Liberal Journalists Falsely Accuse Jeff Sessions of Calling Illegal Immigrants ‘Filth’

Jeff Sessions / Getty Images


Liberal journalists on Twitter falsely accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of calling illegal immigrants "filth" in a speech he delivered on the Mexican border Tuesday.

Politico reporter Josh Dawsey took a partial quote from a Wall Street Journal story on Sessions' speech out of context, tweeting that Sessions described illegal immigrants as filth. From there, it caught the eye of Tufts professor and writer of the Washington Post‘s Spoiler Alerts blog Daniel Drezner, and the misinterpretation spread throughout Twitter.

But as the transcript of his prepared remarks makes clear, Sessions was not calling illegal immigrants "filth." Instead, the attorney general was actually referring to violent Mexican gangs like MS-13 as "filth":

Let’s stop here for a minute. When we talk about MS-13 and the cartels, what do we mean? We mean criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into war zones, that rape and kill innocent civilians and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders. Depravity and violence are their calling cards, including brutal machete attacks and beadings.

It is here, on this sliver of land, where we take our stand against this filth.

The Wall Street Journal truncated those remarks in its write-up, but still made it clear Sessions was talking about criminal organizations. "‘We mean criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into warzones, that rape and kill innocent citizens… It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth,'" the Journal summarized.

 As it turns out, Buzzfeed's Adrian Carrasquillo later reported that the whole controversy amounted to nothing: Sessions ending up diverging from his prepared remarks and omitted the words "against this filth" entirely.

Once Drezner saw the context of Sessions' words, he took to Twitter again to apologize.

When asked for comment, Sessions' spokesman Ian D. Prior said, "As the Attorney General said, we must take a stand against filth like MS-13 and the cartels that turn cities and suburbs into warzones, that rape and kill innocent people, and that profit by trafficking in drugs and people. It is unfortunate that there are misinformed people that think that we need to treat such violent criminals as if they deserve anything but the worse kind of condemnation."

Alex Griswold

Alex Griswold   Email Alex | Full Bio | RSS
Alex is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Before joining the Free Beacon, he was a writer for Mediaite and The Daily Caller. He is originally from Buffalo, New York, but regrettably now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at

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