Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) more progressive candidates will win in the 2018 midterm elections as a result of the Trump presidency.
Sanders said, “I think that they are wrong, and I think they are misreading where the American people are at. Many of the issues that I campaigned on two years ago, issues like Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage and the 15 bucks an hour and taking on the pharmaceutical industry, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, legalizing marijuana. A few years ago those were seen as radical, fringy ideas. You know what in every instance those ideas are now supported by the American people, by the majority of the American people overwhelming the percentage of Democrats.”
He continued, “So what I think that candidates all over the country are now beginning to understand is that it is more important to reach out to the people in your community, working people and the middle class and lower-income people than rather than just worry about what wealthy campaign contributors want you to say. I think candidates run on a progressive agenda which demands that we take on the billionaire class that we end the movement to an oligarchy in the country that we fight for the rights of working people, that’s not only good public policy, and that’s good politics and I think many of those candidates will win.”
He added, “We have seen this now for the last year, last year and a half since Trump has been elected we have seen progressive candidates and seen voter turnout go up because the people in their communities know that it’s time to stand up and fight.”
“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during Thursday’s briefing after media attempts to frame President Trump’s comments from the previous day as insulting to “some immigrants.”
“I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough,” she said.
One reporter had asked Sanders about the president’s use of the word “animals” to describe members of the vicious MS-13 transnational gang but, instead, framed the question by saying Trump used the term to describe “some immigrants.”
Sanders sharply corrected him by saying, “The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws.” She described the gang as “one of the most vicious and deadly” and operates using rape, control, and killing.
“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to,” said Sanders. “Frankly I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough.”
She then described some of the “heinous acts” the gang has executed:
It took an animal to stab a man a hundred times and decapitate him and rip his heart out. It took an animal to beat a woman they were sex trafficking – with a bat 28 times, indenting part of her body. And it took an animal to kidnap, drug, and rape a 14-year old Houston girl.
Frankly, I think that the term “animal” doesn’t go far enough.
And I think that the president should continue to use his platform and everything he can do under the law to stop these types of horrible, horrible, disgusting people.
Trump used the term “animal” to describe MS-13 gang members during a Wednesday afternoon White House roundtable with stakeholders in the fight against California’s sanctuary state laws.
Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims described to Trump the struggle her region faces in notifying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of an illegal alien MS-13 gang member. Trump responded by calling those gang members “animals,” a term he has used in the past to describe the murderous criminal organization.
A host of media personalities, Hollywood celebrities, and Democrats deceptively framed his comments as referring to “some immigrants,” a narrative continued in the Thursday briefing question.
“There’s a spark of divinity in every person on earth and that we all have to recognize that,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said as she slammed Trump for calling MS-13 members “animals.” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Trump is like a “slave owner” or “Nazi” for Trump’s description of the murderous gang members.
The Associated Press issued a tweet correction on Thursday admitting it had incorrectly framed Trump’s comment: “AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s “animals” comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members”:
AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s “animals” comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members.
This year, ICE arrested 475 gang members in a sting operation, 99 of whom claimed unaccompanied minor status and 65 of whom were shortly thereafter released into the United States by an immigration judge.
The MS-13’s beheading of a victim that Sanders referred to on Thursday is likely the case of a ten-person gang ambush in Maryland. A 19-year-old had been arrested in connection with the crime as of late last year. The gang beating of a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim sounds to be the case out of Maryland that allegedly involved 21-year-old illegal alien Yervin Josue Romero-Rivera, according to local WJLA. The drugging, rape, and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Houston appear to be the case of two 18-year-old MS-13 gang members who appeared in court for charges in the crime and were seen smiling and waving to television cameras. Breitbart Texas identified at least one as a national of El Salvador, while the nationality of the other teen murder suspect had not been determined at the time of that report.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday defended President Trump’s comment when he referred to MS-13 gang members as “animals,” explaining it was not in reference to unauthorized immigrants.
“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws. … If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13 they’re more than welcome to. Frankly, I don’t think the term the president used is strong enough.”
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Sanders called the comment “unacceptable,” but was said to be more upset about the leak than the off-handed comment from White House staffer Kelly Sadler that McCain’s opposition to their CIA director nominee Gina Haspel “doesn’t matter, because he’s dying anyway.”
Sadler was at the meeting standing on the other side of the room and did not apologize for the comment, according to people in the room.
But Sanders was on the verge of tears, according to a White House official.
“She was emotional because she was angry,” said that White House official.
Senior White House communications advisor Mercedes Schlapp interjected at one point, saying, “I stand with Kelly Sadler,” according to staffers in the room, saying that she saw the leak as an attack on Sadler, according to two White House officials.
Schlapp did not respond to a request for comment. A White House spokesperson declined to comment.
McCain, 81, is battling brain cancer.
White House officials say they believe the leak was personally motivated against Sadler, adding a sense of paranoia inside the West Wing.
“It was obviously someone trying to hurt her,” said one White House official.
A senior White House official said they don’t expect Sadler to be fired.
After the comment was made public, Sadler called Meghan McCain to apologize.
The next day, Meghan McCain said on The View that she was shocked Sadler was still employed by the White House.
“I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in when that would be acceptable and you can come to work the next day and still have a job,” McCain said.
The White House is not expected to acknowledge or apologize for the comment, despite pressure from both Democrats and Republicans for a public apology.
At a news conference Friday, Sanders declined to “comment on an internal staff meeting.” She went on to clarify that Sadler still works at the White House.
A senior White House official, too, said that for now, Sadler was still employed with the administration.
“She had no ill intent. She said something she shouldn’t have said and apologized to the family right away,” said the same White House official.
The original comment was made at a closed-door meeting attended by two dozen staffers on Thursday morning, one day after McCain released a statement calling on the Senate to oppose the nomination of Haspel.
One staffer at the meeting described the off-handed remark as “jaw-dropping.”