CNN has officially clarified a story in which the network suggested President Donald Trump had referred to undocumented immigrants as “animals.”
In a Thursday piece, media reporter Oliver Darcy conceded that CNN — like many other news organizations, including the New York Times and the Associated Press — had taken Trump’s remarks “out of context” and that the president had only been referring to members of the violent MS-13 gang, many of whom come from Central America, and not to all immigrants in the U.S. without proper documentation.
“Other outlets did not directly accuse the President of calling immigrants ‘animals,’ but failed to include in tweets the entire context for Trump’s remark. Those outlets included CNN, CBS News, and NBC News,” wrote Darcy.
“Trump’s remarks late Wednesday were in response to comments about members of MS-13 and other undocumented immigrants who are deported for committing crimes,” the network added in a thread response to its own (considerably more viral) original tweet that included the president’s quote without context.
As reported in the article above, Trump’s remarks late Wednesday were in response to comments about members of MS-13 and other undocumented immigrants who are deported for committing crimes.
— CNN (@CNN) May 17, 2018
Also Thursday, the Associated Press went even further than CNN, deleting an earlier tweet about the president’s remarks.
“AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s ‘animals’ comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members,” the news organization offered in an explanation.
AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s “animals” comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 17, 2018
The false narrative spread through the media this week after Trump made the tough remarks from the Cabinet Room of the White House.
“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — we’re stopping a lot of them,”said the president. “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.”
On Wednesday, the White House press briefing had an animated moment when Press Secretary Sarah Sanders laced into media companies for falsely reporting this story.
“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to,” said Sanders. “It took an animal to stab a man 100 times and decapitate him and rip his heart out … Frankly, I think that the term ‘animal’ doesn’t go far enough.”
“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws,” she added. “This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs that operates by the motto of rape, control and kill.”
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