Trump Goes After Schumer in Wake of New York Terrorist Attack

Donald Trump
Donald Trump / Getty Images
November 1, 2017

President Donald Trump slammed Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) on Wednesday morning for playing an instrumental role in establishing the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," which the president said contributed to the terrorist attack in New York City a day earlier.

Sayfullo Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, drove a Home Depot rental truck down the wrong way of the West Side Highway bike path in Manhattan for almost a mile on Tuesday, according to authorities. He is accused of plowing into cyclists, killing eight and injuring 11 others.

Authorities say Saipov, 29, entered the United States in 2010 under what is known as the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program." The program originated in a 1990 bill introduced by Schumer and was established under the Immigration Act of 1990 by Congress, but did not take effect until 1995, according to the Washington Post.

The lottery program "provides for a class of immigrants known as 'diversity immigrants,' from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States," according to the State Department.

"The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based," Trump tweeted.

"We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter)," Trump tweeted at "Fox and Friends."

Trump quoted former U.S. intelligence officer and retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer who said Schumer helped "import Europe's problems."