Trump Doubles Down on MS-13 Comment: 'Always Will' Call Them Animals


President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday he was referring to MS-13 gang members as “animals” and not illegal aliens in general in comments he made during a roundtable about California’s sanctuary state law, and added, he “always will.”

The president’s original “animals” comment came during a Wednesday White House meeting concerning California’s recently enacted Senate Bill 54, which greatly limits the ability of state and local law enforcement officials to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“There could be an MS-13 gang member I know about, if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about them,” Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told Trump.

He responded, “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”

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Multiple mainstream media outlets including ABC News, The New York Times, NBC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN and even C-Span took the president’s “animals” comment out of context to make it appear as if he was talking about illegal immigrants in general.

The Associated Press later published a correction. CNN’s Jake Tapper also tweeted transcripts of the meeting, putting Trump’s words into context.

On Thursday, Trump was asked to clarify his use of the word “animals.”

“I’m referring to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in. I was talking about the MS-13,” the president replied. “I’m actually surprised you’re asking this question.”

“These are animals. They’re coming into our country and we’re getting them out,” he said. “I referred to them as animals. And guess what: I always will.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday, “Frankly, I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough.”

“This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs that operates by the motto of ‘rape, control and kill,'” she said. “If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to.”

Sanders then described “heinous acts” she said have been perpetrated by MS-13 gang members.

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“It took an animal to stab a man 100 times and decapitate him and rip his heart out,” she said. “It took an animal to beat a woman they were sex trafficking with a bat 28 times, indenting part of her body. And it took an animal to kidnap, drug and rape a 14-year-old Houston girl.”

Former White House press secretary under George W. Bush accused the mainstream media of “killing good journalism” by taking Trump’s comment out of context.

“The many journalists and editors who wrote/published these stories are killing good journalism,” Fleischer wrote. “To those who wrote this nonsense: I get you don’t like Trump, but you’re only hurting yourselves.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith