White House Press Secretary: Calling MS-13 Gang ‘Animals’ Is Not ‘Strong Enough’

May 19, 2018 Last Updated: May 19, 2018

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders corrected the record on whom President Donald Trump recently called “animals.”

During a May 16 roundtable on California’s Sanctuary State law, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said the law complicates her work because she can’t report criminal aliens to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless they fall into several specific categories, such as being convicted of one of a number of crimes listed in the law.

“If there’s going to be an MS-13 gang member I know about, if they don’t reach a specific threshold, I cannot tell ICE about them,” she said.

Trump responded: “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. 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. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”

“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws,” Sanders said during Thursday, May 17, press briefing. “This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs that operates by the motto of ‘rape, control, and kill.’

“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13 they’re more than welcome to. Franky, I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough. MS-13 has done heinous acts. It took an animal to stab a man 100 times and decapitate him and rip his heart out. It took an animal to beat a woman they were sex trafficking with the bat 28 times indenting part of her body. And it took an animal to kidnap, drug, and rape a 14-year-old Houston girl. Frankly, I think that the term ‘animal’ doesn’t go far enough and 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.”