The White House published a press release Monday morning which appears intended to troll the media over President Trump calling MS-13 members “animals.” The release is titled “What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13” and includes several more references to MS-13 members as animals:
Too many innocent Americans have fallen victim to the unthinkable violence of MS-13’s animals.
At the State of the Union in January 2018, President Trump brought as his guests Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas, the parents of Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas. Police believe these young girls were chased down and brutally murdered by MS-13 gang members on Long Island, New York, in 2016. Suffolk County Police Commissioner stated that the “murders show a level of brutality that is close to unmatched.”
In Maryland, MS-13’s animals are accused of stabbing a man more than 100 times and then decapitating him, dismembering him, and ripping his heart out of his body. Police believe MS-13 members in Maryland also savagely beat a 15-year-old human trafficking victim. The MS-13 animals used a bat and took turns beating her nearly 30 times in total.
In Houston, Texas, two MS-13 members were charged after kidnapping and sexually assaulting one girl and murdering another. The two MS-13 animals laughed, smiled, and waved for cameras in court as they faced the charges.
The press release goes on to describe the gang’s motto:
In their motto, the animals of MS-13 make clear their goal is to “kill, rape, control.” The gang has more than 10,000 members in the United States spreading violence and suffering…
President Trump’s entire Administration is working tirelessly to bring these violent animals to justice.
Last week, Trump made the comparison during a White House roundtable on California’s sanctuary state law. In response to a statement about MS-13, Trump said, “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.”
For much of Wednesday night and Thursday, the media claimed Trump had been calling all immigrants animals. But the person speaking immediately before Trump had clearly mentioned MS-13 saying, “There can be an MS-13 gang member I know about. If they don’t reach a certain threshold I cannot tell ICE about them.” Helping Trump’s case is the fact that he had specifically referred to MS-13 members as animals twice before, both times last year.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders clarified that Trump was talking specifically about MS-13 gang members and doubled down on Trump’s language saying, “Frankly, I think that the term ‘animal’ doesn’t go far enough.” Trump himself clarified his remarks saying “I referred to them as animals and guess what, I always will.”
Some outlets corrected their reporting to at least note that Trump appeared to be referring to MS-13:
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
Other reporters decided they needed to defend the honor of MS-13 gang members. Here’s Tucker Carlson taking after a Univision news anchor who took issue with Trump’s characterization of MS-13: