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Why MS-13 is President Trump’s favorite villain

President Trump described MS-13 gang members as “animals,” but the gang’s origins may surprise you. We explain.

President Trump said Wednesday his administration is considering a plan to cut foreign aid to countries that do not help stem the flow of immigrants entering the United States illegally.

“Many of these countries we give tremendous amounts of aid to — tens of millions of dollars,” Trump said during a discussion on Long Island, N.Y., focused on the MS-13 gang.

“We’re working on a plan to deduct a lot of the aid,” the president said. “Every time someone comes in from a certain country, we’re going to deduct a rather large amount of money from what we give them.”

The president has made similar statements before. He said in April the U.S. might cut aid to Honduras in response to a caravan of immigrants moving through Mexico toward the U.S. border. There is no indication his administration followed through on the threat.

The president also used the forum to double-down on controversial rhetoric he used last week during a conversation about immigrants. The White House has touted the president’s use of the term “animals” in the discussion, and has criticized those who questioned it.

Trump has said he was using the word to describe members of international gangs like MS-13, not all immigrants.
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