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White House: Biden 'absolutely did not apologize' for using term 'illegal'

A White House spokesperson denied Monday that President Biden apologized for using the term “illegal” to describe an undocumented migrant during his State of the Union speech, after Biden said he had “regret” over his words.

The man, accused of killing university student Laken Riley in Georgia, is a migrant from Venezuela who was not authorized to be in the U.S., according to immigration officials. The incident has become a political lightning rod for conservatives.

“I want to be really clear about something,” White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton said Monday. “The president absolutely did not apologize. There was no apology anywhere in that conversation. He did not apologize. He used a different word.”

Dalton’s comments draw a distinction between an apology and the president’s show of regret, which came after some Democrats denounced the use of the term as derogatory. A Biden campaign spokesperson said using the term was a “small mistake.”

On Sunday, multiple Republicans went after the president for showing that regret, painting it as an apology and claiming it proved he was weak on border security policy.

“The president is cowering to his base and showing deference to a man who deserves none,” Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This man is an illegal immigrant who brutally murdered Laken Riley. President Biden should be apologizing to Laken’s family. What an embarrassment.”

Riley’s death has become the center of the political conversation on border security, as Republicans pin the crime on Biden’s policy, while the White House continues to push the GOP to pass a bipartisan border security deal.

Source: The Hill

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