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Did Donald Trump Really Call For The Execution of Drug Dealers?

Sources say Trump wants to kill drug dealers like they do in Singapore and the Philippines.

Adam Drury

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Did Donald Trump Really Call For The Execution of Drug Dealers?

Did Donald Trump really call for the execution of drug dealers? Five sources close to President Trump say that he often jokes and makes comments about killing drug traffickers. According to the political news website Axios, Trump has been telling friends about his desire to kill drug dealers for months.

Sources report that the President’s comments should be taken seriously, that they aren’t simply jokes. Rather, insiders say Trump believes a death penalty for drug dealers is the only way to effectively reduce drug-related deaths.

Did Donald Trump Really Call For The Execution Of Drug Dealers?

President Trump seems to have taken inspiration for his plan to execute dealers from countries where drug trafficking, even of marijuana, carries a mandatory death sentence.

A senior official in the Trump administration told Axios that Trump “often jokes about killing drug dealers… He’ll say, ‘You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them’.”

If true, Trump’s comments would echo those he made during a visit to the Philippines last November to meet with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. At the meeting, Trump praised the extrajudicial killings of thousands of alleged drug dealers and drug users in the Philippines. He said Duterte was doing “an unbelievable job on the drug problem” there.

Others accuse President Duterte of committing crimes against humanity by overseeing the executions of upwards of 8,000 people suspected of involvement with illegal drugs. Earlier this month, the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary investigation into those accusations.

Singapore also has a mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking offenses. Sources close to President Trump say he believes the harsh penalties for drug dealers are the reason Singapore has low drug consumption rates.

Axios reports that a source who has spoken about the issue with Trump says “He says that a lot. He says, ‘when I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem, [the prime minister replies,] ‘No. Death penalty’.”

Trump reportedly makes frequent comparisons between drug dealers and serial killers. He suggested he wanted drug dealers in America to fear for their lives.

Will Trump Put His Plan Into Action?

So did Donald Trump really call for the execution of drug dealers? It seems that way. Although Trump has reportedly acknowledged the virtual impossibility of passing a law to execute drug dealers in America. Though he says he would love to if he could. Other White House officials say the President’s remarks are more nuanced than they appear.

Former Trump campaign manager and current Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway told Axios the President is referring to high-volume drug dealers when he talks about executing dealers in America. Conway currently serves as head of the White House’s anti-drug efforts.

According to Conway, Trump’s point is that since homicide can carry a death sentence, drug dealers who distribute multiple lethal doses of drugs should face the same penalty.

It’s likely the President is referring to the synthetic opioid fentanyl. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, fentanyl caused nearly a third of 2016’s 64,000 drug-overdose deaths.

In October of last year, Trump declared the nation’s lethal opioid epidemic a public health emergency. But critics of the move argued it did not direct any substantial federal funds at combating the epidemic.

Currently, federal law requires a five-year mandatory minimum sentence only if a person is convicted of dealing forty grams of fentanyl or more. Yet just two milligrams of the opioid can be lethal.

As a result, Trump is extremely likely to back legislation that places harsher penalties on drug traffickers. According to Axios, the President, along with some advisors, are discussing further “zero-tolerance” drug policies, especially those that would target young people.

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