US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks about combating the opioid crisis at Manchester Community College in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 19, 2018. (AFP / MANDEL NGAN)
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Embracing the tough penalties favored by global strongmen, President Donald Trump on Monday brandished the death penalty as a fitting punishment for drug traffickers fueling the opioid epidemic.The scourge has torn through the rural and working-class communities that in large numbers voted for Trump. Trump has long spoken approvingly about countries like Singapore that harshly punish dealers.Trump said the administration will work to cut the number of opioid prescriptions that are filled by one-third within three years.Monday was Trump's first visit as president to New Hampshire, which has long occupied a special place in his political rise.Trump drew criticism last year after leaked transcripts of a telephone conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto showed he had described New Hampshire as a "drug-infested den". Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a persistent Trump critic, visited New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first presidential primary, last week.
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