The morning after a terrorist killed eight people in lower Manhattan, President Donald Trump pointed the finger at Sen. Chuck Schumer for a program that let the suspect into the country.
At 7:24 a.m. EDT, Trump tweeted that "the terrorist came into our country through what is called the 'Diversity Visa Lottery Program,' a Chuck Schumer beauty."
Tweet: @realDonaldTrump The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.
Schumer responded an hour later, tweeting "I guess it's not too soon to politicize a tragedy."
Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who rebuked Trump last week, came to the New York Democrat's defense. Flake said Schumer did away with the program Trump accused Schumer of putting in place, tweeting "I know, I was there."
Tweet: @JeffFlake Actually, the Gang of 8, including @SenSchumer, did away with the Diversity Visa Program as part of broader reforms. I know, I was there
Trump also tweeted that his administration is "fighting hard for Merit Based immigration."
Tweet: @realDonaldTrump We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends
The terror suspect, Sayfullo Saipov Habibullaehevic Saipov, is a 29-year-old Uzbek national who entered the United States in 2010, according to NBC News. Authorities say he drove a rented truck that mowed down bikers and pedestrians along the West Side Highway on Tuesday afternoon, killing eight people in the city's deadliest terror attack since 9/11.
After exiting the truck while carrying paintball and pellet guns, he was shot and wounded by police and taken into custody.
A note found inside the truck translates to "ISIS Lives Forever," a senior official told NBC.
Correction: This story was revised to correct the time of the Trump tweet. It was 7:24 a.m. EDT.