Flake, who announced last month that he would not seek re-election, responded to Trump’s tweet referring to the diversity visa lottery program that news reports said enabled Uzbek native Sayfullo Saipov to enter the country as a “Chuck Schumer beauty.” The alleged terrorist came to the United States in 2010 on the lottery program.
circular firing squad as Sen Flake [R-Ariz], refutes President’s claim that Minority leader is responsible for Tuesday’s NY terror attack
Retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake told Trump, to quit blaming Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer for the arrival of Uzbek terror suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, on US shores
Schumer, a member of the bipartisan immigration reform Gang of 8, co-authored a reform bill in 2013, that would have ended the diversity program, Flake said
The bill passed the Senate 68-32, but it never reached President Obama’s desk for signature
Then-House Speak John Boehner never allowed the bill on the floor for, in the face of House GOP opposition
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, another of the eight, defended Schumer’s record, “[Schumer] supported legislation to do away with the lottery system,” “I was there. I know.”
Retiring Republican senator Jeff Flake [left], has told President Donald Trump, to quit blaming the Minority leader Sen Chuck Schumer [right] for the arrival of terrorist Sayfullo Saipov, on US shores
Contradicting the president’s account of the bill, the Arizona Republican said the immigration reforms passed by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” which he and Schumer were part of, would have scrapped the program.
“Actually, the Gang of 8, including @SenSchumer, did away with the Diversity Visa Program as part of broader reforms. I know, I was there,” Flake, an outspoken critic of Trump, wrote on Twitter. “In fact, had the Senate Gang of 8 bill passed the House, it would have ended the Visa Lottery Program AND increased merit based visas.”
Just minutes after the first reports of the attack Tuesday, the president tweeted: “The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based,” he posted on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Uzbek immigrant, Sayfullo Saipov, deliberately drove into pedestrians in New York on Oct 31, killing 8 and injuring another 11 peopleSayfullo Saipov, killed and maimed nearly 20 people in NY Tuesday, running them over in this Home Depot rental truck [photo]
As chatter among prominent right-wing commentators and news outlets extrapolated on a report from New York’s ABC affiliate that the alleged attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, had come to the United States from Uzbekistan under a State Department program known as the Diversity Visa Lottery.
The president condemned the visa lottery and adding that he’ll ask Congress “to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program.”
“I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,” Trump told reporters before a midday Cabinet meeting, adding: “It sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good.”
The president on Wednesday also criticized Schumer, a New York Democrat who in 1990 introduced the House bill that helped create the visa program. 23 years later, was among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who sought to end the program in 2013.
The senators, four Democrats and four Republicans — wrote an immigration reform bill in 2013 that would have done away with the diversity program.
The bill passed the Senate 68-32 but it never reached President Obama’s desk for signature because then-House Speak John Boehner never allowed it to reach the floor for a vote over opposition from Republicans.
The same argument was made by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, another of the eight, Defending Schumer’s record, Graham said “[Schumer] supported legislation to do away with the lottery system,” Echoing his Republican colleague, Graham said “I was there. I know.” The bill died in the House in face of opposition from Republicans, Graham confirmed.
Observers have noted that Trump’s tweets and his reference to Europe’s problems belies the fact that Uzbekistan is in Asia, not Europe. However, the State Department categorizes Uzbekistan and other former Soviet republics under Europe in its lottery program.
president Donald Trump [right], has accused Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer [[eft], of being the author of the diversity visa program that let terrorist, Sayfullo Saipov, into US
Sen Schumer himself shot back at Trump’s tweet and accused the president of politicizing the terror attack that killed eight people in lower Manhattan.
“I have always believed and continue to believe that immigration is good for America. 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.
The president called for an end to the program in his tweet, in a follow up post. “We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends.”