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This graphic has been spreading around social media the last few weeks; its sentiment echoed in USA Today among other places. Snopes has weighed in, but I find the article unsatisfying. It calls the claim a "Mixture" and dings it for neither quote being literal (duh), and something about him referring to MS-13, even though he never mentions the gang in the full paragraph. So maybe Skeptics can do better.

Evaluate the claim. Did Trump say this sentiment sufficiently similar to how Hitler said it, as implied in the graphic?

  • 2
    This seems off-topic. The snopes article already answers everything we could answer (neither is an exact quote). Interpreting how similar the sentiments behind the paraphrased quotes are would be off-topic.
    – tim
    Jun 10, 2018 at 7:06
  • 3
    FYI: Hitler did not do the same thing. For him, there were no good Jews. It's why already in Mein Kampf and speeches in the 20s, he doesn't talk about criminal Jews, but the Jew. It's an important aspect of the exterminational antisemitism that lead to the Holocaust.
    – tim
    Jun 10, 2018 at 7:15
  • 4
    What would an acceptable answer look like? You seem to have all the facts already.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 10, 2018 at 9:37
  • @tim - Other than the fact that a key early feature of the Nazi party was highlighting foreign Jews vs German Jews, you're completely right. Er, wrong, that is. Jun 11, 2018 at 1:46
  • @WakeDemons3 Do you have a source?
    – tim
    Jun 11, 2018 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


Here is the actual quote by Donald Trump, in context, as per the White House transcript, linked from the Snopes article:

SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.

THE PRESIDENT: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and 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. These aren’t people. These are animals.

I stopped the quote at "animals" because that's what's relevant to the current topic. Snopes stopped the quote at the first mention of "country" for whatever reason.

It's true that Trump did not mention MS-13. But his comment was in response to another comment that did.

  • 5
    Could you edit in a summary of who MS-13 are, and why this is such important context? (Maybe this is obvious to Americans, but I've never heard of them.) Also, Snopes cuts the quote there because they've already quoted the rest of it further up the page, so the "..." is intended to be read as "and so on, as above".
    – IMSoP
    Jun 11, 2018 at 20:32
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    @IMSoP The critical distinction here is that MS-13 is only a small fraction of undocumented immigrants (and not all MS-13 members are immigrants). I don't want to burden the answer with trying to explain MS-13. As is, this is a rather limited but objective point. Someone mentioned MS-13 and Trump called some group of people animals. It is not exactly clear from that statement that Trump was calling MS-13 animals, but it is clear that they were in the scope of the conversation. Trump's administration later claimed that he was referring to MS-13.
    – Brythan
    Jun 11, 2018 at 21:01
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    @IMSoP: MS-13 is a criminal group (a gang) with a reputation for being violent, even by comparison to other violent criminal gangs. It has a not insignificant portion of its membership who are immigrants, especially from El Salvador, hence it's mention at the above event. Ironically enough, the gang was founded in Southern California.
    – sharur
    Jun 11, 2018 at 21:08
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    Thanks. I think it's rather crucial for the answer to establish who MS-13 are, because the implication is that the quote is more acceptable if "these" refers to its members, rather than to immigrants in general. As I say, maybe that's obvious to many readers, but to someone who has never heard of them, they could be just as undeserving a target as the Jews in the Hitler quote.
    – IMSoP
    Jun 11, 2018 at 21:35
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    @Brythan I agree that we shouldn't be making those judgements ourselves, but we should present the reader with the tools to make those judgements themselves. We can provide a contextural statement about what they are that is entirely factual. They're a gang, heavily involved in drug trafficking and illegal immigration, which has been implicated in a number of violent crimes. They have their own FBI task force. These are not evaluations. They are facts.
    – Ben Barden
    Jun 12, 2018 at 20:44

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