Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, are traveling to Guantanamo Bay on Friday to get "an up-to-date understanding of current operations."
“Keeping this country safe from terrorists is the highest priority of the Trump administration," Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement. "Recent attacks in Europe and elsewhere confirm that the threat to our nation is immediate and real, and it remains essential that we use every lawful tool available to prevent as many attacks as possible."
The purpose of the trip, Prior said, "is to gain that understanding by meeting with the people on the ground who are leading our government-wide efforts at GTMO.”
The Trump administration has drafted a range of executive actions on Guantanamo, including ones that would keep the base open and possibly bring in new prisoners, but has not yet finalized any such moves. On the presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to “load [Guantanamo] up with some bad dudes." However, the administration has not yet brought any new detainees to the controversial facility.
Former President Barack Obama, for his part, ran on a campaign promise in 2008 to empty and close the facility, but ultimately failed after running into fierce political resistance.
Sessions, meanwhile, has been a vocal proponent of the detention center.
The attorney general told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in March that he sees "no legal problem whatsoever" with sending new detainees to the prison facility.