On Wednesday, President Donald Trump called Sayfullo Saipov an “animal” and stated he would “certainly consider” sending the attacker to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. On Tuesday, Saipov used a Home Depot rental truck to plow through pedestrians and bicyclists on a bike lane in lower Manhattan, killing eight people and wounding a dozen more in an act of terrorism.
As reported by The Daily Mail, discussing Saipov’s actions, Trump stated, “I would certainly consider that, yes. I would certainly consider that. Send him to Gitmo.”
Senator and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain seemed to echo the sentiment, referring to Saipov as an “enemy combatant” and stating the attacker should be denied Miranda rights by law enforcement.
Trump also asserted that he intended to terminate the State Department’s diversity-focused visa lottery program under which Saipov, who is from Uzbekistan, was able to gain entry to the US in 2010.
“I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program. I’m going to ask Congress to immediately initiate or get rid of this program,” said Trump.
“He came in through the diversity program, as you know, and we’re going to stop it.”
While Trump cannot unilaterally end the program, which was implemented by Congress in 1990, he has endorsed the use of a merit-based program.
Trump said, “We want a merit-based program for immigration,” continuing, “where people come into our country based on merit.”
He also added, “And we do not want chain migration, where ultimately someone like him will be allowed to bring in many, many members of his family.”
Trump even implied that Americans were “suckers” for supporting a lottery system.
“We want people that are going to keep our country safe. We don’t want lotteries, where the wrong people are in the lotteries,” said Trump.
“And guess what? Who are the suckers that get those people.”
McCain provided a statement in which he stated that the US should view terror attacks as “acts of war.”
He added, “As such, the New York terror suspect should be held and interrogated – thoroughly, responsibly, and humanely – as an enemy combatant consistent with the Law of Armed Conflict.”
“He should not be read Miranda Rights, as enemy combatants are not entitled to them,” McCain continued. “As soon as possible, the administration should notify Congress how it plans to proceed with the interrogation and trial of this suspect.”
Senator Lindsey Graham also recommended denying terror attackers the right to remain silent and access to an attorney.
Guantanamo Bay, a prison camp, was surrounded by controversy after allegations of torture, including the use of waterboarding, an interrogation method Trump stated he supported while campaigning for the White House, were made against the facility.
“Terrorists are constantly seeking to strike our nation, and it will require the unflinching devotion of our law enforcement, homeland security and intelligence professionals to keep America safe,” said Trump.
“We have to get much tougher, and we have to get much smarter,” Trump added. “And we have to get much less politically correct. We’re so politically correct that we’re afraid to do anything.”