18 May, 2018
White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway slammed those critical of President Trump's use of the term "animals" to describe MS-13 gang members Thursday, saying politicians who "rushed to judgment" owe Trump and gang violence victims "an apology".
"These are animals. They're coming in to our country and we're getting them out", he said. "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".
Trump's "animals" comment came in response to Fresno County Sherrif Margaret Mims complaints over California's sanctuary city laws and how they prevented her from reporting MS-13 gang members to Immigration and Customers (ICE). I referred to MS 13 Gang Members as 'Animals, ' a big difference - and so true.
Trump also blamed the US' "dumbest laws" for the influx of illegal immigrants in the country.
Trump was joined at the Wednesday White House meeting by mayors, sheriffs and other local leaders from California who oppose the state's immigration policies and who applauded his administration's hard-line efforts. She added that thought "the term animal doesn't go far enough".
To critics, the president's comments recalled the sort of dog whistle that's historically been used to dehumanize minority groups.
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News outlets such as the Associated Press and the New York Times among others reported President's Trump's comments as referring to "undocumented" or "unauthorized" immigrants in headlines and not specifically to gangs.
"Trump referred to those crossing U.S. border illegally as "animals" and slammed California sanctuary state laws as 'deadly, '" a now-deleted tweet from the Associated Press read. MS-13 has done heinous acts.
"MS-13, these are animals coming onto our country".
"It took an animal to stab a man a hundred times and decapitate him and rip his heart out".
The local officials invited for the event took turns praising his immigration policies and lamenting California's law, arguing that it was making it more hard for their communities to find and deport criminals. An informant told police that three members of the gang took one 15-year old girl behind a home and took turns beating her with a "solid bat" 28 times. "Frankly, I think 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 frightful, terrible disgusting people".
"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.