In a response labelled by worldwide media as damage control, Mr Trump has denied using derogatory words but admitted his language was "tough". "What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA", the President said on Twitter on Friday morning.
Tributes to Martin Luther King Jr, one of the principal advocates of the civil rights movement, was planned long before the controversy arose over Trump's remark.
United States diplomats around the world were summoned for formal reproach and to explain Mr Trump's comment.
The annual holiday in King's honour is celebrated in the U.S. on January 15.
The president reportedly interrupted Durbin and made a derogatory comment about those immigrants, and suggested the USA should bring in more people from places like Norway. "Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!", the President tweeted. It is scary to think that people would perceive us in a threatening fashion.More news: Philadelphia Eagles stun Atlanta Falcons 15-10 in NFL's Divisional Round playoff
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Earlier, the 55-nation African Union condemned the remarks while Botswana and Senegal hauled in the USA ambassador to complain. According to a Pew poll from 2015, 89 percent of the country said they had a favorable view of America, though that number dropped to 59 percent when the same poll was conducted in 2017.
The reverend accused Trump of building "a whole presidency on race".
As President Trump has cracked down on illegal immigration and reportedly disparaged the "shithole" countries immigrants leave, there's at least one place from which he'd like more immigration: Norway.
A White House spokesman defended Trump's position on immigration without directly addressing Trump's remarks.
Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, DC, said: "The calls for the president to apologise for his remarks are intensifying inside and outside the U.S., but for now, that apology does not appear likely". "They reinforce abhorrent racist attitudes, and evidence of the lack of knowledge, understanding, and empathy we expect of the person who occupies the highest office in the land". He is also a design engineer in the defense industry and a Haitian immigrant who says the portrayal of his country is offensive.