The White House appears to be doubling down on President Trump’s controversial “animals” comment.
On Monday, Trump administration staffers posted an article to whitehouse.gov with the title: “What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13.”
Trump came under fire last week for using the word ‘‘animals’’ to describe some immigrants who enter the country illegally. Trump defended his use of the word on Thursday, saying his comment a day earlier had clearly been directed at members of the MS-13 gang.
Fake News Media had me calling Immigrants, or Illegal Immigrants, ?Animals.? Wrong! They were begrudgingly forced to withdraw their stories. I referred to MS 13 Gang Members as ?Animals,? a big difference - and so true. Fake News got it purposely wrong, as usual!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
‘‘We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them,’’ Trump said Wednesday while railing against California for its immigration policies, referring to a comment that had referenced MS-13. ‘‘You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.’’
On Thursday, Trump repeated much of the same language in his defense of using the word.
‘‘MS-13, these are animals coming onto our country,’’ Trump said Thursday. ‘‘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.’’
That doesn’t mean the president didn’t get flack.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., responded on Twitter to the president, saying, ‘‘When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren’t ‘animals,’ and these people aren’t either.’’
And House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said, ‘‘Every day that you think you’ve seen it all, along comes another manifestation of why their policies are so inhumane.’’
In the whitehouse.gov article posted Monday, the word “animals” is used 10 times. The entire article consists of 11 paragraphs, including subject headers.
The closing of the article reads: “President Trump’s entire Administration is working tirelessly to bring these violent animals to justice.”Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.