Donald Trump has said that America should consider giving drug dealers the death penalty after claiming that some are killing thousands of people “and not even going to prison”.
While addressing crowds at a rally in Pennsylvania, the President claimed that countries like Singapore and China have lower recorded rates of drug crimes because of the punishments they enact.
“You kill one person, you get the death penalty in many states, or you get life imprisonment,” he said. Mr Trump claimed the “only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness”, adding: “These people are killing our kids and they’re killing our families, and we have to do something…I think it’s a discussion that we have to start thinking about.”
“A drug dealer will kill 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people in the course of his or her lives…you can kill thousands of people and go to jail for 30 days,” the president said during the rally.
“And then you wonder why we have a problem – that’s why we have a problem, folks, and I don’t think we should play games,” Mr Trump said, before latter adding: “I don’t know if this country’s ready for it”
The President spoke to supporters for more than an hour in Moon Township, at the rally to support Republican House candidate Rick Saccone.
He is in a tight race against Democrat Conor Lamb, a former Marine and federal prosecutor who’s never run for office before, ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Mr Saccone spoke before Mr Trump went on stage, with a tweet containing the single word “epic” being published and swiftly deleted from the President’s official account a minute before he appeared.
He touted his decision to put heavy tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, claiming “we’re saving the steel“ and that both steel and aluminium are ”back”.
Mr Trump also congratulated himself for deciding to meet the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, telling the crowd to be “nice” when they started booing at the mention of his name.
He said he believes the totalitarian state wants to achieve peace, following escalating nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and blamed previous administrations for failing to stop its weapons programmes.
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Mr Trump claimed credit for Isis being driven out of 98 per cent of its former territory in Syria and Iraq, and for rises in some categories of employment figures.
The President also launched wide-ranging attacks on the press, calling CNN “fake as hell” and taking particular aim at the moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press.
“Sleepy eyes Chuck Todd,” Mr Trump said. “He’s a sleeping son of a bitch. I’ll tell you.“
“Don’t miss @MeetThePress tomorrow!” Mr Todd replied on Twitter. “I know folks may be tired in the morning due to springing forward, so set those clocks and DVRs now before your eyes get too sleepy.”