- A mislabeled clip President Donald Trump that claims he’s referring to asylum-seeking immigrants as “animals” has gone viral and elicited outrage on Twitter.
- The problem is that Trump was referring to members of the Central American MS13 gang, not asylum seekers, as “animals,” and the clip is from May 2018.
- The revival of the footage came as Trump visited the US-Mexico border on Friday and said the country was “full.”
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An 11-month-old clip of President Donald Trump has gone viral on Twitter, with people saying that it shows him referring to immigrants as “animals” – but that’s not the real story.
Mark Elliott, the president of economic nonprofit Mobility, tweeted on Friday that Trump had referred to “people asking for asylum” as “animals.”
He added footage of the president telling roundtable meeting: “People coming into the country, or trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of them … You won’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. They’re animals.”
The message has been retweeted thousands of times by several popular accounts. While many other prominent Twitter accounts have debunked the video as misleading, it has not been corrected.
— Mark Elliott (@markmobility) April 5, 2019
Multiple people responded with outrage on Twitter, linking Trump’s comments to those of “dictators” and Nazis occupying Europe.
Donald Trump referred to asylum seekers today as “animals.” He is using the same language that dictators throughout history have used to dehumanize groups of people before horrific human rights atrocities have occured. If you’re not outraged then you are a willing accomplice.
— Ryan Knight ????️???? (@ProudResister) April 6, 2019
"These aren't people. These are animals." – President Donald Trump, on Hispanic families seeking asylum, 2019.
"Rats. Destroy them." – Nazis in occupied Denmark, on Jews, 1943. pic.twitter.com/CQK7MY0XE7
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) April 6, 2019
The problem, however, is the fact that Trump hadn’t been referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “animals,” but members of the Central American MS-13 gang instead.
He also made those comments in May 2018, not on Friday.
The revival of the clip came as Trump visited Calexico, a California city near the US-Mexico border, on Friday and said the US was too “full.”
At a roundtable with Border Patrol officials, the president said: “Our country is full. When it’s full, there’s nothing you can do. You have to say: ‘I’m sorry, we can’t take you.'”
Trump on Friday did say that “some of these asylum people” were “gang members,” and has criticized even legal forms immigration in the past.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on Thursday compared Trump’s name-calling of immigrants to Nazi Germany.
“Now, I might expect someone to describe another human being as an infestation in the Third Reich,” O’Rourke said, referencing Adolf Hitler’s vision of Nazi empire. “I would not expect that in the United States of America.”