The president made the comment a day after police said Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, mowed people down on a bicycle path in Manhattan, killing eight and injuring at least 11 more.
“Send him to Gitmo,” Trump said. “I would certainly consider that, yes.”
Trump noted during a Cabinet meeting that Saipov had entered the country through the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program” and called on Congress to “immediately” begin working to eliminate the program, which applies to countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
WATCH: Trump plans to end green card lottery program following New York attack
After calling Saipov an “animal,” Trump said he would initiate termination the immigration program.
“I am today starting the process of terminating the diversity lottery program,” Trump said. “Diversity lottery, sounds nice, it’s not nice, it’s not good. It’s not good and it hasn’t been good.”
The president later added: “We have to get much tougher, much smarter, and less politically correct.”
“We are so politically correct, we are afraid to do anything,” Trump said. “And that’s not only our country, that’s other countries too.”
On Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counter-terrorism of the NYPD, John Miller, said Saipov had been planning the attack for “weeks.”
“Based on the investigation overnight, it appears that Mr. Saipov had been planning this for a number of weeks,” Miller said. “He did this in the name of ISIS and along with other items recovered at the scene was some notes that further indicate that.”
READ MORE: What we know about suspect Sayfullo Saipov
Miller went on to add the notes were handwritten in Arabic and the “gist of the note was the Islamic State will endure forever.”
“He appears to have followed, almost exactly to a tee, the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack,” Miller said.
Officials added that charges have yet to be laid.
In July, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions travelled to Cuba to gain “an up-to-date understanding of current operations” at Guantanamo Bay, calling the prison he has called a “perfectly acceptable” place to detain new terrorism suspects as opposed to holding them in the U.S. and having his own Justice Department try them in civilian courts.
Sessions has long been a vocal supporter of the continued use of Guantanamo and its military commissions, calling it a “very fine place for holding these kind of dangerous criminals.”
Trump said Wednesday the U.S. needs quicker punishment for “these animals.”
“We also have to come up with punishment that is far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now,” the president said. “They’ll go through court for years, at the end they’ll be, who knows what happens. We need quick justice and we need strong justice. Much quicker and much strong than we have right now”
“What we have right now is a joke and it’s a laughing stock,” Trump said.
-with a file from the Associated Press.