Donald Trump on Drugs
2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
FACT-CHECK: It's correct that lethal drugs do come across the border, and drug overdose deaths are up: 70,237 people died from an overdose in 2017. But Trump--in pushing for a border wall--tends to ignore that the vast majority of hard drugs from Mexican cartels come into the U.S. through legal ports of entry, which wouldn't be affected by a wall.
According to the 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment by the DEA, "The most common method employed by these [Mexican drug cartels] involves transporting illicit drugs through US POEs (legal port-of-entry crossing points) in passenger vehicles with concealed compartments or commingled with legitimate goods on tractor trailers." The Trump administration knows this: the DHS Secretary said in April 2017 that illegal drug traffic "mostly comes through the ports of entry."
The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in 20 different American States, and they almost all come through our southern border. Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting in NYC. We are removing these gang members by the thousands, but until we secure our border they're going to keep streaming back in.
Trump said Be Best would have three main areas of focus: well-being, social media use and opioid abuse. "Let us teach our children the difference between right and wrong, and encourage them to Be Best in their individual paths in life," Trump said.
Saying she first learned about "the real consequences of our nation's opioid epidemic" during her husband's White House bid, Trump told the crowd she intends to "work with those who are fighting drug addiction."
President Trump was on-hand for the initiative's launch. As his wife looked on, Trump signed a "Be Best" proclamation, declaring Monday as "Be Best Day."
Trump unveiled an anti-opioid abuse plan, including his death penalty recommendation, new funding for other initiatives and stiffer sentencing laws for drug dealers. He said the US must "get tough" on opioids. "And that toughness includes the death penalty," he said. Neither Trump nor the White House gave further details as to when it would be appropriate to seek the death penalty.
Trump said that he was working with Congress to find $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid crisis. The plan will also seek to cut opioid prescriptions by a third over 3 years by changing federal programs, he said.
Addiction to opioids--mainly prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl--is a growing problem, especially in rural areas. 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016.
(VIDEO CLIP): TRUMP: When I was in China and other places, I said, "Mr. President, do you have a drug problem?" "No, no, no, we do not." I said, "huh, big country, 1.4 billion people, right? Not much a drug problem." I said, "What do you attribute that to?" "Well, the death penalty." So, honestly, I don't know that the United States, frankly, is ready for it. They should be ready for it.
(END VIDEO) Q: Now, the death penalty for drug dealers, is that something that you agree with? And should we be following China's lead when it comes to criminal justice?
Sen. Ron JOHNSON (R-WI): I would say we probably should not be following China's lead when it comes to criminal justice. I'm a supporter of the death penalty, but only where we absolutely are 100% certain that the person is 100% guilty. I'm not sure it would be applicable to drug offenses.
My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult--but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.
29 states have enacted effective medical marijuana laws. Marijuana is legal and regulated for adults in 8 states.
[But Trump's] Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded the Department of Justice policy that directed federal law enforcement not to target individuals or businesses that are in compliance with state law.
From August 2013 until yesterday, the Department of Justice policy had been not to enforce federal marijuana laws against individuals or businesses in states that are complying with state medical or adult-use marijuana laws, provided that one of eight federal priorities is not implicated.
To protect our citizens, I have directed the Department of Justice to form a Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime. I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our Nation. We will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and
TRUMP: We first should stop the inflow of opioids into the United States. We can do that and we will in the Trump administration. As this is a national problem that costs America billions of dollars in productivity, we should apply the resources necessary to mitigate this problem. Dollars invested in taking care of this problem will be more than paid for with recovered lives and productivity that adds to the wealth and health of the nation.
CLINTON: I have proposed a $10 billion initiative, and laid out a series of goals to help communities across the country. We need to expand the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment block grant and support new federal-state partnerships targeting prevention, treatment, recovery, and other areas of reform. Finally, we must prioritize rehabilitation and treatment over prison for low-level and non-violent offenders.
In a telephone interview last week, Mr. Trump said he had learned by watching his brother how bad choices could drag down even those who seemed destined to rise. Seeing his brother suffering led him to avoid ever trying alcohol or cigarettes, he said.
In the upwardly mobile Trump family, Donald was the second and favorite son. Freddy was the disappointment, who lacked the killer instinct and drifted so far from his father's ambitions that his children were largely cut out of the patriarch's will.
Asked whether Freddy's experience in the family business, which friends described as miserable, contributed to the drinking that ultimately killed him, Mr. Trump said: "I hope not. I hope not."
TRUMP: Well, I did not think about it, I said it's something that should be studied and maybe should continue to be studied. But it's not something I'd be willing to do right now. I think it's something that I've always said maybe it has to be looked at because we do such a poor job of policing. We don't want to build walls. We don't want to do anything. And if you're not going to want to do the policing, you're going to have to start thinking about other alternatives. But it's not something that I would want to do.
Coupled with a previous statement suggesting that illicit drugs should be decriminalized, Trump's tax comments placed him left of center on the political spectrum, but they gained him little press coverage.
I set up a meeting with her, and I had every intention of stripping her of her title. After talking to her, I realized the right thing to do in her case was to pardon her and give her a second chance. As you may know, this decision caused a media frenzy.
Tara is willing to learn from her mistake and not let it happen again. I decided it was better to give her a second chance than to destroy her career and ruin her chances in life. She finished her reign and continues to support the goals of Miss USA completely.
She agreed to go to rehab and is now doing fine. She thanked me for "saving her life."
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2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
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Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
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2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
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Gov.Bill Weld (L-MA)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
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