President Trump said that he is strongly considering sending detained immigrants in the country illegally to so-called "sanctuary cities" to try and punish Democrats who have opposed his stringent immigration proposals.

"Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only........The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!" Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.

The comments from Trump follow a Washington Post report on Thursday that White House officials had been considering such a move in order "to retaliate against President Trump's political adversaries."

Trump aides had reportedly proposed such a transfer twice — last November, as a migrant caravan seeking asylum in the U.S. approached the country's border with Mexico, and again in February during a fight with Congress over funding for his border wall following a 35 day government shutdown, that eventually resulted in Trump declaring a national emergency in order to obtain the funds.

Also according to the Post, the White House argued to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that their plan was designed to find a solution to a lack of dentition space along with "political retribution" against Democrats. But ICE lawyers "rejected the idea as inappropriate and rebuffed the administration."

One of the cities Trump had reportedly hoped to target was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district. When asked by reporters on Friday morning about the Post's report, prior to Trump's tweet confirmation, she said she wasn't aware of it, but that such a idea was "disrespectful" to the country.

"I don't know anything about it," Pelosi said, "but, again, it's just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a country, as a people, to address who we are: a nation of immigrants."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit