Donald Trump slammed Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer in a Wednesday morning tweet for his role in an immigration program that the man suspected of carrying out Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York City entered the country under.
Sayfullo Saipov, who was shot and is in custody after driving a truck through bicyclists and pedestrians in New York, entered the United States in 2010 from Uzbekistan under a program that gives visas to people from countries with few immigrants to the United States.
“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Charles Schumer beauty. I want merit based,” Trump said.
The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
Trump has embraced a proposal from two GOP senators to curb legal immigration. It would put more emphasis on allowing immigrants to come to the United States based on their job skills, and not on family ties to people already in the country.
Schumer, who played a role in the program’s conception in the 1990s, responded a short time later, accusing Trump of being divisive during a national tragedy. Eight people were killed in the attack in lower Manhattan.
“President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution — anti-terrorism funding — which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget,” Schumer said.
“I’m calling on the President to immediately rescind his proposed cuts to this vital anti-terrorism funding.”
Schumer later on Wednesday delivered a floor speech where he again lambasted Trump over the proposed cuts. The Democratic senator also compared Trump unfavorably to President George W. Bush.
“President Trump where is your leadership? The contrast between President Bush’s actions after 9/11 and President Trump’s actions this morning could not be starker,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 1, 2017