President Donald Trump has a history of referring to MS-13 gang members as “animals” who rape, torture, and kill Americans, particularly during discussions about border security or illegal immigration.
He did it again on Wednesday, during an immigration roundtable, but mainstream news outlets and Democrats quickly accused him of describing immigrants as animals.
The president noted on Thursday that he frequently refers to gang members as animals and will continue doing so.
“When the MS-13 comes in, when the other gang members come into our country, I refer to them as animals and guess what, I always will,” he said in response to the controversy.
Here is a list of nine other instances when Trump has referred to gang members as “animals” since he was inaugurated as President of the United States. (This list does not include his references on the campaign trail in the 2016 presidential election.)
1. Campaign rally in Pennsylvania March 10, 2018
Places that I know so well are loaded up with MS- 13. … They don’t use guns. They like to use knives and other things because it is much more painful. It is much slower. These are animals. And we send these guys out and we liberate those towns. We liberate them.
2. CPAC speech – February 23, 2018
Now, they don’t like guns. You know why? They’re not painful enough. These are animals. They cut people. They cut them. They cut them up in little pieces and they want them to suffer. And we take them into our country because our immigration laws are so bad.
3. Remarks on school safety, February 22, 2018
The gangs are such a problem. You know, we talk about child safety. The kids walk home and they meet one of these gangs. And these are absolute animals. These aren’t human beings; these are animals. And it’s the torture — the level of torture. In this country, who would ever believe a thing like this could happen? But we’re literally getting MS-13 out by the thousands.
4. Cabinet meeting at the White House December 20, 2017
We’re restoring immigration enforcement at levels that our country has never seen before, and taking the fight to the criminal gangs like MS-13, where we’re decimating those animals. They’re animals. What they do is horrible, horrible.
5. Campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida December 8, 2017
America is being respected again abroad and we are taking care of our citizens at home. And we’re going to have safety. And we have got a lot more now. We are getting rid of the M.S. 13 animals.
It’s time for Congress to adopt a pro-American immigration agenda … Increasing the number of ICE officers, who are fantastic, and Border Patrol officers so we can dismantle vile criminal gangs like, as I said, MS-13, animals.
6. Political rally in Phoenix, AZ August 22, 2017
They don’t shoot people, because it’s too fast and not painful. They cut them up into little pieces. These are animals.
7. Remarks by President Trump to Law Enforcement Officials on MS-13 – July 28, 2017
I was reading — one of these animals was caught — in explaining, they like to knife them and cut them, and let them die slowly because that way it’s more painful, and they enjoy watching that much more. These are animals.
They have transformed peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields. They’re animals.
8. Campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio – July 25, 2017
You’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns, because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long.
9. Campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – June 21, 2017
They don’t like to shoot people. They like to cut people. They do things that nobody can believe. These are true animals. We are moving them out of the country by the thousands, by the thousands.