“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during Thursday’s briefing after media attempts to frame President Trump’s comments from the previous day as insulting to “some immigrants.”
“I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough,” she said.
One reporter had asked Sanders about the president’s use of the word “animals” to describe members of the vicious MS-13 transnational gang but, instead, framed the question by saying Trump used the term to describe “some immigrants.”
Sanders sharply corrected him by saying, “The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws.” She described the gang as “one of the most vicious and deadly” and operates using rape, control, and killing.
“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to,” said Sanders. “Frankly I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough.”
She then described some of the “heinous acts” the gang has executed:
It took an animal to stab a man a hundred times and decapitate him and rip his heart out. It took an animal to beat a woman they were sex trafficking – with a 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.
Trump used the term “animal” to describe MS-13 gang members during a Wednesday afternoon White House roundtable with stakeholders in the fight against California’s sanctuary state laws.
Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims described to Trump the struggle her region faces in notifying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of an illegal alien MS-13 gang member. Trump responded by calling those gang members “animals,” a term he has used in the past to describe the murderous criminal organization.
“There’s a spark of divinity in every person on earth and that we all have to recognize that,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said as she slammed Trump for calling MS-13 members “animals.” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Trump is like a “slave owner” or “Nazi” for Trump’s description of the murderous gang members.
The Associated Press issued a tweet correction on Thursday admitting it had incorrectly framed Trump’s comment: “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”:
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.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 17, 2018
This year, ICE arrested 475 gang members in a sting operation, 99 of whom claimed unaccompanied minor status and 65 of whom were shortly thereafter released into the United States by an immigration judge.
The MS-13’s beheading of a victim that Sanders referred to on Thursday is likely the case of a ten-person gang ambush in Maryland. A 19-year-old had been arrested in connection with the crime as of late last year. The gang beating of a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim sounds to be the case out of Maryland that allegedly involved 21-year-old illegal alien Yervin Josue Romero-Rivera, according to local WJLA. The drugging, rape, and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Houston appear to be the case of two 18-year-old MS-13 gang members who appeared in court for charges in the crime and were seen smiling and waving to television cameras. Breitbart Texas identified at least one as a national of El Salvador, while the nationality of the other teen murder suspect had not been determined at the time of that report.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.