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Trump hosts National Sheriffs' Association for White House roundtable talk

Last Updated Feb 13, 2018 4:27 PM EST

President Trump hosted a roundtable discussion with representatives from the National Sheriffs' Association Tuesday, as he continues pushing his tough-on-crime agenda from the White House. 

"I have always had a great relationship with the sheriffs. My administration stands proudly with America's sheriffs, deputies and law enforcement officers," the president said. "And we stand also 100 percent with strong law and order."

Mr. Trump, in the portion of the meeting open to reporters, emphasized the connection between immigration, drugs and a secure nation.

"We're taking the fight to the drug dealers and drug pushers which, frankly, I think is the number one way we are going to stop drugs," he said. "We can form all the blue ribbon committees in the world. But the way you are going to stop it is through strong law and order when it comes to the drugs and the drug pushers and the drug dealers. That's the way it is going to stop. "

"We want security of the border with the wall, ending chain migration and cancelling the visa lottery," he added. "I think you all agree … lottery where you pick it out and you say good, we have a new American citizen. It doesn't work. And they're not giving us their finest. That I can tell you."

Mr. Trump, asked if he had any comments on domestic violence in the wake of the Rob Porter saga, declined to answer that and other questions from reporters. 

The meeting comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday mentioned sheriffs' "Anglo-American heritage" during remarks he gave to law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C, comments that stirred controversy. Sessions appears to have veered from his written remarks to make the "Anglo-American heritage" comment. A spokesperson for the Justice Department said the term is a common legal phrase. 

The president has made a point of meeting with and speaking to members of law enforcement. Earlier this month, Mr. Trump hosted a roundtable discussion with county sheriffs about the dangers of the MS-13 gang, which the president has focused on in his time at the White House.