Democratic 2020 candidates Pete Butigieg and Kirsten Gililbrand are among dozens of blue check liberal Democrats and media who ever the last 24 hours have been treating old comments from President Donald Trump as new, and falsely claiming that the comments refer to people seeking asylum in the United States.
Neither is true. They are not new, and they are not about that.
Here is the original Tweet that started the deluge.
.@realDonaldTrump on people asking for asylum "These aren't people. These are animals." https://t.co/pTKY08Obm2— Mark Elliott (@Mark Elliott)1554501698.0
That's Mark Elliott with Exxon Mobility, who is neither a politician nor a member of the media, who was obviously tweeting something he saw on C-SPAN, but mixed up the context.
Then the outrage struck. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand retweeted it as new with Elliott's incorrect assertion about the target of the remarks.
Racist language like this has led to violence throughout the world’s history. No human being is an animal. We have… https://t.co/bVoccr3ff9— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand)1554557997.0
Fellow 2020 Democrat candidate, former mayor Pete Buttigieg did the same.
You do not refer to human beings as animals. You just don’t.— Pete Buttigieg (@Pete Buttigieg)1554547844.0
The clip is actually from May of last year. In it, President Trump was responding to a question about MS-13, the violent criminal gang, based primarily in El Salvador, that started it's U.S. reign of terror in Los Angeles but has spread across the country.
This clip was big news at the time, and many press outlets carried it. There was even a secondary but smaller controversy after Rep. Nancy Pelosi defended the gang-members against that description.
It was not unreasonable of the President to say it, nor did he dehumanize the gang. MS-13 surrendered their own humanity.
Yet a year later, members of the mainstream press, who ought to know when things were said and about whom (or least check into it), and who probably covered the story and reacted to it at the time, likewise retweeted Elliott's tweet as factual, adding their own outrage.
The President likening human beings to animals is despicable. I've seen this playbook before, words weaponized into… https://t.co/VVBjFuHP2s— Dan Rather (@Dan Rather)1554521053.0
Let this sink in. https://t.co/mcfjE1fAo2— Jim Roberts (@Jim Roberts)1554516211.0
But all lives matter, right? https://t.co/moROTDSMUx— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin)1554556257.0
Asylum seekers "aren't people." They are "animals." This is particularly frightening language coming out of a perso… https://t.co/VuizTZBUKY— Joy Reid (@Joy Reid)1554517960.0
There are dozens and dozens more, too may to put into an article. There are also many Democrat politicians and officials repeating the false claim, including Tom Perez, who is chair of the DNC.
This type of dehumanizing language is dangerous, and against everything we stand for as a country. https://t.co/YSj9WRMrTM— Tom Perez (@Tom Perez)1554559178.0
They won't correct this error. They will say that it is not an error because you shouldn't talk about any person this way. That's the same thing they did when he actually make the remark last year.
But it is false nevertheless. President Trump did not say that refugees or people seeking asylum are "animals."
Update: DC Examiner's T. Becket Adams points out that the Women's March amazingly refers back to the original statement and still repeats the pretense the comment is new and aimed at asylum-seekers.
i mean, *do* you remember? do you remember that this is the exact same video from 2018 you’re referencing? https://t.co/ZyFJTV0FAr— T. Becket Adams (@T. Becket Adams)1554573058.0
That takes talent.