Trump previous year ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided protection from deportation along with the ability to work legally in the U.S. He gave Congress until March to come up with a legislative fix.
For influential Norwegian commentator Andreas Wiese, Trump's comments were "proof of his racism".
Jeffress is an informal advisor to Trump and has visited the White House.
"Apart from the vocabulary attributed to him, President Trump is right on target in his sentiment", Jeffress said in a statement, first released to the Christian Broadcasting Network and later shared with FOX4. The president insisted on Twitter Friday that he didn't use that language.
Trump was widely reported on Thursday to have questioned in a meeting with lawmakers why the United States should accept more immigrants from Haiti and "s...hole countries" in Africa rather than from places such as Norway. "I was very proud of him, it took courage for what he did", Durbin said. Trump wrote, "I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians".
The president implied Friday morning on Twitter that maybe he should start recording meetings because there is no trust.
Spokesmen for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for clarification Friday.
Durbin told reporters in Chicago on Friday that he had reached out to the White House two hours earlier, had spoken with the president and asked him to consider the compromise plan he and five senators - three Democrats and three Republicans - had come up with to "save the Dreamers and help their families".
"You've seen the comments in the press. I have not read one of them that's inaccurate".
The 55-nation African Union said it was "frankly alarmed".
Since taking office a year ago, Trump has pursued controversial policies aimed at curbing immigration into the United States as part of a hard-line "America First" agenda.
Botswana's foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador in protest and called the comments "highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist".
Durbin said Graham immediately spoke up against Trump's comments, and he commended the Republican senator for doing so.
Some African governments found themselves in a hard position.
Amid the furore the president criticized the immigration proposal.
"There are nearly 800,000 young DACA beneficiaries who are facing imminent deportation in March if we don't reach a deal", he said.
Sylvester Odion Akhaine teaches worldwide relations at the Lagos State University in Nigeria. She said the president's remark was "obviously disheartening" but presented an opportunity "to rise above it and say, 'I'm going to be an example of kindness, of compassion'".
Trump has called himself the "least racist person that you've ever met".
Durbin explained they were in the US because they had been "the victims of crises and disasters and political upheaval".
Former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton honoured the people of Haiti and called out Trump's "ignorant, racist views".