"We have people coming into the country – or trying to come in, we're stopping a lot of them," Trump told attendees, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "But we're taking people out of the country – you wouldn't believe how bad these people are."
"These aren’t people. These are animals," President Trump said.
"And we're taking them out of the country at a level, at a rate that's never happened before," he said. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast."
"We get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It's crazy," he said.
President Trump during California #SanctuaryCities Roundtable: "These aren't people. These are animals."
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 16, 2018
Some on social media expressed outrage:
"These aren't people."— Michael Linden (@MichaelSLinden) May 16, 2018
That is classic, time-tested rhetoric used to build hate and justify horrendous acts. Shame on you, Mr. President. Shame on everyone who doesn't call this out for what it is. https://t.co/aKWMt4NHhQ
After the "animals" remark, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy praised Trump as "a new president that understands this problem" of illegal immigration and the rule of law.— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 16, 2018
This motherfucker https://t.co/j0W6GFh1ZT— ana marie cox (@anamariecox) May 16, 2018
Never, ever forget this fact: Donald Trump reserves the word "animals" only for brown people. https://t.co/vXJRZyDUn0— 𝘾𝙛. (@cristianafarias) May 16, 2018
Among the most repellant things any American public official has ever said. Worse still...this is one of those rare cases in which Trump is saying exactly what he believes. He is a pig. https://t.co/2yW6LNAaGr— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) May 16, 2018