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ICYMI: Rubio Joins Trey Radel

Sep 23, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Trey Radel to discuss the crisis at the border, General Milley, Afghanistan, and more.
On the border crisis: 
“[The Biden Administration] is a calamity. So Biden runs for president and gets elected and he basically sends out the message, ‘I’m not going to be like Trump’, and that’s interpreted as, ‘Trump is against people coming in, Biden is going to be more lenient towards it’. And so then you have this rush on the border. And it’s important to point out, look, this is complicated, there’s all kinds of different people. I personally know stories of people who are from one country they left to another country. 
“As an example… I heard a couple days ago. There’s a couple that left some country in the Caribbean… They told me that they went to Chile. They were living there for almost two and a half years. They had good jobs, their papers, their residence, but they have always wanted to live in America, and they decided now is the time to come. So they flew to Mexico. They paid a trafficker to move across the border. They turned themselves into Border Patrol. The Border Patrol put them in detention. They were there for three or four days, the husband contracted COVID in immigration detention. He said the entire facility was rampant with COVID, and the wife tested negative at that time.So they put him on a bus, three days driving to Miami on this bus with COVID. His wife was on an airplane, but when she arrived in Miami within a few hours, she started exhibiting symptoms and then she tested positive. And both of them are now pending an immigration hearing at some point in the next six to eight months. And the only thing we know about them is their name and what their parents’ names are back in the country they originally came from. 
“So we have a lot of people crossing the border there, actually been living in a third country, not Haiti necessarily, but from Haiti to somewhere else, Brazil or what have you for months or weeks. And you hear it — when they complain about being deported, they complain of being deported back to Haiti… 
“Haiti is a long way from the US border, you’ve got to get there through some other country… This desperation is terrible. I’m not telling you the situation these people face back in their home countries is not terrible, but I’m telling you, there are millions and millions of people around the world, both in those situations…  There’s no country in the world that can absorb hundreds of thousands of people. We have ninety nine thousand people living under a bridge right now and another twenty to thirty thousand potentially on the way over the next seven days. I mean, this could get really ugly, really fast, very bad. And it’s all created because Joe Biden sent out the message that, ‘I’m not Trump, come over.’”
On the national security threat posed by the border: 
“Well it most certainly could become [a national security threat]… I understand this is the way games are played in American politics, ‘Oh, you’re calling everybody a terrorist. No terrorist has been apprehended.’ First of all, that’s not true, there are people on the watch list who have been apprehended at the border in the past. But that said, OK, we got on an airplane and 99.999 percent of the people aboard an airplane are not terrorists, they’re not hijackers, they’re going to do anything terrible. The problem is, and the reason why all of us have to go through this massive screening when we get on an airplane is because it only takes one or two people on an airplane to turn it into a tragedy.
“That was the lesson of 9/11, right? You had these guys that got on and so that’s why we go through these things. With the border, it’s the same situation. When you’re looking to enter the United States of America and conducting an operation and you realize, hey, there is a way to get across the border without being detected, I mean, it’s like an advertisement to try to do it. So the answer to your question is we don’t know if it’s a national security threat, because we don’t know if someone crossed the border undetected.
“We wouldn’t know it if they were deliberately to turn themselves in because they know they turn themselves in, they’ll be released  pending an immigration hearing that they may never show up for. But if you’re someone trying to enter the country to do damage, you wouldn’t declare yourself, you would just come in. No one would know you’re here. You blend in and before you know it, you’re carrying out an attack a few years later. So it is absolutely a vulnerability, a national security vulnerability, that could be exploited by a terror organization. And we may not know about it until it’s too late.”
On immigrants being “shipped” to different destinations in the U.S.  after they are apprehended at the border: 
“[Border patrol] asks you, where does your family live? They live in Fort Lauderdale. They live in Naples. They live in Miami. And that’s where they send you. They send you to where your family is, that’s where you want to go, and that’s where they’re going to send you. Then you have to show up in six or eight months for their immigration hearing, which could give you the date in many instances.
“What happens, though, is somebody makes that journey successfully. So this couple I’m talking about, they have told their friends and relatives, both in the third country and in their original country that they’re in Miami, that they made it and described the journey to them. So now they believe that there are a bunch of their friends and family that are considering doing the same thing. And that’s kind of how this thing plays out, unfortunately. We’re going to see more of it, because no matter what messaging you put out there at this point, when the message is out that you cross the border, you’re going to get to stay, more people are going to do it, and people want to live in this country.”
On General Milley: 
“I think if that story is proven to be true he should be immediately dismissed. Frankly, I think the real potential is that he should face the military justice system for his actions. 
“You have some powerful generals that decide that the elected leaders of the country or the civilian leaders of the country are not doing a good job, and so they’re going to use their position in the military to supersede them — sometimes even overthrow a government. That’s called a military coup; it’s not uncommon. So the framers of our system put a civilian in charge as the Commander in Chief so that that could never happen here, and that’s one of the sacred things that we believe is really, really important.”

“Basically how it comes across is that Milley himself leaked this to these reporters to make himself look like a good guy and to set himself up for whatever he’s trying to do post-military service. Now he’s come out and said, ‘Yes, I’ve talked to the Chinese, and that was part of my normal engagement with our counterparts.’ The problem is, if this was described as a normal engagement with a counterpart, it wouldn’t be in the book. 
“This book, as I understand it, is not about normal engagement. It’s about abnormal things. The narrative they’re trying to put out is Trump was completely out of control and grown up, patriotic generals stepped in and prevented a war with China — which is absurd, because Donald Trump is probably the most anti-war President this country has had in a quarter century. 
“It’s really disturbing, because what you had here was a general who decided that he knew better, that he knew more than the elected, civilian President of the United States.
“He decided that he was going to undermine that President by coordinating and communicating with a potential adversary. I would be just as fired up if he did that to Joe Biden or any president, for that matter. This is a very serious breach of a very important provision in our Constitution. It’s a violation of his oath. It shows poor judgment and, frankly, I think disqualifies him from continuing to serve in that post.”
On the United States’ role in the Middle East following its withdrawal from Afghanistan: 
“Options now are quite limited; we don’t have a presence there. My number one concern about Afghanistan is counterterrorism, al-Qaeda returning and reconstituting itself and plotting against the United States. Also, unreported in all of this is that ISIS is looking to establish territorial control over portions of Afghanistan. They’ve already benefited from the release from jail, they broke out a bunch of other ISIS fighters from Afghan prisons, and they’re going to look to do the same in Iraq and Syria. These people will join them and they’ll make gains and raise more money. It gives them the operating safe haven from which to conduct operations against both the United States’ homeland and our interests in the region.
“These groups attacked America for two reasons. The first is because they hate us., and the other is because it helps them recruit and raise money. Part of what’s happening is ISIS is in a competition with al-Qaeda to show which is the radical jihadist group that gets more things done…
“I’m worried that we have no way now of knowing [what] they’re doing… When you’re not on the ground, your intelligence is compromised. We don’t have a presence on the ground to help identify and properly target and reach out and take away that safe haven. So these guys are going to be able to operate with impunity. Certainly al-Qaeda will and ISIS will try to. 
“Ultimately, from ISIS’s perspective, they would love nothing more than to provoke the U.S. into coming back into Afghanistan to take the Taliban out. But at the end of the day, the Taliban’s number one priority is not going to be taking on ISIS — although they may — their number one priority is going to be the stability of their government. And if that means allowing ISIS to control some territory in the northern part of that country, they may very well want to do it for some period of time long enough to attack us again.“