President Donald Trump on Saturday again proposed the death penalty for convicted drug dealers.
During a rambling, hour-plus speech in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, Trump quickly endorsed Republican state Rep. Rock Saccone ahead of Tuesday’s special congressional election, then pivoted to his own re-election message.
“Our new slogan, when we start running, in — can you believe it, two years from now — is going to be, Keep America Great, exclamation point,” the President said.
Elsewhere, he took drug enforcement tips from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“When I was in China — and other places by the way — I said, ‘Mr. President, do you have a job problem?’” Trump told the Pennsylvania crowd.
“‘No, no, no. We do not,’” he said, imitating Xi’s response.
“I said, ‘Huh, big country, 1.4 billion people.’ Not much of a drug problem. I said, ‘What do you attribute that to?’ ‘Well, the death penalty.’”
He added later that he didn’t “know” whether the United States, “frankly, is ready for it.”
“But at a minimum, you have to give long, tough sentences,” Trump said.
“A drug dealer will kill 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people during the course of his or her life,” the President said separately. “Thousands of people are killed or their lives or destroyed, their families are destroyed. You can kill thousands of people and go to jail for 30 days.”
It recalled Trump’s message during an White House summit on opioid abuse at the beginning of the month.
“Some countries have a very, very tough penalty — the ultimate penalty — and by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do,” he said at the time.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the White House and Justice Department were “studying” policy changes to allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers.