Chuck Todd sides with Trump on 'animals' remark

Chuck Todd sides with Trump on 'animals' remark
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NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd on Friday sided with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand urges opposition to Kavanaugh: Fight for abortion rights 'is now or never' Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue US steel industry: report Bannon announces pro-Trump movie, operation team ahead of midterms: report MORE's description of MS-13 gang members as “animals” earlier this week.

“A lot of people have called violent anybodys animals,” Todd said during an appearance on “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” on WABC Radio.

“Anybody who is a violent criminal in my book can get called an animal if they're sitting there mauling, killing and raping people. I don’t care where they're from," he added.

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Todd weighed in on media coverage of Trump's remark from a roundtable discussion earlier this week, where the president was responding to a California official asking about MS-13 gang members.

The official, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, had expressed frustration over how the state’s "sanctuary city" laws have limited the ability of local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, specifically in regards to the MS-13 gang.

“These aren’t people. These are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a rate that’s never happened before," Trump replied, referring to gang members in the U.S. illegally.

Todd noted that some initial coverage of Trump's remarks inaccurately portrayed his "animals" comment as a reference to undocumented immigrants more broadly, instead of MS-13 gang members. 

“This is where I think that my colleagues do us all harm,” Todd said. “You know, cover this legitimately. There is plenty of legitimate stuff to ding him on, if you think he deserves to be dinged on. Just be careful, don’t be sloppy about it.”

The Associated Press deleted a Wednesday tweet regarding Trump's characterization of MS-13 members. The news agency said that in the tweet "it wasn't made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members."

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway part of group of Trump skeptics known as 'Meeting of the Concerned': report Conway: Part of my husband feels like I chose Trump over him White House spokesman: I've never seen an NDA in Trump White House MORE had also said Trump was owed an apology from any news organization that misreported him calling undocumented immigrants "animals" when he was referring to MS-13 gang members.