Trump denies it, but he did it. Moreover, he is probably proud of his statement about shithole countries. Why? Because he believes a significant number of Americans, if not most of them, agree with him. He believes these Americans elected him.
The AP reports that Trump privately defended his comment:
Trump said he was only expressing what many people think but won't say about immigrants from economically depressed countries, according to a person who spoke to the president as criticism of his comments ricocheted around the globe.
If you understand Trump, you are not surprised by his comment. Trump believes his comment reflects what Americans believe. His outrageous behavior reflects his base of support. Trump believes he is a direct reflection of the feelings of those who voted for him. In his mind, those voters agree:
Why would we allow immigrants from shithole countries into our nation…our job is to protect America, America first in his mind and in the minds of those who support him.
Trump’s behavior is consistent, his message is consistent. Trump has a strong belief that his tweets and his commentary, including the shithole statement, will appeal to that base.
Moreover, he can at least partially deny the use of vulgar terms to keep the Republican leadership in check.
Expect more behavior like this from the Donald. He believes the America that elected him agree:
We don’t need shithole people from shithole countries coming into America and ruining it.