CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Rauner said there was “no place in our political conversation” for vulgar language reportedly used by President Trump in a meeting on immigration, but would not call the president racist.

The governor,  who was appearing on WVON radio on Monday, was asked about Trump’s description of places like Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “sh*tholes.” The president made those comments in a meeting to discuss a bipartisan agreement on immigration, according to Sen. Dick Durbin. Trump denies he used that language.

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Rauner was asked directly by WVON’s morning show host Maze Jackson if Trump was a racist and Rauner wouldn’t answer, saying again that such language as no place in politics.

Co-host Charles Thomas pressed the governor again, saying “you won’t call him a racist?”

“You know what? We have racists in our society,” Rauner said. “We have got to come together to change the system in Illinois. Illinois is broken. Our system is broken. African-American families are suffering in Illinois. It’s worse than anywhere with unemployment. We have got to change our system.”

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Monday morning, Durbin responded to charges from Republican senators that he lied about what the president said.

“I know what happened. I stand behind every word that I said in terms of that meeting,” Durbin said.

A spokesman for J.B. Prizker, who is contending for the Democratic nomination to challenge Rauner, called the governor “a coward.”

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“Donald Trump spews racism from the White House every day,”  said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Bruce Rauner is a coward, hiding behind talking points because it’s easier than standing up to the worst elements in his political party.”