White House press secretary Sarah Sanders addressed the “inflated” figures she had mistakenly claimed in discussing terrorists being apprehended at the U.S. border.
While appearing on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, Sanders was asked by co-host Ainsley Earhardt about her remarks during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Sanders told host Chris Wallace during that interview that “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 interrupted the press secretary to question the figure.
“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 where those 4,000 people come, where they are captured?” Wallace asked.
“Not always,” Sanders replied. “It’s by air it’s by land it’s by sea, it’s all of the above, but one thing that you’re forgetting is at the most vulnerable point of entry that we have into this country is our southern border.”
On Wednesday, Earhardt revisited the discussion.
“There was some discrepancies with some numbers. You had said that border officials detained 4,000 suspected terrorists last year, and then the Customs and Border Patrol revealed the real numbers, and only six people on the security watch list were detained over six months,” she said.
“Why the inflated figure?” Earhardt asked.
“I should have said 4,000 at all points of entry, not just at the southern border,” Sanders replied, but noted that even one terrorist is too many.
“The bottom line is whether it’s one, whether it’s four, whether it’s fourteen or four thousand, one terrorist coming into our country in illegal fashion to do us harm is one too many, and we have to take every step possible to prevent that from happening, including protecting our most vulnerable points of entry, and we know that to be the southern border,” Sanders added. “We have to do what is necessary to protect our border, to protect the people, and that’s exactly what President Trump has done, and that’s exactly what he laid out in his speech last night.”
Speaking with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sanders made “an unfortunate misstatement” in her initial comments with Wallace.
“That was an unfortunate misstatement and everybody makes mistakes, all of us,” Conway said.
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