Trump backs off from Guantanamo statement, urges 'death penalty' for NYC terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov

President Trump urged the death penalty for Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov on Wednesday, and expanded on that sentiment with more tweets on Thursday morning.

The president tweeted Wednesday that Sayfullo Saipov, the New York City terror attack suspect who plowed a rented truck through a busy bike path, “should get death penalty.”

“NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room,” Trump wrote. “He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”

According to Politico, “It is extremely unusual for a sitting president to weigh in on an ongoing criminal trial process, let alone recommend capital punishment, and could potentially complicate efforts to prosecute Saipov.”

What we know about the NYC terror attack suspect:

What we know about NYC bike trail terror attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov
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What we know about NYC bike trail terror attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov

Sayfullo Saipov, is suspected of killing eight people and injuring several others by plowing a truck into cyclists and pedestrians on a bike path in New York City.

(St. Charles County Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS)

Sayfullo Saipov lived in an apartment in Paterson, New Jersey with his wife and three children, two girls and a boy.

(REUTERS/Ashlee Espinal)

He arrived in the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010.

(REUTERS/Muhammadsharif Mamatkulov)

Official said the suspect rented the truck used in the rampage from a Home Depot store in Passaic, New Jersey.  

(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

According to a criminal complaint Sayfullo Saipov said he 'felt good' about his crime and asked to display an ISIS flag in his hospital room.

(New York PD/Handout via REUTERS)

Saipov had began planning the attack a year ago and had originally planned to strike the Brooklyn Bridge too.

(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

The mosque that according to local media Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in the New York City truck attack attended in Paterson, New Jersey.

(REUTERS/Ashlee Espinal)

Saipov reportedly drove for Uber and the company said he passed their background check process.

(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Saipov's cellphone was reportedly filled with ISIS-related propaganda and videos.

(Dado Ruvic / Reuters)

Trump delivered his remarks on the attack earlier in the day as well.

“That was a horrible event, and we have to stop it, and we have to stop it cold,” the president told reporters. “We also have to come up with punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now.”

Trump again sounded off on the situation via Twitter on Thursday morning, backing away from his initial statement that he wanted to send Saipov to Guantanamo Bay.

"Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system," Trump wrote. "There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!"

Trump has also pushed for a change in visa policy, stating that he’s “starting the process of terminating the diversary lottery program.”

“I’m going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program,” the president added.

CNN notes while Saipov is an Uzbek national, he did enter the U.S. legally with a diversity immigrant visa which provides permanent resident status.

Christina Gregg contributed to this report.

RELATED: Victims of the NYC terror attack

Victims of NYC terror attack on bike path
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Victims of NYC terror attack on bike path

Ann-Laure Decadt, 31

Ann-Laurie, a mother of two from Belgium, was riding bicycles with her mom and two sisters along the West Side of Lower Manhattan when she was mowed down.

Photo Credit: Family handout

Darren Drake, 32

The 32-year-old New Jersey resident is remembered by his devastated parents as "the perfect son." 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Nicholas Cleves, 23

Nicholas, the only New York City resident to die in Tuesday's attack, is remembered by those who knew him as a "sweetheart" and a "warm and friendly" person.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Ariel Erlij, 48

Ariel was visiting NYC from Argentina with a group of friends to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation.  

Photo Credit: Facebook

Alejandro Damián Pagnucco, 47

Alejandro was among the friends visiting with Ariel. Alejandro is pictured second from the left. 

Hernan Ferruci, 47

Hernan was also in town with the other 4 Argentinian victims.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Diego Angelini, 47

Diego was also visiting NYC from Argentina with his group of friends from High School.

Photo Credit: Facebook 

Hernán Diego Mendoza, 47

Mendoza was also accompanying his friends from Argentina on their trip to NYC. 

Photo Credit: Getty 


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