WATCH: Willie Geist Floored When Republican Rep. Says 10 Terrorists Stopped at Border Each Day


On Morning Joe on Wednesday, MSNBC’s Willie Geist confronted Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) over his contention that there are ten terrorists being stopped at the border each day.

For the incredible stat, Marshall cited DHS as the authority. The topic came up when Geist asked Marshall about his tweet that followed the Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump and Democrat leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer. Marshall said the meeting showed “the brilliance of Donald Trump” because it showed the “dynamics” when the president tries to meet with Democrats about national security.

“This border is all about national security. Every day over ten terrorists, and forty criminals try to cross that border,” said Marshall. “Over 90% of the illicit opioids come into this country through that border as well.”

‘Where are you getting that number, sir?” Geist asked. “That ten terrorists try to cross the border?”

“From DHS, from the Department of Homeland Security,” said Marshall.

“That they capture ten terrorists at the border every day?” asked Geist.

“That ten terrorists try to cross that border every day,” Marshall replied.

Geist asked how they arrive at that number, and Marshall said we have to trust they know what they’re doing, and it’s what DHS is communicating to Congress. Geist then said that no “radical Islamic terrorists” who have committed acts “inside this country” since 9/11 came across the southern border. Marshall said he wouldn’t underestimate that threat.

At that point, Mike Barnicle asked Marshall where the terrorists are being held.

“I’m not saying they’ve all even made it across the border,” said Marshall. “But they would be in our jails.”

On Sunday, current Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) appeared on FNC’s Life, Liberty, and Levin, and made the same assertion about the border.

“Every single day in this country, at least ten known terrorists are captured trying to cross into America through our border,” he said, also citing information given to congress from DHs.

DHS actually does state that 10 “known or suspected terrorists” are detained per day, on average, trying to gain access to the United States through various methods of entry, but does not say that ten terrorists per day are caught at the southern border. It’s an average, over all entry, covering from October of 2017 through September of 2018.

Here is how the Daily Beast explained DHS’s response to clarification on terror detentions at the border.

Instead, DHS would only say that it apprehended, on average, ten “known or suspect[ed] terrorists” per day who attempted to enter the country “by air, sea, or land” from October 2017 through September 2018.

“These are individuals that hit against U.S. terror watchlists,” the statement read. “This is in addition to the 17,000 criminals and 3,000 special interest aliens that CBP apprehended at the border last year.”

Asked to clarify whether ten of those recent arrests occurred on the southern border, as the president claimed, DHS simply reiterated its per-day statistic for the year.

It’s obvious DHS takes those attempts seriously, and that they stand by the “ten per day” number, though not that it specifically means “at the border with Mexico.” Geist’s reaction to the breathtaking statistic from Rep. Marshall makes sense, but it is equally incredible to find that his info wasn’t quite as far from accurate as it initially seemed.

They may not be catching ten terrorists at the border each day, but there is no question the threat the United States from bad actors who are attempting to get into the country is real.

[Featured image via screengrab]

Follow Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) on Twitter

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