President Donald Trump has said that he would consider sending Sayfullo Saipov, the New York terror suspect, to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Trump called Saipov “an animal” and said he would “certainly consider” sending him to Gitmo.
“Send him to Gitmo,” Trump reportedly said before he attended a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Wednesday. “I would certainly consider that… Send him to Gitmo.”
However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders later told reporters that President Trump was not “necessarily advocating” that Saipov be sent to Guantanamo. She insisted that Trump was only saying that he supported the idea “but he was not necessarily advocating for it.”
“[Trump] certainly would support it if he felt like that was the best move,” she said.
Trump revealed that his administration has initiated moves to end the State Department’s diversity visa lottery program through which Saipov reportedly obtained the green card that allowed him to immigrate to the U.S.
Trump also called on Congress to end the program.
“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.”
Saipov reportedly immigrated to the U.S. in 2010 under the Diversity Immigrant Visa program run by the State Department.
“He [Saipov] came in through the diversity program as you know, and we’re going to stop it.”
Trump advocated for the diversity visa lottery program to be replaced by a merit-based program.
“The diversity lottery sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good,” he said. “We want a merit-based program where people come into our country based on merit.”
Trump made the comments a day after Saipov, an Uzbek national, drove a rented truck into cyclists and pedestrians in New York City, yelling “Allahu Akbar.”
Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Senator John McCain (R- Ariz.), said that because the the NYC terror suspect committed what he termed an “act of war,” he should be treated as an “enemy combatant,” and the police should deny him Miranda rights.
“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,” McCain said. “He should not be read Miranda Rights, as enemy combatants are not entitled to them.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also suggested that the terror suspect should not be read Miranda rights and that he should also not be granted the right to have an attorney.
“Hold them [terror suspects] for a long period of time, get to know them, interrogate them about what they know, where they got trained,” Graham said. “And we’ll find out pretty soon more about this guy if you don’t read him his Miranda rights.”
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]