Spicer: Trump Was Using ‘Military’ As An ‘Adjective’ To Describe Deportations

Sipa USA via AP

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that President Donald Trump was using the word “military” as an “adjective” to describe deportations carried out under his administration.

“The President was using that as an adjective. It’s happening with precision and in a manner in which it’s being done very, very clearly,” Spicer told reporters at his press briefing.

He claimed Trump meant to describe how deportations are being carried out “in a very streamlined and efficient manner.”

A reporter noted that Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said earlier Thursday that “there will be no use of military forces” to enforce Trump’s deportation policy.

“I think we’ve made it clear in the past and Secretary Kelly reiterated it, what kind of operation this was,” Spicer said. “The President was clearly describing the manner in which this was being done.”

Trump said Thursday morning that his administration’s enforcement of its deportation policy is “a military operation.”

“All of a sudden for the first time we’re getting gang members out, we’re getting drug lords out, we’re getting really bad dudes out of this country,” he said during a listening session with manufacturing CEOs. “And it’s a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country.”

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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