White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House on Thursday fiercely defended President Trump[1]’s use of the word “animals” to describe illegal immigrants in the MS-13 gang.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders[2] said the word “animals” didn’t go far enough in describing the brutal street gang known for hacking people to death with machetes.

“It took an animal to stab a man 100 times and rip his heart out,” she said, referring to a reported MS-13 attack. “I think the term animal doesn’t go far enough.”

Mr. Trump[3] came under fire from immigrant-right groups for making the comment Wednesday in a meeting with local officials who have challenged California’s sanctuary-state law.

Mr. Trump[4] did not specify MS-13 in his remark, but he was responding to a sheriff’s complaint that under the California law her office can’t contact immigration officials about known MS-13 members.

“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter our country illegally,” said Mrs. Sanders[5]....

She added, “If liberals and the media want to defend MS-13 they are welcome to.”

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