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‘Took MTG’s bait’: Biden hit by backlash after slip forced by Republican’s outburst

President Joe Biden was on the receiving end of backlash from his own party after he used the word “illegal” to describe a Venezuelan man who entered the U.S. without documentation and who has been arrested and charged with the murder of college student Laken Riley.

According to Newsweek, Biden didn’t intend to call the migrant “an illegal,” and instead was expected to stick to prepared remarks that he did read: “I will not demonize immigrants, saying they ‘poison the blood of our country,’ as [Donald Trump] said in his own words.”

But he was prompted to deviate from the prepared speech when Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene heckled him to “say her name,” referring to Riley.

“[Laken] Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That’s right — but how many thousands of people are being killed by ‘legals’? To her parents I say, my heart goes out to you,” Biden said.

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Democrats were quick to point out Biden’s slip, with Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar posting to X: “Let me be clear: No human being is illegal.”

Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro called Biden’s words “dangerously close to language from Donald Trump that puts a target on the backs of Latinos everywhere.”

Speaking to Newsweek, political consultant Craig Agranoff said that Biden was roped into using the controversial label by Greene’s outburst.

“MTG’s success in bringing this issue to the forefront during the State of the Union cannot be underestimated,” Agranoff said. “It forced a national conversation on immigration and border security, topics that are undeniably divisive yet crucial.”

GOP strategist Matt Klink agreed, telling Newsweek, “Biden took MTG’s bait last night and finally mentioned Laken Riley by name. He was forced to admit that a criminal illegal alien, arrested multiple times previously, has been arrested for allegedly killing the young nursing student.”

Conversely, Republicans attacked Biden for mispronouncing Riley’s first name as “Lincoln.”

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