Trump says 'animals' comment refers to criminals, Mexico protests
By James Oliphant and Anthony Esposito WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was referring to criminal gangs when he called some illegal immigrants 'animals,' a term the Mexican government labeled as unacceptable and which drew rebukes on social media. Trump made the remarks on Wednesday during a meeting with California municipal leaders who support his goal of making the U.S.
By James Oliphant and Anthony Esposito
WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was referring to criminal gangs when he called some illegal immigrants "animals," a term the Mexican government labeled as unacceptable and which drew rebukes on social media.
Trump made the remarks on Wednesday during a meeting with California municipal leaders who support his goal of making the U.S. border impervious to illegal immigration.
"We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in, and we're stopping a lot of them, 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," Trump said.
Mexico's government said it would file a formal complaint with the U.S. State Department over the remarks.
"President Trump referred to some immigrants, perhaps he had criminal gangs in mind, I don’t know, as animals, not as persons," Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told local TV station Televisa on Thursday. "In the opinion of the Mexican government, this is absolutely unacceptable and we are going to formally communicate this to the U.S. State Department today."
Asked about the remarks, Trump said on Thursday they had been taken out of context.
"I'm referring and you know I'm referring to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in. I was talking about the MS-13. And if you look a little bit further on in the tape, you'll see that," Trump told reporters.
He also doubled down on his earlier comments.
"MS-13 - these are animals. ... We need strong immigration laws. ... We have laws that are laughed at on immigration. So when the MS-13 comes in, when the other gang members come into our country, I refer to them as animals and guess what, I always will," Trump added.
Mexico's Foreign Ministry said later on Thursday that Videgaray's comments still stood.
SEEKING TO WIN FAVOR
MS-13, which started in Los Angeles in the 1980s, has grown into a cross-border criminal organization with leadership in El Salvador that has 30,000 members worldwide and 10,000 in the United States, the U.S. Justice Department says.
At the meeting on Wednesday, Trump also voiced hostility for Mexico, which will be partnering with the United States and Canada in an unprecedented bid to host the soccer World Cup in all three countries in 2026. It is also part of the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump has threatened to scuttle if it is not improved to his liking.
"Mexico does nothing for us," Trump said at the meeting. "Mexico talks but they do nothing for us, especially at the border. They certainly don't help us much on trade."
Despite Trump's comments, Mexico has been working hard to win favor with the Trump administration in areas like diplomacy and migration, in the hopes of garnering a beneficial renegotiated NAFTA deal.
Since 2014, when Democratic President Barack Obama was in the White House, Mexico has more aggressively enforced its own southern border, detaining and deporting tens of thousands of immigrants, many of whom hail from the poor, violent Central American nations of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
(Reporting by James Oliphant and Anthony Esposito; Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico City; Editing by Peter Cooney)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities
Reports suggest that they captured President Alpha Conde and dissolved the government, bust the ground situation remains unclear
NEW YORK (Reuters) -The price of cryptocurrencies plunged and crypto trading was delayed on Tuesday, a day in which El Salvador ran into snags as the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Shares of blockchain-related firms also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages. But the major focus was on El Salvador, where the government had to temporarily unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.
By Joseph White and Sanjana Shivdas (Reuters) -The head of Apple Inc's car project, Doug Field, is going to work for Ford Motor Co to lead the automaker's advanced technology and embedded systems efforts, a hiring coup for Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley.