EXCLUSIVE: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed Wednesday he has requested a classified briefing from the FBI and CIA over two Yemeni men on the FBI’s terror watch list who were allegedly caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border two months apart this year.
He added that Vice President Kamala Harris, who was recently appointed President Biden’s border czar, should attend the briefing.
“I know she hasn’t been to the border,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know if she’s ever been briefed on this, but I think it’d be important that all the leaders, because this isn’t about Republican or Democrat, this is about the security of our nation. And everybody should be making sure our nation is secure.”
“I know she hasn’t been to the border. … Everybody should be making sure our nation is secure.”— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
McCarthy told Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich exclusively that Border Patrol agents told him large numbers of people from countries like Yemen, Turkey and Sri Lanka have been crossing into the U.S. through the southern border.
“And now we’ve got data that’s showing more than a thousand people come across every day that don’t even get encountered. So this is a real concern,” he said.
“More than a thousand people come across every day that don’t even get encountered. So this is a real concern.”— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
“So we know people on the terrorist watch list are coming into America,” he said. “How are they coming in? How many do we assume got through that we did not catch? Why were they on the watch list? What were they doing coming into the country? Do we have any intel based upon what did they have planned once they entered into the country? Who were they going to meet up with?”
In addition to Harris, the California Republican said, he has requested the classified briefing be shared with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
McCarthy called it especially concerning that the two Yemeni men were caught in separate incidents at the El Centro Sector in California: the first in January and the second last week.
“That’s two separate times coming from Yemen and they got in,” he told Heinrich during the phone interview.
He mentioned that Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., and a few other Democratic lawmakers had accused him of “lying” about the men on the terrorist watch list entering the country.
“He challenged me … saying I was lying and he said he was getting the same briefing that I was,” McCarthy said. “That’s a real concern to me that he did not know about this being on the border.”
He said his concern was “the first response from some members across the aisle was not solve this problem. It was to call me a liar.”
“Any terrorists that come into this country is too much and it should not be a partisan issue,” he added.
The congressman said the Biden administration was trying to create distractions because the border surge was “such a big disaster.”
“They know that there hasn’t been any legislation passed the Congress to create it. So it’s an administration change in policy that has created this disaster along the border.”
Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich, Bryan Boughton and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.