Speaking at an immigration roundtable focused on the MS-13 gang, Trump suggested a policy of withholding aid from countries that don't help prevent immigrants from illegally entering the United States and refuse to accept U.S. deportations.
"We're going to work out something where every time someone comes from a certain country, we're going to deduct a rather large amount of money from what we give them in aid -- if we give them aid at all, which we may not just give them aid at all, because despite the reports I hear, I don't believe they're helping us one bit," Trump said. "We're looking at our whole aid structure. It's going to be changed very radically. It's already started."
Trump didn't list any potential countries that would be subject to losing aid or provide any further details on the plan.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said MS-13 gang members are exploiting loopholes created by protections in place for unaccompanied minors.
"The consequences of these loopholes is although we're doing everything to combat crime in the United States, we're letting people in who are creating problems," Rosenstein said. "We're letting people in who are gang members. We're also letting people in who are vulnerable."
Rosenstien added that some of the children who enter the country without ties to MS-13 develop them upon entering the country.
"Many of these alien children who have no parents, no family structure we're releasing them into communities where they're vulnerable to recruitment by MS-13," he said.
Trump previously referred to members of MS-13 as animals and received criticism from Democrats, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who he accused of failing to close "crippling loopholes" in immigration laws and defending members of the gang.
He reiterated the statement on Wednesday and was supported by acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Thomas Homan, who said the gang "kills for sport."
"I called them 'animals' the other day and I was met with rebuke," Trump said. "They said, 'They are people.' They're not people. These are animals."