Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) rebuffed President Donald Trump's criticism on Wednesday morning, accusing the president of "politicizing" a New York City terror attack that left eight dead.
Following Tuesday's attack, Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that the suspected attacker came to the United States from Uzbekistan as part of the State Department's Diversity Visa Lottery, a program intended to increase immigration from countries with low numbers of visas. Trump laid blame for the program's creation at Schumer's feet.
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
The senator from New York responded to the president, affirming his belief in immigration.
"I have always believed and continue to believe that immigration is good for America," Schumer said in response.
"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."
But Schumer himself politicized another recent national tragedy that shock the country, blaming the National Rifle Association and Republicans two days after the Las Vegas mass shooting that left over 50 people dead.
"In the face of tens of thousands of gun deaths every year, too many Republicans in Congress have tried to enact the dream agenda of the NRA and the gun lobby," the New York Democrat said on the Senate floor. "They've pursued a national concealed carry law."
A day later, Schumer argued that politicizing tragedy was sometimes a good thing.
"We've heard it said over and over again that now is not the time to talk about gun safety because it would ‘politicize' the tragedy," he said. "As Martin Luther King said in his letter from the Birmingham jail, ‘Not now means never—wait means never,' that's what he said, ‘wait' has almost always meant ‘never.'"