White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Sunday doubled down on the Trump administration’s argument that the border wall is needed now more than ever to prevent so-called “terrorists” from pouring into the United States from across the Mexican border.
Fox New host Chris Wallace wasted no time fact-checking her claims, however.
Sanders appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss President Donald Trump‘s proposed border wall, which she insisted was a huge part of ensuring the border security Democrats want but won’t support. The president himself has threatened to let the partial government shutdown drag on for as long as needed until Democrats agree to provide $5.6 billion in funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall.
As Huckabee tried nailing down her point, Wallace seemed skeptical.
“Let’s talk about the wall,” he said. “The president talks about terrorists potentially coming across the border.” Wallace then pointed to a clip of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stating that “over 3,000 special-interest aliens” trying to sneak across the Mexican border into the U.S. had been stopped by border agents.
“But special interest aliens are just people who have come from countries that have ever produced a terrorist, they’re not terrorists themselves,” Wallace explained, adding that the U.S. State Department had found “no credible evidence of any terrorist coming across the border from Mexico.”
Sanders responded that, “we know that, roughly, nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border.”
Wallace interjected with a blistering fact-check, pointing out that that statistic only referred to terror suspects detained at airports.
“Wait, wait, ’cause I know the statistic,” the host began. “I didn’t know if you were going to use it, but I studied up on this. Do you know where those 4,000 people come or where they’re captured? Airports.”
“Not always but certainly a large number,” Sanders said, carefully sidestepping the hard facts. “It’s by land, it’s by air and it’s by sea — it’s all of the above.” The press secretary argued that the southern border is the country’s “most vulnerable point of entry” before Wallace burst her bubble yet again.
“But they’re not coming across the southern border, Sarah,” the host persisted. “They’re coming and they’re being stopped at airports.”
Sanders replied, “I’m not disagreeing with you that they’re coming through airports. 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 human traffickers, drug inflow and people who are coming here to do American citizens harm.”
The press secretary, who was rumored to be planning her exit from the Trump White House, also suggested the president believes he has the power to declare a national emergency to secure funding to build his coveted border wall.
Watch more in the video below.