White House aide rips MS-13: Its motto is not 'gum drops, hugs and kisses'
© YouTube

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE's characterization of MS-13 gang members as "animals" on Wednesday, calling the gang's behavior "animalistic."

In an interview with Fox News, Gidley defended the president's remarks, which were criticized last week after many people claimed the president was referring to all immigrants without legal status as "animals." The White House slammed reporting on the president's remarks, clarifying that Trump was only referring to the gang members.

ADVERTISEMENT

"That's what they are, they're animals," Gidley said of MS-13 members. 

"What do you call somebody who comes into this country illegally, unlawfully, whose motto is rape, control, kill?" he asked. "It is not gum drops, hugs and kisses. It is a violent, brutal gang that goes across this country terrorizing American citizens. Cutting off people’s heads. Tearing hearts out of people’s bodies. This behavior is animalistic.”

Gidley went on to claim that MS-13 members had "infiltrated this country by the tens of thousands," despite recent FBI statistics putting the number at just about 10,000 members in the U.S. and only about 30,000 members worldwide.

The White House has defended Trump's remarks about the gang in the days following the controversy over his initial remarks, which Trump officials have characterized as the media and liberals "defending" members of the criminal gang.

“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in, 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," Trump said last week.

“These aren’t people. These are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a rate that’s never happened before," he added.

"If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they're more than welcome to," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters last week when asked about the quote. "Frankly, I don't think the term the president used is strong enough."