President Donald Trump is not "politicizing" the New York City terror attack by slamming Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, but "we do feel there are policies that help American citizens" that the Senate minority leader has not supported, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.
"The president has not blamed Sen. Schumer for the attack," she told reporters at the daily briefing. "We feel very strongly that the individual who carried out the attack is responsible and no one else.
"It wasn't appropriate to politicize the conversation, which I don't believe we are," Sanders later added. "We are talking about protecting American lives.
"There are things that this president has consistently and repeatedly talked about, advocated for, pushed for, introduced executive orders for, supported legislation for."
But Schumer, she said, "has done these opposing policies, so I think that is a very basic fact."
President Trump ripped Schumer, 66, who has served in Congress since 1981, for backing the Diversity Visa Program that he said allowed terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov, 29, of Paterson, N.J., into the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010.
Authorities have not yet said whether Saipov came thorough the diversity program, which admits people from countries with low immigration rates into the U.S.
Trump dubbed the program a "Chuck Schumer beauty" on Twitter as he argued for a "merit-based" immigration strategy.
Schumer hit back, telling reporters at a news conference: "All President Trump does is to take horrible advantage and try to politicize and divide."
Trump cannot refrain from his "nasty, divisive habits," he said.
However, Sanders said Tuesday of the legislation Schumer has backed over the years: "He helped implement them on the front end long before" Tuesday's rampage that killed eight and injured nearly a dozen others.
"He might have helped isolate one part of the problem but exacerbated so many other parts of the problem that fall within our immigration system."
But if the Democrat is willing to back Trump's call for extreme vetting, "we'll welcome his support on that," Sanders said.
President Trump also tweeted Wednesday he had offered his administration's assistance to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the attack.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.