Trump tells Sessions fentanyl dealers should get the death penalty: report

Trump tells Sessions fentanyl dealers should get the death penalty: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE on Thursday told Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Trump-aligned group launches ad campaign hitting Doug Jones on impeachment ICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report MORE that he thinks those convicted of illegally dealing fentanyl should get the death penalty, according to a Bloomberg report.

Two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that Trump shared his view with Sessions at a meeting with other administration officials, including Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth Conway'Emotion' from Trump's legal team wins presidential plaudits George Conway says Senate GOP knows Trump is 'guilty': 'What are they afraid of?' Kellyanne Conway: Martin Luther King would oppose impeaching Trump MORE, who is overseeing White House efforts to battle the nationwide opioid epidemic.

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Both Sessions and the president have encouraged the use of the death penalty in drug cases before.

Sessions issued a memo in late March about seeking the death penalty for drug trafficking cases, writing, "I strongly encourage federal prosecutors to use these statutes, when appropriate, to aid in our continuing fight against drug trafficking and the destruction it causes in our nation."

Trump called for the use of the death penalty against drug traffickers in March as well, as he vowed to harden America's borders to the trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids.

Most fentanyl comes to the U.S. from Chinese manufacturers via Mexican drug cartels, according to a federal report.  

Though other opioids contribute to the growing number of opioid-related deaths, the illegal traffic of fentanyl has caused the number of fatal opioid overdoses to rocket skyward.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has said that fentanyl and its analogues killed an estimated 29,000 Americans last year. 

According to Bloomberg, people convicted of dealing in large quantities of drugs or money related to the trade can be sentenced to death, under a law signed by President Clinton.

However, prosecutors have never sought the penalty in fear that it is unconstitutional, Politico reported.

The attorney general’s office would not comment to The Hill.

The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.  

Updated at 6:40 p.m.