Trump defends vulgar immigrant comments, partly denies them

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 Internationa

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 Internationa

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 you

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 you

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 Wa

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 Wa

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,"

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,"

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., left, listens as House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., left, listens as House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas

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 you

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 you

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.