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Trump defends vulgar immigrant comments, partly denies…

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has offered a partial denial in public but privately defended his extraordinary remarks disparaging Haitians and African countries a day earlier.

Trump said Friday he was only expressing what many people think but won’t say about immigrants from economically depressed countries. That’s according to a person who spoke to the president as criticism of his comments ricocheted around the globe.

The president spent Thursday evening making a flurry of calls to friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction to the tempest. The confidant says Trump wasn’t apologetic about his inflammatory remarks and denied he was racist, instead blaming the media for distorting his meaning.

President Donald Trump gestures as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, to travel to Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is introduced as he speaks to students of Year Up Chicago, a one-year long job training program that provides low-income young adults, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Chicago. The senator present at a White House immigration meeting says President Donald Trump used vulgar language to describe African countries, saying he "said these hate filled things and he said them repeatedly." (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is introduced as he speaks to students of Year Up Chicago, a one-year long job training program that provides low-income young adults, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Chicago. The senator present at a White House immigration meeting says President Donald Trump used vulgar language to describe African countries, saying he “said these hate filled things and he said them repeatedly.” (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

President Donald Trump arrives to an event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump arrives to an event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., joined at right by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., gives her support to "dreamers," people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., joined at right by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., gives her support to “dreamers,” people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., left, listens as House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, speaks during a news conference on their immigration bill, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., left, listens as House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, speaks during a news conference on their immigration bill, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is introduced as he speaks to students of Year Up Chicago, a one-year long job training program that provides low-income young adults, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Chicago. The senator present at a White House immigration meeting says President Donald Trump used vulgar language to describe African countries, saying he "said these hate filled things and he said them repeatedly." (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is introduced as he speaks to students of Year Up Chicago, a one-year long job training program that provides low-income young adults, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Chicago. The senator present at a White House immigration meeting says President Donald Trump used vulgar language to describe African countries, saying he “said these hate filled things and he said them repeatedly.” (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

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