Trump Redeemable on Racism Issues, Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young Says

President Trump signed a bill aboard Air Force One upgrading the birthplace of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to a national historic park. Trump signed the bill into law while in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside Dr. King's niece, Alveda King, and the civil rights leader's nephew, Isaac Newton Farris Jr., according to a statement from the White House, January 8, 2018. | (Photo: White House Photo/Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump is "redeemable" in the eyes of the Lord no matter what he might have called certain third-world countries, a prominent civil rights leader has said.

Andrew Young, a former leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who was a close confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. and later served as the mayor of Atlanta and a United States ambassador, told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "all men's sin falls short of the glory of God."

As Trump has been criticized for allegedly calling African nations and countries like Haiti and El Salvador "s***hole countries" in a meeting last week on immigration policy, talk about whether or not Trump's alleged remark was racist dominated the news talk shows on Sunday.

As some civil rights leaders, such as Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., have responded to the alleged remarks by calling the president a racist, Young told Todd that "it doesn't help to label people."

"And it's not a matter of educating Donald Trump. It's a matter of educating our entire society," Young said. "Getting President Trump to be a saint is not going to change the employment situation, it's not going to change the global economy, it's not going to deal with the tensions between North Korea and the United States. This, this is a difficult world. And it doesn't help to label people. You know, you don't help someone who has an alcohol problem by constantly calling him a drunk. You have to deal with the sickness."

Todd asked the 85-year-old whether or not Trump, who has denied making the "s***hole" remarks in the meeting last Thursday, was redeemable.

"Let me tell you something. I'm a Christian. And all men's sin fall short of the glory of God, and women do too," Young answered. "And if we were not redeemable, we would not be committed to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ as much as we are. We are committed because we are sinners that know we cannot make it on our own. And I think he's kinda got to realize that too."

There is still some debate about whether or not Trump actually made the alleged comments on the immigration meeting.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have both confirmed that Trump made the remark during the meeting, with Durbin saying that Trump made the "s***hole" remark repeatedly.

Yet, a handful of Republican members of Congress involved in the meeting have either said that Trump didn't make the "s***hole" remark or that they didn't hear or recall Trump saying such a remark.

In an interview with ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga, claimed that Trump never used the word "s***hole" during the meeting.

"I'm telling you he did not use that word, George. And I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation," Perdue told host George Stephanopoulos. "How many times do you want me to say that? What is happening here is the same thing that happened in 2013 where you had a press secretary of your president who said it didn't happen."

A GOP senator has pushed back on Perdue's claim.

"Well, all I can say is I was in a meeting directly afterwards where those who had presented the president our proposal spoke about the meeting. And they said those words were used before those words went public," Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told "This Week." "So that's all I can tell you is I heard that account before the account even went public."

In an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., also pushed back against Purdue's claim that Durbin or Graham provided a "gross misrepresentation" of the meeting.

"Well, first of all, someone saying that Sen. Durbin or Sen. Graham is going to make something up, that the president of the United States has said, and thinking that they would do that in order to gin up people on one way or another, that's wrong," Manchin said. "Senator Durbin and Senator Graham? I don't believe that any senator would walk in and make something up so atrocious as that, and say this is what was said, when it wasn't said. So we've got to move on. I mean, if it was said in whatever content it was said, it was hurtful, it's harmful, it shouldn't have been said, but let's move on. Don't let it stop the whole procedure."

Conservative commentator and known Trump critic Erick Erickson claimed in a tweet Sunday that Trump even asked his allies to brag about his use of the derogatory word after the meeting.

"It's weird that people in the room don't remember Trump using that word when Trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards," Erickson wrote. "I spoke to one of those friends. The President thought it would play well with the base."

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith Follow Samuel Smith on Facebook: SamuelSmithCP

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