President Trump on Thursday threw cold water on a criminal-justice reform package being crafted in the Senate, according to an administration official familiar with the situation.
During a closed-door meeting at the White House, Trump said he has problems with the prison and sentencing overhaul and made it clear he wants to revisit the politically charged issue after November’s midterm elections.
“Trump said he opposes the idea of letting opioid traffickers get early release to home confinement or halfway houses, and he opposes reducing the mandatory minimum sentences for those offenses,” the official said, requesting anonymity to discuss private conversations.
“We’re pleased the president agreed we shouldn’t support criminal justice reform that would reduce sentences, put drug traffickers back on streets, & undermine our law enforcement,” Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement.
Trump’s stance dealt a blow to advocates of the compromise proposal on Capitol Hill and in the administration — including Kushner, who is the president’s son-in-law.
The measure would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain nonviolent drug offenses in an effort to shrink the size of the federal prison population, which has boomed over the past several decades.
“The president remains committed to meaningful prison reform and will continue working with the Senate on their proposed additions to the bill. The administration remains focused on reducing crime, keeping communities safe and saving taxpayer dollars,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
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