Trump has lambasted the Diversity Visa Lottery Program he called a "Chuck Schumer beauty," saying that he wants a merit-based system for immigration as the suspected attacker has allegedly been living in the United States since 2010 through this program. However, this information has not been officially confirmed.
The attack is considered the deadliest act of terror in New York City since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The assaulter has been recognized as Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old truck driver who had lived in Tampa, Florida and recently moved to Paterson, New Jersey.
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) 1 ноября 2017 г.
We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1 ноября 2017 г.
US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was quite short in response to the statement, urging the president to stop dividing America with his reaction.
"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 in a statement. "I'm calling on the President to immediately rescind his proposed cuts to this vital anti-terrorism funding."
New York Mayor Warns Against Politicizing Truck Attack
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also commented on Trump's remarks and called for refraining from politization of the terrorist attack.
"The last thing the president or anyone else should do is politicize this tragedy," de Blasio told CNN. "The last thing we should do is start casting aspersions on whole races of people, or whole religions, or whole nations, that only makes the situation worse."
He has also voiced support for thorough vetting of those seeking to come to the United States, but warned against generalizing people based on religious, cultural or other affiliations.
The attack took place about 3:05 p.m. local time, when a man drove a truck nearly a mile down a bike path in Manhattan. He managed to drive about 20 blocks, killing eight people and injuring 22 with serious but not life-threatening wounds. The suspected attacker was shot by the police and taken to a hospital.
The president immediately reacted to the attack and expressed his condolences to the victims and their families.
My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 31 октября 2017 г.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has called the ramming an act of terror, thus confirming the earlier media reports citing police that the incident was being investigated as a terrorist attack. There is still no indication from authorities that Saipov was connected to any kind of a terror cell inside the country. As eyewitnesses claim, he was allegedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great" in Arabic) after he stepped out of the car. A number of police reports citing senior police officials say that there was also a handwritten note pledging allegiance to Daesh in the truck.