White House pressed on whether Biden believes border crossers could be in US plotting terror attack on America


The White House on Tuesday answered whether President Biden believes that some of those crossing the border illegally could be in the U.S. plotting a terror attack on the homeland.

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked John Kirby, the U.S. National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, if, as the person in charge of “preventing a terrorist attack in the homeland, does President Biden think that some of these border crossers could be in the United States right now plotting a terrorist attack against Americans?”

The president is confident that throughout the interagency – DHS, intelligence community – that we’re doing everything we can to be as vigilant as we can to ensure the safety and security of the American people here at home,” Kirby said at a press briefing, before pivoting to another reporter. 

Doocy had initially referenced how former President Trump is scheduled to appear in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to deliver a speech about what his campaign calls “Biden’s Border Bloodbath.”

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National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on April 2, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

During the speech later Tuesday, Trump is expected to discuss the killing of Ruby Garcia, a Michigan woman who was found dead on the side of a Grand Rapids highway on March 22. 

Police say Garcia was in a romantic relationship with the suspect, Brandon Ortiz-Vite. He told police he shot her multiple times during an argument before dropping her body on the side of the road and driving off in her red Mazda. Authorities say Ortiz-Vite is a citizen of Mexico and had previously been deported following a drunk driving arrest, according to the Associated Press.

“There’s another case of somebody who is in this country illegally allegedly murdering a young woman, this time in Michigan. Her name is Ruby Garcia. Donald Trump is out there now calling this Biden’s border bloodbath. What do you call it?” Doocy asked during Tuesday’s White House press briefing.

Kirby said he was not aware of the specifics of the case, calling Garcia’s death “terrible news” and offering the woman’s family thoughts and prayers before deferring to local law enforcement.

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Kirby and Jean-Pierre at White House briefing

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby take questions during the daily press briefing at the White House on April 2, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

“So, why don’t we let the judicial process play out here before we start making grandiose bumper-sticker comments about what this says about the border?” Kirby added. “And, Peter, to folks that are concerned about border security, the president will be the first one to stand up here and say he agrees that the border does need some security capabilities, that we do need more Border Patrol agents. And all that has to happen is for the speaker to do his job, put that supplemental on the floor. Let’s get a vote. Let’s get those 1300 additional Border Patrol agents down there to do their jobs.”

Kirby and Doocy proceeded to spar over the border supplemental package, which the White House has repeatedly called on House Speaker Mike Johnson to call the bill to a vote in the lower chamber.

Republicans, meanwhile, have pressed Biden to take executive action to address the crisis.

Texas border wire

Texas National Guard soldiers install border fencing layered with concertina wire near the Rio Grande on April 2, 2024, in El Paso, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“The bill’s dead,” Doocy said, prompting Kirby to retort, “Says you. When’s the vote?”

Doocy went on to say, “There are real problems at the border while that bill just languishes, right? The chief of the Border Patrol is saying exactly 140,000 gotaways. If we don’t know who is coming into our country, and we don’t know what their intent is, that is a threat. Does President Biden agree?”

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“The president absolutely believes that along that border, we do have significant national security concerns that have to be met,” Kirby said. “But you said something really good in your question that I loved that … while these concerns are going on, the bill languishes. So, what’s needed? It’s not anything more from the president. What’s needed is for Speaker Johnson to do his job, get that thing on the floor. Let’s get a vote on it. They had a chance and decided not to act because certain people in House Republican world wanted a problem rather than a solution.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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