Donald Trump said at a campaign rally Monday that it’s “sad” that the suspect in the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey will receive medical attention and legal representation.
The GOP presidential nominee told a crowd near Fort Myers, Fla., that it was due to the work of law enforcement that the “evil thug who planted the bombs” was caught. Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested Monday after being injured in a gun battle with police in Linden, N.J. He is suspected to have planted pressure-cooker bombs over the weekend that injured 29 people in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.
“But the bad part,” Trump continued, “now we will give him amazing hospitalization. He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world. He will be given a fully modern and updated hospital room. And he’ll probably even have room service, knowing the way our country is.”
He added, “And on top of all that, he will be represented by an outstanding lawyer. His case will go through the various court systems for years and, in the end, people will forget and his punishment will not be what it once would have been. What a sad situation. We must have speedy, but fair trails and we must deliver a just and very harsh punishment to these people.”
It’s not clear what, presumably harsher, punishment Trump was referring to with his nostalgic lament for something that “once would have been.” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death last year after he was convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and left 240 with serious injuries, including 17 who lost legs.
The Constitution guarantees due process under the law and legal representation if the suspect cannot afford it. Rahami, 28, is a U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan. No foreign terror groups have claimed responsibility at this point.
Trump also said that “whatever lawful methods are available to obtain information” should be used on Rahami “to get information before it’s no longer timely,” and he called on Congress to “pass measures to ensure that foreign enemy combatants are treated as such.”
But such a measure would not apply to Rahami, since he is a U.S. citizen.
The Republican presidential nominee used the weekend attacks to paint his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as weak on national security. Earlier on Monday, during an appearance on Fox News’ Fox and Friends, he urged police to use racial profiling more often.
At the later Florida rally, Trump claimed that the terrorist groups “want her so badly” to become president. Clinton has made a similar charge of her rival, saying that ISIS wants him to win.
In response to the weekend’s attacks, the former secretary of state said it was “crucial that we continue to build up trust between law enforcement and Muslim-American communities.”