During a roundtable discussion of California’s sanctuary state laws, President Trump described members of MS-13 as “animals,” adding that immigration authorities were now “taking them out of the country at a level and rate that’s never happened before.” This isn’t the first time Trump has used the phrase to describe the members of the crime organization who have been classified by the FBI as the most violent and organized criminal network in the United States.
Things got even better when Sarah Sanders Huckabee, the White House Press Secretary, doubled down on the comments by referring to MS-13 members as “animals” when she was talking to the reporters. She wanted to clarify that President Trump was specifically talking about people who had a history of crime and were members of one of the most violent gangs that Americans have ever experienced. She floored the reporters when she pointed this out, putting those who dared question Trump’s commentary or try to twist it into things he didn’t actually say.
Daily Caller reports: “I want to ask you because so many people around the country are talking about it over the past 24 hours, what did the president mean when he said some immigrants aren’t people, they’re animals,” Portnoy asked.
Sanders reiterated that the president was referring to MS-13 gang members and explained the gang’s history of violence.
“This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs that operates by the motto of r-pe, control and k-ll,” Sanders continued. “Frankly, I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough. MS-13 has done heinous acts. It took an animal to st-b a man 100 times and dec-pitate him and rip his heart out. It took an animal to beat a woman they were s-x trafficking with a bat, 28 times, indenting part of her body. And it took an animal to kidnap and r-pe a 13-year-old Houston girl.”
Sanders added, “The president should continue to use platform and everything he can do under the law to stop these kinds of horrible, horrible, disgusting people.”
During the press briefing, CBS’ Steven Portnoy asked Sanders if Trump believes “some immigrants” are animals. To which Sanders was quick to reply that that was not what the president had said. But that MS-13 members are.”
Here is more on the situation from The Hill: “The White House said Thursday that President Trump was “clearly” referring to members of the MS-13 gang when he called some immigrants “animals” and argued the controversial label is more than appropriate.
“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “Frankly, I don’t think the term the president used is strong enough.”
“The term ‘animal’ doesn’t go far enough,” she said.
Sanders’s comments are likely to further enflame the debate surrounding Trump’s heated immigration rhetoric.
A day earlier, Trump sparked criticism when he used the term during a meeting with California officials opposed to the state’s “sanctuary city” policy.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told the president she was frustrated by how California’s laws have limited the ability of local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, specifically in regards to the MS-13 gang.
“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them, but we’re taking people out of the country, you wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” Trump said.
“These aren’t people. These are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a rate that’s never happened before,” he added.
During a Cabinet Room meeting with the head of NATO on Thursday, Trump emphasized that he specifically meant the gang.
“I’m referring – and you know I’m referring – to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in. I was talking about the MS-13. And if you look a little bit further on in the tape you’ll see that. So I’m actually surprised that you’re asking this question ’cause most people got it right,” he said.
Asked about the phrase by reporters, Trump defended his choice of words and vowed to repeat them.
“MS-13 – these are animals… We need strong immigration laws. …We have laws that are laughed at on immigration,” he said. “So when the MS-13 comes in, when the other gang members come into our country, I refer to them as animals and guess what, I always will.”
“When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren’t ‘animals,’ and these people aren’t either,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted Wednesday.
Sanders responded that “the president should continue to use his platform and everything he can do under the law to stop these types of horrible, horrible, disgusting people.”
Should Trump face harsh criticism for what he said about gang members? Why should people care if he says ‘animals’ when he’s talking about people who harm others and/or commit other crimes?
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