The leader of the world's largest economy believes all drug dealers should face the death penalty, news website Axios reported late on Sunday.
President Donald Trump considers drug traffickers to be as bad as serial killers and would "love to have a law" that executes dealers in the US, unnamed sources told Axios.
While he admits that such a law would be impossible to pass, the head of state may support legislation that requires a five-year minimum sentence for dealers selling as little as two grams of fentanyl, Axios stated.
Use of the synthetic opiod, more potent than heroin, has been steadily climbing in North America, producing an increasing number of fatal overdoses.
The government must make drug dealers fear for their lives, Trump has told associates, pointing to Singapore and the Philippines - where offenders can face death - as examples.
Trump's comments mirror those of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The controversial leader gave police the authority to execute drug peddlers - Duterte has even admitted to personally killing criminal suspects - but the matter has morphed into a human rights situation amid widespread reports of extrajudicial killings.
Trump "often jokes about killing drug dealers," a senior administrative official told Axios. "He'll say, 'You know the Chinese and Filipinos don't have a drug problem. They just kill them,'" the official said.
According to Axios, Trump's team is reportedly discussing the prospect of adopting elements of Singapore's zero tolerance policy, such as more anti-drug education in schools.
A spokesperson for the White House wasn't immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
This article was first published on CNBC