House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has requested an all-members classified briefing for “all 435” members of the U.S. House of Representatives on national security threats at the United States border with Mexico after reports that a smuggler with ties to ISIS was found bringing people across the border this summer.
McCarthy revealed the push for the classified briefing for every member of the House during an exclusive interview on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel.
The push comes after a CNN report in late August revealed that President Joe Biden’s cabinet was warned in classified security briefings that a smuggler with ties to the Islamic State was found to be helping migrants sneak into the United States across the southern border.
It is unclear at this time who exactly this ISIS-connected smuggler was bringing into the country and if those people represent a threat to national security.
But CNN’s report noted that several top Biden administration officials were so “alarmed” by the revelations they included the classified information in a briefing to top cabinet officials.
“You have followed the border probably better than anyone but I have requested a classified all-member briefing on the southern border and the troubling reports because here we have a smuggler with ties to ISIS, we’re a week past September 11, we don’t know what is coming across this border,” McCarthy told Breitbart News on Saturday morning.
“In February, we caught more people on the terrorist watch list in that one month than we did the entire last four years,” McCarthy explained. “Now, we have no idea what’s happening. The cartels have taken over. We’ve got this CNN report and they said in this report that it was so alarming that this classified information was provided to the cabinet members in the Biden administration. You’re not hearing anything else about it. I said members of Congress need to be briefed, especially on the classified [information], to tell us what is happening on the border especially if ISIS is involved here.”
The CNN report in question said in its headline: “Smuggler with ties to ISIS helped migrants enter US from Mexico, raising alarm bells across government.”
“The FBI is investigating more than a dozen migrants from Uzbekistan and other countries allowed into the US after they sought asylum at the southern border with Mexico earlier this year, a scramble set off when US intelligence officials found that the migrants traveled with the help of a smuggler with ties to ISIS, according to multiple US officials,” CNN’s article reads.
The CNN article continues:
While the FBI says no specific ISIS plot has been identified, officials are still working to ‘identify and assess’ all of the individuals who gained entry to the United States, according to a statement from National Security Council spokesman Adrienne Watson. And they are closely scrutinizing a number of the migrants as possible criminal threats, according to two US officials.
Though there is no evidence at this point to justify detaining anyone, the episode was so alarming that an urgent classified intelligence report was circulated to President Joe Biden’s top Cabinet officials in their morning briefing book. For some counterterrorism officials, it shows that the US is deeply vulnerable to the possibility that terrorists could sneak across the southern border by hiding amid the surge of migrants entering the country in search of asylum.
The incident kicked off a flurry of urgent meetings among top national security and administration officials at a time when Republicans have hammered Biden on the security of the southern border heading into the 2024 campaign. Staff on key congressional committees have been informed of the incident, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
McCarthy’s push for an all-members classified briefing is a significant development, because such briefings are something that only happens when there is a major threat to national security like a looming terrorist attack or something truly shocking and severe that administration officials brief members of Congress on behind closed doors. Asked to explain how big of a deal this is, McCarthy said such all-members classified briefings only happening where there is a “direct threat” to the security of the United States and only happen a few times a year at most. McCarthy argued that every member of Congress from either political party has a “right to know” everything happening at the southern border, especially given that he said U.S. officials have encountered people from approximately 160 different countries there.
“Classified is a different level of information,” McCarthy said. “It goes beyond what you’d read in the paper. The members are qualified to receive it—and to tell us the truth about what’s happening there. Only a handful of times do we ever do classified, full-member classified briefings, throughout the year. It’s usually a threat to our nation. This is a direct threat to our nation if you have somebody tied to ISIS bringing people across the border. That’s the problem with having a wide open border, not knowing what’s happening uncontrolled and letting the cartels take over. People are coming from 160 different countries. I think every single member should know the truth and know the complete truth of what’s happening. They have a right to know it all.”
McCarthy also said these problems are directly because of Biden and his administration, as they are the ones responsible for the changes in immigration law enforcement. Congress has not made any changes to immigration law since Biden took office, McCarthy said, noting that everything happening there is a result of the administration’s policy priorities done via executive action.
“No immigration law has changed by passing the House or the Senate,” McCarthy said. “It’s only the administration forcing the wall not to be finished where there’s a wide opening, even though we have equipment there and the materials to finish it off. They’re just paying rent and not allowing it to be put up. You watch the wide open border where they’ve allowed people to come through and give them a cell phone.”
“What we’re finding though is now every single city is a border city,” he continued. “You’ve got the Democratic mayor of New York City, you’ve got AOC yesterday being heckled in New York about securing the border. It’s not just individuals coming across. When you talk about 160 different countries, we’ve got people on the terrorist watch list from Yemen. Yemen is in the Middle East. Yemen has some of the most dangerous people we know of and they’re on the terrorist watch list coming across the border into California. Not one, but I remember in one month we caught two—not going together but on different days. Who are they talking to? What do they have planned? Why are they coming here? Now, we’re finding out we have people associated with ISIS and people who are smuggling them in? That’s what’s reported. That’s why we got to get a handle on this.
“Plus, this is where fentanyl is coming from — from China and now across our border,” McCarthy added. “That is the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. It’s reaching every city in America, all directed by the Biden administration.”