Apparently Donald Trump hasn’t said anything recently that was incendiary enough to raise the hackles of the Left. So they have dragged out of mothballs a year-old video in which the president calls MS-13 “animals” and edited it to make it seem as though he is referring to all asylum seekers.
The source of the cherry-picked clip appears to be a Twitter user named Mark Elliott whose bio acknowledges he was written for the New York Times. Here’s the tweet:
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) April 5, 2019
The original full-length video from which the clip was taken was shot in the White House cabinet room on May 16, 2018 at a Roundtable on Santuary Cities and Immigration Laws. According to a summary by C-SPAN:
During the meeting, President Trump said he was proud of his administration’s push to deport criminal immigrants like members of the gang MS-13 living in the U.S. illegally.
Here is the same clip that appears in Elliott’s tweet, this time preceded by a context-providing comment by Fresno, Calif. Sheriff Margaret Mims. The transcript follows:
You just pushed a complete lie with over 13 million views now.
Here’s the full clip showing that Trump called MS-13 gang members… NOT asylum seekers animals… pic.twitter.com/f1hOkWqdMU
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 6, 2019
Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.
Earlier in the video, Trump makes it unambiguous that he is referring to MS-13 and not all asylum seekers. The relevant clip begins at 0:47. The transcript follows:
California’s law provides safe harbor to some of the most vicious and violent offenders on Earth, like MS-13 gang members putting innocent men, women, and children at the mercy of these sadistic criminals. But we’re moving them out of this country by the thousands. …
Democratic presidential hopefuls were among those who took the bait. Here are South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
You do not refer to human beings as animals. You just don’t.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) April 6, 2019
Racist language like this has led to violence throughout the world’s history. No human being is an animal. We have to be better than this.https://t.co/TQ0MhJFGtq
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) April 6, 2019
At least one liberal cable journalist got in on the tsk-tsking:
This is journalist, @TifaniRoberts comforting a small boy on the border. He was shot in the throat by Ortega’s thugs in Nicaragua. This little boy is seeking asylum in the United States. His name is William. Trump calls him “animal”. pic.twitter.com/avGe5mWctH
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) April 6, 2019
Some sensitive souls bristle at the suggestion that MS-13 are animals:
It doesn’t matter if he’s talking about gang members, they’re people. Humans.
It was an awful thing to say then it’s an awful thing to say now.
— James Rabe (@jamestherabe) April 6, 2019
Perhaps this Twitter user should tell that to the parents of a teen gang members stabbed 100 times before setting his body on fire.
The mischaracterization of the president’s words is nothing new. Covering the roundtable in 2018, the Daily Beast falsely reported that “Trump described immigrants as ‘animals’ during a meeting about sanctuary cities.”