Photo: Olivier Douliery (Getty Images)

On Wednesday during a White House meeting with mayors, sheriffs and other local leaders from California who oppose the state’s “sanctuary” immigration policies, President Donald Trump referred to some people who cross the borders illegally as “animals,” and that’s exactly what he meant.

“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in—and we’re stopping a lot of them,” Trump said during the immigration roundtable after a sheriff commented about gangs, NBC News reports. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”

This wasn’t a slip of the tongue. This wasn’t a old man losing his way during a speech. The president didn’t go off script; in fact, this is in line with the Trump playbook.

Remember, it was Trump who referred to African nations as “shithole countries.” It was Trump who claimed during his run for that presidency that Mexican immigrants were “rapists” and “murderers.”

While Trump’s freewheeling conversation with California officials had moved toward Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s inability to stop MS-13 gangs, Trump didn’t make the distinction between gang members coming into the country and those merely seeking a better life; that’s because Trump doesn’t see a difference.

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Here’s how Jack Holmes, a writer for Esquire, explains it:

Are we supposed to believe Trump is primarily concerned with the “animals” in MS-13 when as much as 40 percent of the people his administration is deporting have no criminal record? What percentage of those here illegally are realistically members of MS-13? Or can we instead safely assume that he’s more concerned with getting as many people out as possible, most of whom just happen to be of a particular complexion?

A truer word has never been written. Trump has been pretty adamant since before taking office that his version of America doesn’t include black and brown faces. And because his latest divisive rhetoric is in line with previously racist statements, many took offense.

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“When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren’t ‘animals,’ and these people aren’t either,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter, according to NBC.

The meeting was basically a circle jerk of Trump supporters who love the president and his policies, disguised as a genuine attempt to look at immigration.

This, too, is Trump’s strategy because he generally only meets with people who applaud him. So nothing was different on Wednesday. An egomaniacal narcissist surrounded himself with his minions as he continued to spout his usual separatist, white nationalist rhetoric. It’s just sad that the old man happens to be president of the United States. Thank you, 53 percent of white women who voted against your self-interests to elect this man.