Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday will become the highest-ranking official in the Trump administration to visit Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Department of Justice spokesman Ian Prior said Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will tour the United States naval base to get an "up-to-date understanding of current operations."
"Keeping this country safe from terrorists is the highest priority of the Trump administration. 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," Prior said.
Sessions visited Guantanamo Bay as a U.S. senator in January 2002 and has been an outspoken supporter of the prison facility.
Shortly after being confirmed as attorney general, Sessions called the wartime prison "a very fine place" in an interview with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Prior said Sessions and Rosenstein will be "meeting with the people on the ground who are leading our government-wide efforts."
The military prison, opened by former President George W. Bush in 2002, now houses fewer than 50 inmates. Former President Barack Obama made closing Guantanamo a cornerstone of his presidential campaign; after it became clear he did not have the political capital to do so, the Obama administration transferred dozens of prisoners into other nations' custody, particularly in the waning weeks of Obama's term.
President Trump has made it clear the prison will stay open under his watch.
"This morning, I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo, right, Guantanamo Bay, which by the way, which by the way, we are keeping open. Which we are keeping open ... and we're gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we're gonna load it up," Trump said during a campaign stop in Nevada last year.