Team Trump doubled down Thursday on the president’s description of at least some illegal immigrants as “animals” — declaring that he didn’t go far enough.
“I think that animal doesn’t go far enough and I think the president should continue using his platform and everything he can do under the law to stop these types of horrible, horrible, disgusting people,” spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, referring to members of the violent criminal street gang MS-13
Trump made the incendiary remark a day earlier while meeting with California officials about immigration.
“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals,” Trump said after a participant mentioned MS-13.
Trump didn’t mention the gangs or criminals in his response, which drew rebukes from Democrats and immigration advocates, but Sanders insisted his meaning was clear.
“The president was very clearly referring to gang members. This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs that operates by the motto of rape, control and kill,”she said at the daily press briefing.
“Frankly, I don’t think the term the president used was strong enough.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer 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.”