Sen. Cory Gardner called on President Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise and not only keep the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay open and operating, but once again expand its use.
"There were 600 to 700 people there," the Colorado Republican said Wednesday about the Cuban prison, which he described to Fox News' "Fox and Friends" as a "facility tailor-made for terrorists."
However, under President Barack Obama, who made a campaign promise of his own to close the controversial facility, the population has dwindled down to a few dozen detainees, Gardner said.
The prison was full of detainees who were there "because they were bad people," said the senator, who has signed a letter with 10 other lawmakers to Trump about keeping the prison open.
"It ain't Martha Stewart we are putting in Guantanamo Bay," Gardner said. "They are people who deserved to be there. They earned it."
Obama, meanwhile, wanted to bring prisoners from the Cuban facility and put them on American soil, where "they would have new rights, subject to new court opportunities, where they would stop providing the actionable intelligence that people in Guantanamo Bay are still providing today, and be a danger to the people of Colorado, the people of Kansas, the people of this country."
Trump is working on an executive order concerning the prison, Gardner said, and he and others who signed the letter to the president have seen some information from the White House.
"What we know is a focus, I hope, as our letter mentioned on this periodic review board that has let some really bad people be released," Gardner said, pointing out there are still some very dangerous people at the prison.
"You have got people in there who bombed the U.S.S. Cole," Gardner said. "You have bad professional jihadists who don't deserve to be on U.S. soil . . . the worst elements around the globe, we need to keep them in a secure facility where we can get the kind of information we need that can make a difference to help our efforts to stop terrorists."
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