It looks like President-elect Donald Trump will be taking a drastically different approach than his predecessor when it comes to Guantanamo Bay.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted an obvious jab at President Barack Obama and his administration’s effort to empty and ultimately close Gitmo.
There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
“There should be no further releases from Gitmo,” Trump wrote. “These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”
Judging from that tweet, it looks like America’s Gitmo policy will be changing when Trump officially becomes president.
Later on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that “additional transfers” are likely to happen before Obama leaves office on January 20th. He said it’s part of the White House’s “routine effort” to “reduce the population of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.”
Trump’s tweets will not influence the Obama administration’s decision-making on the matter, he added.
Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay during his first presidential campaign in 2008. Since then, Obama has released nearly 200 inmates since January of 2009 in an effort to shutter the facility. Following the transfer of 15 detainees to the United Arab Emirates in August, the population at Gitmo dipped to just 61.
A report previously released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence found nine inmates released by the Obama administration since 2009 returned to terrorist activity.
In September, Obama was apparently optimistic he could still achieve his goal of shutting down Gitmo and vowed to work hard in the final months of his presidency.
“It’s a tough road to haul, but, you know, I expect to work really hard over the next four months,” he said.
Trump just might be planning to upend another part of Obama’s legacy.