White House press secretary Sarah Sanders attempted on Sunday to reinforce the Trump administration’s claim that terrorists are pouring into the United States through the southern border with Mexico, but Fox News host Chris Wallace did not let the false claim slide.
On this week’s edition of Fox News Sunday, Sanders told Wallace that President Trump meant what he said when he declared that he would keep the government shut down for “years” if necessary, in order to secure funding for his border wall.
But then, Wallace attacked a central theme of Trump’s push for a wall, the lie that tons of terrorists are streaming over the border with Mexico. He played a clip of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsenclaiming, at this week’s Rose Garden press conference, that “CBP has stopped over 3,000 what we call special interest aliens trying to come into the country on the southern border. Those are aliens who the Intel community has identified are of concern.”
“But special interest aliens are just people who have come from countries that have ever produced a terrorist, they’re not terrorists themselves,” Wallace said, and added that “the state department says, quote, ‘there were no credible evidence of any terrorist coming across the border from Mexico,'” citing a report that was released in September.
Enter Sanders’ claim that “nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is southern border.”
“I know the statistic, I didn’t know if you were going to use it, but I studied up on this,” Wallace said. “Do you know what those 4,000 people come where they are captured? Airports.”
“Airports. The state department says there hasn’t been any terrorists found coming across the southern border,” Wallace said.
Sanders responded by saying that terrorists attempt to breach U.S. borders “by air, by land and by sea”, but Wallace corrected her again:
“But they’re not coming across the southern border, Sarah, they’re coming and they’re being stopped at airports,” Wallace interrupted, once again.
“They’re coming a number of ways, they’re certainly, I’m not disagreeing with you that they’re coming through airports,” a flustered Sanders replied. “I’m saying that they come by air by land and by sea, and the more and more that our border becomes vulnerable and the less and less that we spend time and money protecting it the more that we’re going to have an influx, not just of terrorists, but of human traffickers and drug inflow.”