Trump Rails Against Media For Reporting He Called Immigrants ‘Animals’: ‘Fake News Got it Purposely Wrong’

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to defend himself against a media onslaught this week that accused him of deriding immigrants as “animals” in a White House meeting. During a televised White House roundtable discussion on immigration, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims criticized so-called sanctuary cities, before lamenting that she doesn’t have the power to alert ICE about a member of the MS-13 gang. Trump, speaking after Mims, said “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,” Trump continued. “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.” Given Trump’s tendency to speak imprecisely and conflate of immigration with criminality, many media outlets on his comments, assuming he was referring to immigrants in general — and ignoring Mims’ remark directly before his. It was perhaps an uncharitable reading of the context. After Trump was decried by Democrats and many in the media for his comments, a backlash to the backlash led by his usual defenders drew some mea culpas: the Associated Press and CNN both issued corrections to their stories, clarifying that Trump was referring to MS-13 as “animals,” not immigrants as a whole. The story was covered thoroughly on Fox & Friends Friday morning, and Trump eventually weighed in. “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!” [image via screengrab]

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