Trump planning to sign executive order keeping Gitmo open: report

Trump planning to sign executive order keeping Gitmo open: report
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE plans to sign an executive order that would keep the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, open, according to a leaked document obtained by Politico.

Trump will reportedly announce his plans in the days ahead of or during his State of the Union speech.


The order will be largely symbolic in nature, as President Obama was never able to transfer the last of Guantanamo Bay's prisoners and close the prison during his last term in office. But the former president did oversee the transfer of 200 prisoners from the island, which now holds 41 detainees.

The leaked document, a draft State Department cable planned to be sent to U.S. embassies around the globe, states that there are no plans to expand the prison's population at the current time.

"At this time, we are not aware of any plans to bring additional detainees to Guantanamo Bay," the cable says.

But Trump has signaled his support for the prison and its use in the past, saying in February 2016 that he wanted to “load it up with bad dudes.” 

Last year, Trump said he would consider sending terror suspects who are accused of committing their crimes on U.S. soil to the prison.

“I would certainly consider that, yes," Trump said of 29-year-old Manhattan terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov. "Send him to Gitmo.”

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAmash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' 'Persuadable' voters are key to the 2020 election — and the non-screaming news industry Jeffrey Rosen officially sworn in as deputy attorney general MORE said last year he saw "no problem" with sending more detainees to the island facility.

“There’s plenty of space,” he said. “We are well equipped for it. It’s a perfect place for it. Eventually, this will be decided by the military rather than the Justice Department. But I see no legal problem whatsoever with doing that.”