When a man drove a van through a bike path on New York City's west side on Tuesday, killing eight people, President Donald Trump was recklessly quick to further his own agenda of extreme vetting, and also to denounce the effectiveness of the United States justice system.
CNN reports Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov was at the wheel of a rented van that instantly killed six, with two more dying later and many more were injured. The following morning Trump was already referring to the driver as a "terrorist," before the investigation itself could determine the Saipov's motivations. The moment it was a possibility that Saipov could be a terrorist, Trump immediately used that to attack the immigration system.
"The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based," tweeted Trump early Wednesday morning.
Without delay Trump made the attack a political issue at a White House Cabinet meeting Wednesday. He called for "quick" and "strong" justice, and went so far as to say that these terror attacks happen because the United States is "a laughingstock" when it comes to punishing terrorists. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the head of the so-called 'laughing stock' justice system, sat across from Trump when the president made the comment.
Trump also said he wants to send Saipov, who at the time was only a criminal suspect and not charged as a labeled terrorist, nor is he an "animal" as the president said, to the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison.
"We also have to come up with punishment that's far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now," Trump told reporters. "They'll go through court for years. And at the end, they'll be -- who knows what happens."
"We need quick justice and we need strong justice -- much quicker and much stronger than we have right now," Trump added. "Because what we have right now is a joke and it's a laughingstock. And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place."
The speed at which Trump made Tuesday's New York City attack a political issue is polar opposite to the White House's avoidance at making the Las Vegas shooting last month an issue about gun control.
"Again, we haven't had the moment to have a deep dive on the policy part of that," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the day after the Las Vegas shooting. "We've been focused on the fact that we had a severe tragedy in our country. And this is a day of mourning, a time of bringing our country together, and that's been the focus of the administration this morning."
Yesterday though, Sanders blatantly lied to the press while defending the President during her Wednesday briefing. She claimed that Trump said instead that "the process has people calling us a joke and calling us a laughingstock." This is not what Trump said on camera. Sanders added that Trump was merely "voicing his frustration" at the lengthy process that is our justice system, which was designed that way so as to help prevent unfair prosecution.
This morning, Trump reiterated his desire to not only send Saipov to Guantanamo, but the president of the United States, on Twitter, also called for the man's swift death.
"Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system...There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!"