White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended President Trump’s description of MS-13 gang members as ‘animals’ and chastised the media for whitewashing the murderous criminal group’s activities during her daily briefing Thursday.
Asked what Trump meant when he said Wednesday that “some immigrants are not people, they’re animals,” Sanders clarified that Trump was specifically referring to members of MS-13.
“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws. This is one of the most vicious gangs that operates by the motto of rape, control, and kill,” Sanders told reporters from the podium. “If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to. Frankly I don’t think the term the president used was strong enough.”
Trump’s characterization of MS-13 gang members as “animals” — made after he was asked specifically about the group — was taken out of context by numerous media outlets Wednesday.
A tweet from the New York Times accused Trump of lashing out at “undocumented immigrants” and the Washington Post, USA Today, and HuffPo all echoed the claim that Trump was speaking broadly about illegal immigrants — despite video evidence to the contrary.
The Associated Press deleted a tweet Thursday that claimed Trump was describing illegal immigrants in general, conceding in a subsequent tweet that “it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members.”