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Reporters press Sarah Sanders on Trump tweet about ‘breeding’
White House press secretary Sarah Hucakbee Sanders on Monday attempted to explain the meaning of one of President Trump's tweets last week in which he complained that sanctuary cities are "crime infested & breeding concept."
"There is a Revolution going on in California. Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept," Trump tweeted Wednesday.
The tweet received renewed attention on Monday, which was the first press briefing since it was sent while the president was in Florida.
CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked Sanders if the president was making a derogatory comment about Latinos in California.
"No, he's talking about the problem itself growing and getting bigger," Sanders responded.
April Ryan, a reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, pressed Sanders later in the briefing on what the president meant by "breeding" in the context of his tweet.
"The president has recognized this is a major problem. A lot of people, even in California, want to see the issue of sanctuary cities addressed," Sanders said.
"When you think of breeding, you think of animals breeding, populating," Ryan interjected.
"I'm not going to begin to think what you think," Sanders responded. "Certainly I think it could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. But the president is talking about a growing problem."
A third reporter asked Sanders if the president was talking about "people having babies."
"Not that I'm aware of," Sanders said. "I would have to ask him to be more specific."
The tweet was one of several Trump has sent in recent weeks claiming sanctuary cities are undermining U.S. laws. His administration has attempted to crack down on those jurisdictions, which do not require local police to enforce federal immigration law.
Though Trump or other White House officials did not elaborate on his use of the term "breeding," some on social media have suggested it was a typo, and that perhaps the president meant to type "contempt."
"If [Sarah] could just say that the president meant to type 'breeding contempt' instead of 'breeding concept' this might be easier," tweeted Bloomberg reporter Justin Sink.