Donald Trump was unabashed about last week’s uproar over use of the word “animals” to describe undocumented immigrants, whom he says endanger Americans.
“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals,” he said at a roundtable on May 16.
Trump’s extemporaneous insult inspired an apparent decision by the White House to double down on the term “animals.” The next day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s word choice, saying she thought “‘animal’ doesn’t go far enough” to describe members of the gang MS-13. “The president should continue using his platform and everything he can do under the law to stop these types of horrible, horrible, disgusting people,” she said.
Now, the White House is using “animals” instead of “people” in official press releases. Today, Sanders’ office sent out a written statement, entitled “What you need to know about the violent animals of MS-13,” which used the word ten times. Most references to gang members appeared as “MS-13 animals.”