Trump Calls for Drug Dealers to Be Executed—and Cites China's 'President for Life' Xi as Inspiration

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that China’s President Xi Jinping got him thinking about introducing the death penalty for drug dealers. 

“We catch a drug dealer, death penalty. That’s it,” Trump told the crowd. 

At a Pennsylvania rally for U.S. House candidate Rick Saccone—who is expected to lose to Democrat Conor Lamb—Trump hailed Asian countries such as China and Singapore for meting out the death penalty to drugs dealers. He told the crowd, "It’s a discussion we have to start thinking about. I don’t know if this country’s ready for it.”

GettyImages-930244232 President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Make America Great Again Rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, on March 10. Getty Images

“Do you think the drug dealers who kill thousands of people during their lifetime, do you think they care who’s on a blue-ribbon committee?” Trump asked.

“The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness. When you catch a drug dealer, you’ve got to put him away for a long time.”

Trump recently came out in support of executing drug dealers, suggesting that the punishment could help tackle the opioid crisis. More than 64,000 people were killed by opioids in 2016.

On Saturday, Trump promised that his administration would roll out unspecified “tougher” policies on opioids, and was reportedly met with cheers from the crowd of supporters.

The Washington Post reported earlier Saturday that officials at the Domestic Policy Council and the Department of Justice were looking into introducing legislation allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty for dealers. The White House said that Trump had expressed interest in Singapore’s policy of executing drug dealers.

“Some countries have a very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty, and they have much less of a drug problem than we do,” Trump said during an appearance at a White House summit on opioids last week.

Singapore officials have reportedly briefed White House officials on their country's drugs offense punishment laws. 

Trump previously expressed admiration for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial crackdown on drugs dealers, which, human rights groups said, led to thousands of extrajudicial killings by security services and police.

Shortly after taking office, Trump reportedly praised Duterte in a phone call for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” 

Trump, in a recent, humorous speech, praised a proposed Chinese Communist Party measure abolishing the two-presidential-term limit, suggesting a similar measure could be introduced in the U.S.