At Thursday’s White House press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was ready with a prepared statement defending President Trump’s comments that immigrants “aren’t people, these are animals.”
“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws,” Sanders insisted. But as ThinkProgress has reported, it was not clear that’s who Trump was referring to, and he has a long history of conflating all immigrants with those who engage in violent crime.
Operating from that premise, however, Sanders praised Trump and suggested he should be even harsher:
This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs that operates by the motto of “Rape, control, and kill.” If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to. Frankly, I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough.
MS-13 has done heinous acts. It took an animal to stab a man 100 times and decapitate him and rip his heart out. It took an animal to beat a woman they were sex trafficking with a bat 28 times, indenting part of her body. And it took an animal to kidnap, drug, and rape a 14-year-old Houston girl.
Frankly, I think that the term “animal” doesn’t go far enough and I think that the president should continue to use his platform and everything he can do under the law to stop these types of horrible, horrible, disgusting people.
Sanders did not offer any suggestions for what terms she thinks should be used in lieu of “animals” in future anti-immigrant rhetoric.