President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE has often talked about drug dealers getting the death penalty during conversations about drug enforcement, Axios reported Sunday.
Trump frequently mentions other countries' tough stances on drug dealers while discussing the topic with friends and associates, multiple sources told the news outlet. One source told Axios that Trump brings up Singapore’s policy of a mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking convictions “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,’ ” the source said.
“He often jokes about killing drug dealers,” a senior administration official also told Axios. “He’ll say, 'You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.’ ”
The president has also reportedly said that he doesn’t believe more lenient approaches to drug offenders will work and that the government needs to teach children that they will die if they take illicit substances.
He has also reportedly told others that drug dealers are as bad as serial killers and should be subjected to the death penalty.
And while Trump has reportedly advocated for a law similar to the one in Singapore requiring all drug dealers be executed, he has also admitted that it would be nearly impossible to pass such a measure.
White House senior adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act Biden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' MORE, who is leading the administration’s drug policy office, told Axios that Trump is referring to drug dealers who sell substances that can cause thousands of deaths.
"The president makes a distinction between those that are languishing in prison for low-level drug offenses and the kingpins hauling thousands of lethal doses of fentanyl into communities, that are responsible for many casualties in a single weekend,” she told Axios.
Conway also told the news outlet that a bill lowering the threshold for a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for fentanyl trafficking from 40 grams to two grams would receive widespread support.
“There is an appetite among many law enforcement, health professionals and grieving families that we must toughen up our criminal and sentencing statutes to match the new reality of drugs like fentanyl, which are so lethal in such small doses,” she told Axios.
Trump said during his State of the Union last month that the U.S. must get “much tougher on drug dealers and pushers” to end the opioid epidemic.