Multiple mainstream media outlets took President Donald Trump’s description of MS-13 members as “animals” out of context to make it appear as if he was talking about illegal immigrants.
During a roundtable addressing California’s sanctuary policies at the White House on Wednesday, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said, “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.”
Trump 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.”
Fox News reported that several 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 comments out of context, making it seem as though he was referring to illegal immigrants.
C-Span’s deceptively edited version of Trump’s remarks has been viewed over 3 million times in less than 24 hours.
President Trump during California #SanctuaryCities Roundtable: "These aren't people. These are animals."
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 16, 2018
The Associated Press appears to be the only outlet that has issued a correction, tweeting, “AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s ‘animals’ comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper did tweet out a transcript of the president’s exchange with Mims to give the context of his remarks.
British journalist Piers Morgan replied to C-Span’s tweet, describing it as “fake news.”
Trump was responding to a specific question about MS-13, the most ruthless, violent gang in America. By cutting out the context this makes it look like he’s calling all illegal immigrants ‘animals’, which he wasn’t.
So it becomes deliberately misleading.. or ‘fake’.. news. 👎 https://t.co/eECpEr9BHO
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 17, 2018
The Daily Caller called out The New York Times for its false reporting, questioning “Are you going to correct the record?”
.@Nytimes, This tweet is false. @realDonaldTrump was not referring to "undocumented immigrants," but MS-13 gang members. Are you going to correct the record? https://t.co/OWDIWpgBO9 https://t.co/WK5gMCvE3D
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 17, 2018
Conservative commentator Jedediah Bila dinged the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin for claiming Trump was trying to conflate criminals with illegal aliens, which Rubin labeled “repulsive.”
“He conflated nothing,” Bila replied, then highlighted the animalistic conduct of MS-13 gang members, “who bear the motto “kill, steal, rape, control.”
“Trump derangement syndrome much?” she asked.
He conflated nothing. Was talking about MS-13 gang members. You’re worried about him calling people animals who bear motto “Kill, steal, rape, control” & have been known to rip out people’s hearts/enslave them in prostitution & human trafficking? Trump derangement syndrome much? https://t.co/GCFKfJdXEy
— Jedediah Bila (@JedediahBila) May 17, 2018
Former White House press secretary under George W. Bush accused the main stream media of “killing good journalism” by perpetuating such stories.
The many journalists and editors who wrote/published these stories are killing good journalism. To those who wrote this nonsense: I get you don’t like Trump, but you’re only hurting yourselves. https://t.co/YOb6acZpRW
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 17, 2018
“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.”
At her press briefing today at the @WhiteHouse, @PressSec Sarah Sanders gave her unvarnished take on the President @realDonaldTrump-"animals' controversy. https://t.co/ClTMWlKM6T pic.twitter.com/fUliptXCQT
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 17, 2018
When asked about Trump’s “animal” remark at the White House media briefing on Thursday, press secretary Sarah Sanders replied, “Frankly, I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough.”
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