Thursday was Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster’s turn to play Trump Translator. The National Security Adviser got asked at the daily White House press briefing to explain to reporters the President’s tweets about the country’s criminal justice system. McMaster had come to talk about Trump’s trip to Asia.
One day earlier, after an Uzbek native who came to the U.S. in 2010 used a truck to kill eight people on a Manhattan bike path, Trump told reporters, “We have to come up with punishment that is far quicker and far greater than these animals are getting right now.”
POTUS added: “We need quick justice and strong justice, much quicker and stronger than we have now. What we have right now is a joke, and it’s a laughing stock. No wonder so much of this stuff takes place.” His remarks shocking members of the press, who you’d think would be used to his performances by now.
His all-caps jury-pool-tainting-ish “DEATH PENALTY!” tweets also seemed to rattle them somewhat.
Understandably, reporters turned to McMaster to calm their frayed nerves.
“What the President wants is to secure the American people from this threat and from mass murderers like this,” the general said, soothingly. “What he has asked is for options to take a look at, to assess if our tremendous law enforcement teams and our judicial system has all the tools they need to be able to combat this threat to the American people.
“What we owe him now,” he added, “are options to take a look at to see if this is the time to reassess changing our capabilities in this area of law enforcement in particular.”