Donald Trump called for harsh treatment for “enemy combatants” Monday and said the 28-year-old New York bombing suspect arrested earlier in the day might be provided "room service" in his hospital bed and “an outstanding lawyer.”
“His punishment will not be what it once would have been. What a sad situation,” Trump said at a campaign rally near Fort Myers, Florida. “We must have speedy but fair trials and we must deliver a just and very harsh punishment to these people.”
Ahmad Khan Rahami, suspected by authorities of setting off a blast in New York City that injured 29 people on Saturday night, was arrested after a gunfight with police Monday. Authorities also have linked him to a bombing Saturday in New Jersey.
“The bad part. Now we will give him amazing hospitalization. He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world. He will be given a fully modern and updated hospital room. And he’ll probably even have room service, knowing the way our country is,” Trump said. “And on top of that he will be represented by an outstanding lawyer.”
Trump predicted Rahami’s court case will stretch out for years.
“And in the end, people will forget and his punishment will not be what it once would have been." Trump said.
Right now, Rahami should be quizzed for details, he said.
“We must also use whatever lawful methods are available to obtain information from the apprehended suspect to get information before it’s no longer timely,” Trump said. “And Congress should pass measures to ensure that foreign enemy combatants are treated as such. These are enemies, these are combatants and we have to be tough we have to be strong.”
Though he didn't provide specifics on Monday about which harsh treatments he favored, Trump has endorsed the use of torture against terror suspects, including at rallies before cheering crowds.
"Torture works. OK, folks? You know, I have these guys—'Torture doesn’t work!'—believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form," Trump said in February during the GOP primary. "But we should go much stronger than waterboarding."
Throughout his speech, Trump repeatedly sought to portray Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as too "weak" to mount an effective response to "radical Islamic terrorism."
Clinton, meanwhile, said at a Monday news conference in White Plains, New York, that Trump's rhetoric has been "seized on by terrorists, in particular ISIS, because they are looking to make this a war against Islam."
"I'm the only candidate in this race who has been part of the hard decisions to take terrorists off the battlefield," Clinton said.
Earlier at Monday's Trump rally, Newt Gingrich told the audience of 8,000 Trump was right when he declared the blast in the Chelsea neighborhood “a bomb” before authorities were describing it as such.
“So once again you had Donald Trump telling the truth and describing a bomb as though it was a bomb, which to the elite media was an enormous shock,” Gingrich said.