NYT Runs With Falsehood on Trump Calling All Illegal Immigrants ‘Animals’

May 17th, 2018 3:27 PM

Following the rest of the press, New York Times reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis falsely portrayed the President as attacking all “undocumented immigrants” (that’s the paper’s politically correct terminology) as “animals” when he was clearly only talking about criminal gangs, including the murderous MS-13.

The story came out of a White House meeting between President Trump and California mayors and sheriffs who oppose the state’s policy of “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants: “Trump Rants on Unauthorized Migrants: ‘These Aren’t People, These Are Animals.” The text box: “Pats on the back for the president at a one-sided round-table on immigration.” The current online headline is at least more accurate: “Trump Calls Some Unauthorized Immigrants ‘Animals’ in Rant”:

President Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting on Wednesday, warning in front of news cameras that dangerous people were clamoring to breach the country’s borders and branding such people “animals.”

Mr. Trump’s comments came during a round-table discussion with state and local leaders on California’s so-called sanctuary laws, which strictly limit communication between local law enforcement and federal immigration officers, and which the Trump administration is suing to invalidate. It was hardly the first time the president has spoken in racially fraught terms about immigrants, but it underscored his anger about unchecked immigration -- the animating issue of his campaign and his tenure so far -- and his frustration that he has not been able to do more to seal the nation’s borders.

Davis had the context of Trump’s comment right in front of her, but ignored it:

As he has in numerous private meetings with his advisers at the White House, Mr. Trump used the session to vent about the nation’s immigration laws, calling them “the dumbest laws on immigration in the world.” He exhorted his administration to “do much better” in keeping out undesirable people, including members of transnational gangs like MS-13.

“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in -- we’re stopping a lot of them,” Mr. Trump said in the Cabinet Room during an hourlong meeting that reporters were allowed to document. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. 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.”

Mr. Trump’s remarks came as the local officials invited for the event took turns praising his immigration policies and lamenting California’s law, arguing that it was making it more difficult for their communities to find and deport criminals.


The president’s language and his focus on California drew a sharp rebuke from Jerry Brown, the state’s Democratic governor.

What's so befuddling is Davis tweeted the correct summary of what the President said, but this came after her story was published.

CNN’s Jake Tapper actually provided the transcript and the context on Twitter, which makes it clear that Trump was referring to the murderous gang MS-13, not just “unauthorized migrants.” Tapper introduced the clips of transcript this way:

Here is the full context of President Trump’s “animals” comment during the immigration/sanctuary city roundtable, which came as a Sheriff was complaining about restrictions placed on ICE databases, and MS-13 gang members.

It’s not the first time the paper has distorted the MS-13 issue to hurt Trump. A front-page March 2018 story chided Trump for emphasizing the dangers of the immigrant gang, whose motto translates as “rape, control, kill.” It included this odd defensive line: “Not all members of MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, are illegal immigrants. Nor does the gang survive on the global trafficking of drugs, guns or people.