Last Updated Mar 1, 2018 4:18 PM EST
President Trump made an unexpected appearance at a White House summit on the opioid crisis Thursday afternoon, floating penalties for "opioid companies" and tougher punishments for drug dealers, noting that some countries have the "ultimate penalty."
"The administration's gonna' be rolling out policy over the next three weeks and it'll be very, very strong," the president said. "I've also spoken with Jeff (Sessions) about bringing a lawsuit against some of these opioid companies. I mean, what they're doing and the way, the distribution. You have people who go to the hospital with a broken arm and the come out addicted. They're addicted to painkillers, and they don't even know what happened."
"So we're going to very much, you know, as you know, I think we've been more involved than any administration by far. It's a problem that's growing. And drugs are a similar but different problem in the sense that we have pushers, and we have drug dealers that don't — I mean, they kill hundreds and hundreds of people. And most of them don't even go to jail. You know, if you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These people can kill 2,000, 3000 people, and nothing happen to them. And we need strength with respect to the pushers and to the drug dealers. And if you don't do that, you're never going to solve the problem."
"Some countries have a very, very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty," the president said. "And by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do. So we're going to have to be very strong on penalties. Hopefully we can do some litigation against the opioid companies."
The president's comments came just after the West Virginia attorney general announced a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in an effort to decrease opioid prescriptions in the U.S.
The president ignored shouted questions as to whether he has confidence in his attorney general.