Donald Trump has backtracked on his denial that he described some African nations as "shitholes."

According to the National Post, Trump, while speaking to supporters privately, said that he was "only expressing what many people think but won't say about immigrants from economically depressed countries."

The Post revealed that Trump made a series of phone-calls to some of his friends and supporters to gauge their opinion after 24 hours of global condemnation.

Trump was unapologetic, denied being racist and blamed his usual scapegoat - the media.

In a tweet, Trump said: "The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!"

Trump, in front of a room full of congressmen said that he would prefer people from "Norway" to come to the United States instead of places such as Haiti and El Salvador.

But despite his public denial, Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said Trump did indeed describe African nations as a "shithole", which Durbin said was "vile, hate-filled and clearly racial in their content."

The international community condemned the comments, which were corroborated by congressmen who had been in the room when Trump made the controversial remarks.

UN officials and government ministers from the countries mentioned have condemned Trump, describing them as "racist".

The government in Botswana has described the language as "reprehensible and racist", demanding a clarification from the US ambassador.

President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump answers reporters' questions during a news conference with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway in the East Room of the White House January 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images