President Donald Trump explained Thursday his controversial "animals" comment was referring to MS-13 gang members — not immigrants in general — telling reporters at the White House that "I always will."
"I'm referring to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in," Trump said at a brief session with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "I was talking about MS-13.
"MS-13, these are animals," Trump said. "They're coming into our country. We're getting them out.
"They come in again, we're getting them out.
"When MS-13 comes in, and other gang members come into our country, I referred to them as animals.
"And guess what?" Trump asked. "I always will."
Trump came under fire by Democrats after using the term during a roundtable on illegal immigration Wednesday at the White House.
"You wouldn't believe how bad these people are," the president said during the session. "These aren't people. These are animals."
The president told reporters Thursday: "We're getting them out by the thousands.
"But it's a big, dangerous job.
"They're able in some cases to come back in or new groups come in also from the gangs."
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