Trump echoes Fox & Friends to blame Democratic Sen. Schumer, diversity visa program for NYC terror attack

President Donald Trump echoed Fox & Friends after the show repeatedly blamed a diversity visa program and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for a terror attack in Manhattan October 31 in which a man driving a pickup truck killed eight people.

Police shot and arrested the attack suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, after his vehicle smashed into a school bus. WABC, the ABC affiliate in New York City, reported that “authorities say he came to the United States seven years ago from Uzbekistan under what is called the Diversity Visa Program, which offers a lottery for people from countries with few immigrants in America.” Right-wing websites hyped this detail in their posts on the attack, though The Washington Post said it was “unconfirmed.” The Post explained that the diversity visa program originated in part in a bill Schumer introduced in the House in 1990, which was signed into law by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

After the Fox & Friends co-hosts and former Trump White House aide Sebastian Gorka in two separate segments castigated the diversity visa program as a security risk and Brian Kilmeade called on Schumer to publicly repudiate it, Trump followed his well-worn path of making public statements based on what he sees on the Fox News morning show, repeatedly calling out Schumer by name:

From the November 1 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): All right, let's talk about how he got here. He applied to a lottery system, the diversity visa program, which was earmarked and highlighted back in 2011 in testimony as a huge weak spot for our country. You think so? Part of the visa lottery system allows you to apply to come here from places like Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and try to get into this country. And you know what? Best of luck to you. And congratulations, you win the lottery and then eight people are run over in this case eventually down the line because of this.

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Right, 50,000 apply for this. And 1 percent of those -- actually 50,000 random people are selected.


EARHARDT: They get in.

KILMEADE: Fifty thousand.

EARHARDT: That’s fewer than 1 percent who actually apply for this. And they get permanent residency here in the U.S. It’s only offered to countries with low rates of immigration into the U.S. Does that seem like a good reason to you?

DOOCY: Well, here’s the extraordinary thing about it. President Trump has made it very clear he wants to end the diversity visa program. He has said that over the last year. But if you win the lottery, then your family members are automatically also granted permanent residence. So if you get in, you get to bring your mom and dad over. You get to bring in your sisters. Everybody automatically gets a green card.


DOOCY: So this particular alleged terrorist, brought in on this program that, according to Mark Levin, and I looked online, and there are a bunch of websites that say that Chuck Schumer was one of the sponsors. We have not independently confirmed that through our brain room yet.

KILMEADE: Let's see if he comes out and says, “I’m responsible.” Look, if your intention was pure, you really think we need more diversity, although the [unintelligible] definition is diversity if you look all around you. If you really feel that way and felt that way in the 1990s, Chuck Schumer, come out today and say this thing is archaic, it’s antiquated, since 9/11 everything has changed, and this has got to be gone.

DOOCY: So, Dr. Gorka, people this morning are waking up and they’re trying to figure out how did this terrorist get in the United States of America? He came in legally. He came in through the diversity visa program back in 1990, when the 1990 Immigration Act was going through Congress. Turns out Chuck Schumer attached his bill, this diversity visa program, to this.


DOOCY: Which brings in 50,000 visas from a variety of countries, some with known terrorist entities, as well. And I know that your former boss, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has made it very clear he wants to get rid of this program. Given the fact what happened yesterday here in New York City happened, does he have a stronger case for getting rid of it?

GORKA: Sadly, this event just reinforces all the efforts the president has made with regards to reforming immigration, the extreme vetting, looking at why and how we choose people to come into this country. And by the constitutional writ of this nation, it is his prerogative. It is the president's prerogative to decide upon what metrics we measure immigration into this country. And the idea that -- I mean, we are the most diverse nation the world has ever seen.

KILMEADE: We don't need a lottery.