President Trump, reacting to the terror attack that killed eight, said the U.S. needs a system of “punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. They’ll go through court for years. . . . We need quick justice, and we need strong justice.”
President Trump tried to gain political advantage after the New York terrorist attack, blaming blame on Democrats for lax immigration laws and calling the criminal justice system’s handling of suspects “a joke,” the Washington Post reports. One day after a man, identified as an Uzbek immigrant, killed eight people on a Manhattan bike path in an act authorities said was inspired by the Islamic State, Trump seized on the deadly crime to renew his calls for a series of hard-line policies. The president said he would move to eliminate a popular “diversity lottery” for foreigners seeking U.S. visas and direct the State Department to ramp up “extreme vetting” of immigrants. He also suggested sending the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, a legal permanent U.S. resident, to the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “We have to get much tougher,” Trump said.
It was not clear what actions Trump could take to make good on his pledges. His response — including blaming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) for helping create the visa program that allowed Saipov to enter the U.S. — stood in contrast to the White House reaction to the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people at a country music concert. White House aides and Republican allies rejected calls by Democrats for more gun-control laws, saying it was not appropriate to politicize the tragedy. On Wednesday, Trump said the U.S. needs a system of “punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. They’ll go through court for years. . . . We need quick justice, and we need strong justice.” He called the criminal justice system “a laughingstock” in how suspects are prosecuted and added that keeping the country safe will require “unflinching devotion to our law enforcement, homeland security and intelligence professionals.”