal debate over which version of the word the president used to describe certain countries during immigration talks with senators.

Trump was said to have uttered “shithole” during last Thursday’s conversation in the Oval Office, a version backed up by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. , and some Republicans.

Asked about Trump ’s comments challenging his honesty, Durbin told reporters Tuesday: “I stand by every word I said about what was said.”

But Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified under oath Tuesday that she “did not hear” President Donald Trump use the vulgarity to describe African countries. But she says she doesn’t “dispute the president was using tough language.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked her specifically if she heard the vulgarity used or a “substantially similar word” to describe certain countries. She said “others in the room were also using tough language.”

There is internal debate in the West Wing over whether Trump said “shithole” or “shithouse.” One person who attended the meeting told aides they heard the latter expletive, while others recalled the president saying the more widely reported “shithole,” according to a person briefed on the meeting but not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

The person believes the discrepancy may be why some Republican senators are denying having heard the president say “shithole.”

Trump has not clarified to aides what he said, but told reporters Sunday night in Florida that comments attributed to him “weren’t made.” The White House has not denied that Trump used a vulgar term, and indicated Tuesday that no apology would be forthcoming. There appears to be little difference in meaning between the two words.

“The president hasn’t said he didn’t use strong language,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “This is an important issue, he’s passionate about it, he’s not going to apologize for trying to fix our immigration system.”

The debate continued to play out Tuesday as Washington was gripped with uncertainty over whether the government would shut down at midnight Friday, when temporary government funding is set to run out, in the absence of a deal on immigration and other matters. The path to a deal seems even more complicated after last week’s coarse Oval Office conversation, and Trump has accused Durbin of undermining the trust necessary to reach an agreement.

Without explicitly denying using the vulgarity, Trump lashed out at Durbin , who said Trump uttered it several times during the meeting.

“Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting,” Trump tweeted Monday, using a nickname to needle the Illinois senator. “Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military.”

He was referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young people who came to the U.S. as children and are living here illegally. Trump announced last


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