April 20, 2024

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Newsmax deleted a post on the social media platform X about former President Donald Trump after it incurred the wrath of readers and sparked an internal panic at the conservative cable network.

The post, on the platform formerly known as Twitter, linked to a Newsmax page that housed a Reuters wire service story on Trump’s latest comments about undocumented immigrants and crime.

The Newsmax story is titled, “Trump Calls Migrants Animals in Michigan Stop.” It points out that according to studies, “people living in the U.S. illegally do not commit violent crimes at a higher rate than native-born citizens.”

Newsmax posted the story to X with a caption that was also taken from Reuters, and read: “Donald Trump called immigrants in the United States illegally ‘animals’ and ‘not human’ in a speech in Michigan, resorting to the degrading rhetoric he has employed time and again on the campaign trail.”

The post sparked fury on the online right and a panic within Newsmax, since Trump supporters have insisted he was referring only to immigrants who commit crimes as sub-human.

Trump’s comments that the Reuters story was based on were muddled, and came during a general rant about migrants seeking access to the United States at the southern border. While commenting on the killing of Laken Riley this week, Trump said she was “barbarically murdered by an illegal alien animal.”

He continued: “The Democrats say, ‘Please don’t call them animals, say humans.’ I said, ‘No, they’re not humans. … They’re animals.’ Nancy Pelosi told me that. She said, ‘Please don’t use the word animals, sir, when you’re talking about these people.’ I said, ‘I’ll use the word animal because that’s what they are.’”

After an outcry on X, Newsmax deleted the tweet. Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt posted on the platform — in a since deleted tweet — that a “low level social media staffer” was responsible for the initial post.

Rob Schmitt Tweet

Shortly after Schmitt’s tweet, Newsmax addressed the kerfuffle: “UPDATE: Yesterday, Newsmax posted to Twitter/X a Reuters story that failed to say President Trump’s comment about ‘animals’ at a campaign speech in Michigan referred to violent criminals. We have removed it from our account.”

Although Newsmax has deleted the tweet, the article is still live on Newsmax’s website.

Even after the deletion, prominent Trump boosters like Jack Posobiec, who rose to prominence as a Pizzagate conspiracy theorist, were blasting Newsmax.

“Newsmax has deleted this and blamed it on a ‘low-level media staffer.’ No word if the staffer is still employed,” Posobiec tweeted. Juanita Broaddrick posted in response to Posobiec: “Christopher Ruddy is a two faced backstabber. Always has been.”

A Newsmax producer who asked to remain anonymous told Mediaite that at the New York offices of the cable channel, where the social media team is located, they “are scrambling trying to figure out who approved that post.”

“It’s especially sensitive because the common belief on the inside of 805 3rd Ave is that we cater everything to Trump,” the producer said, adding: “MAGA is furious.”

Trump’s comments about immigrants being “animals” has sparked fury — and confusion — before. In 2018, during a roundtable in California then-President Trump referred to some immigrants as “animals.”

“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them,” Trump said in response to a comment about the MS-13 gang. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”

After an outcry, Trump clarified he was referring to MS-13 gang members.

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