'Animals'? Trump says he'll keep using term for gang members

Saul Bowman
May 18, 2018

While railing against California for its so-called sanctuary immigration policies, US President Donald Trump referred to some people who cross the border illegally as "animals" - drawing a sharp rebuke from Democratic leaders for the harsh rhetoric.

Answering a reporter's question during a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said his comment a day earlier had clearly been directed at members of the MS-13 gang. "But it doesn't work here, the fact is he was asked about MS-13, he referred to them as 'animals.' Open and shut, there's nothing more to this", Coglianese said.

He vented about the nation's immigration laws, calling them "the dumbest laws on immigration in the world".

The New York Times wrote on Twitter, "Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting, calling those trying to breach the country's borders 'animals'". Frankly, I don't think the term that the president used was strong enough.

Daily Beast reporter Asawin Suebsaeng conceded the industry-wide "mistake" - but blamed "Trump's past racist comments & policy" for the "misconstrued" statement. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. "MS-13 has done heinous acts", she continued.

The White House also defended Trump's remarks today, saying the use of the word "animals" for the "deadly" gang members was "the least that describes them".

Trump's remark at meeting with local leaders was in response to a complaint about gang members. He has a storied legacy of racism, from allegedly favoring white tenants in his real-estate properties over African-Americans; to placing ads in the NY papers calling for the death penalty for five black and Latino teens who were convicted, and later exonerated by DNA evidence, of raping a white woman in Central Park; to banning people from majority-Muslim countries from entering the US; to attacking N.F.L. players for protesting police violence; to calling Haiti and African nations "shithole countries"; to showing rare restraint when it came to denouncing white nationalists in Charlottesville.

Wiener's office said some attorneys have been revealing the immigration status of victims or witnesses who come forward to participate in court cases, even when it's not relevant, creating a "chilling effect" that can prevent others from coming forward. "These aren't people. These are animals", the President said.

"President Trump referred to some immigrants, perhaps he had criminal gangs in mind, I don't know, as animals, not as persons", Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told local TV station Televisa on Thursday. "Mexico talks but they do nothing for us, especially at the border. If they don't reach a certain threshold, I can't tell ICE about it". Senate net neutrality vote coming Wednesday Harry Reid undergoes surgery for pancreatic cancer MORE (D-N.Y.) tweeted Wednesday.

"I think 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", the presidential spokesperson said.

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