President Donald Trump is open to sending the suspect in the Oct. 31 New York City terror attack to the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, also known as Gitmo.
"We have to get much tougher and we have to get much smarter," Trump said after Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov allegedly plowed a truck into a cycle lane full of people. "And we have to get much less politically correct. We’re so politically correct that we’re afraid to do anything."
When asked specifically if he'd consider sending Saipov, 29, to Gitmo, Trump said he was open to the idea, reports The Washington Post.
"I would certainly consider that, yes," said Trump. "I would certainly consider that. Send him to Gitmo."
Trump is already attempting to end the State Department's diversity-oriented visa lottery program, which allowed Saipov into the U.S. in 2010.
"He came in through the diversity program as you know, and we’re going to stop it," the president promised, while also referring to Saipov as an "animal."
"I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program," Trump added. "I'm going to ask Congress to immediately initiate or get rid of this program."
Trump says he hopes to introduce a new kind of program instead that is "merit-based."
"The 'diversity lottery' -- sounds nice. It's not nice. It's not good," Trump told reporters. "We want a merit-based program" for immigration, Trump said, "where people come into our country based on merit. And we do not want chain migration, where ultimately someone like him will be allowed to bring in many, many members of his family."
Republican Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona also wants Saipov to be severely punished.
McCain says Saipov should be denied Miranda rights and considered an "enemy combatant," reports NBC News.
"From Orlando to San Bernardino and Boston to Manhattan, we must not consider these attacks on our homeland in isolation, but rather recognize them for what they are: acts of war," McCain said. "As such, the New York terror suspect should be held and interrogated -- thoroughly, responsibly, and humanely -- as an enemy combatant consistent with the Law of Armed Conflict."
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina expressed similar sentiments.
"If you take up arms against the United States in the name of radical Islam, you should be treated as a terrorist," he said. "You’ll never convince me that the best way to gather intelligence in this war ... is reading them their Miranda rights."