President Donald Trump on Wednesday says that he would consider sending Sayfullo Saipov, the 29-year-old man accused of killing 13 people this week by plowing his car into pedestrians, to the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
“I would certainly consider that,” the president said during a cabinet meeting. “Send him to Gitmo. I would certainly consider that, yes.”
Trump’s declaration that he would consider throwing Saipov into Guantanamo came as a response to a question by CBS News’ Major Garrett.
Saipov, the Uzbekistani national whom police say was behind Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attack in Manhattan on Tuesday, is a green card holder who has legal protections that could make it difficult for the president to send him into a legal black hole at Guantanamo.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said he would be “fine” with prosecuting American citizens — not only green card holders — accused of terrorism at Guantanamo Bay.
As Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale points out, however, Trump will often say he is considering taking a drastic action without actually following through on it.
“That is obviously news, but Trump says he’ll consider like 94% of things someone asks him about,” Dale writes on Twitter.
That is obviously news, but Trump says he'll consider like 94% of things someone asks him about. https://t.co/nv0DUTdrII
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 1, 2017
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday urged Trump to treat Saipov as an enemy combatant and not as a traditional prisoner, which would strip him of several rights afforded to him as a U.S. green card holder.
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