Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has warned there could be potential terrorist ‘sleeper cells’ in the US following the heightened tensions after Hamas’ massacre in Israel. Ousted Republican McCarthy, 58, claimed President Joe Biden’s southern border crisis is helping bolster the number of terrorists entering the US, with 18 people on the FBI’s watchlist having been arrested last month.
He said getting the American hostages trapped in Gaza home is a top priority and that Israel ought to have ‘every resource they need to defend themselves.’ Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, McCarthy said: ‘If you simply look at what’s the chaos right now, a wide-open southern border. I’m concerned about a cell sitting inside America today. We just caught 18 people just last month on the FBI terrorist watch list coming across our border. More than 160 have done it this year. When we’re looking around the Middle East and the uprisings popping up around Europe and others, they could be sleeper cells right now in America.’
‘But this administration [hasn’t done anything] to change what’s happening on the southern border. We got government funding where our troops wouldn’t be paid sitting here in a month. Tom Emmer has been a part of our successes from not just winning the majority but being in the room to help us pass a border security bill to make us energy independent, Parents Bill of Rights to stand up when the Democrats wanted to defund the police and decriminalize some of those laws. And he has been successful. This is not a time for a learning experience as speaker.’
A total of 169 people on the FBI terror watch lists were apprehended at the southern border in the past 12 months, according to the Customs and Border Protection. That is a higher number of terrorists attempting to enter the US via the southern border seen in the last six fiscal years combined. Speaking about his upcoming plans to help in the Middle East, McCarthy said he’s going to help destroy Hamas and get all American hostages home.
He said: ‘I am still a member of Congress and I am going to lead in any capacity I can help to protect America. I’m going to work to secure our border. I’m going to work to stop the inflation. I’m going to make sure war does not break out in Israel and that Israel has every resource they need to defend themselves. But most importantly, I’m going to press this administration. We have to destroy Hamas, but you cannot do it without confronting Iran. They need to change their policies. Iran only had $4 billion in the foreign exchange when they took office. They now have $70 billion.’
‘Iran only produced 400,000 barrels of oil a day when Biden took office. They now produce three million. They’re getting billions of dollars to fund terrorism around the world. And you cannot stop Hamas, you cannot get the American hostages back without confronting Iran. And they cannot make the same mistake they did in Afghanistan. We have to be very clear. Every single American has to come home. No one will be left behind. And I can do that as a congressman. I can do that as a citizen. And I will do it and stand up for the American people.’
On October 17, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan endured a disastrous loss in his first bid to become House Speaker in even more chaotic scenes from Congress. Twenty colleagues voted against the firebrand GOP member and doomed his opening shot at the top job. Now the House is in recess while Jordan meets with the GOP holdouts to try to court votes. It’s expected the House will move to second vote on Tuesday – Jordan can call as many votes as he wants and it’s not clear at one point he’d give up his bid for speaker. Kevin McCarthy went 15 ballots before becoming speaker.
Jordan and the House’s Number Two Republican, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, met following the failed vote, according to a source familiar. Jordan asked Scalise for help in courting moderate votes, and Scalise allegedly would not commit to doing so. A Scalise spokesperson pushed back on this characterization of the meeting – arguing Scalise has been the ‘only candidate throughout this process who has publicly declared he will be supportive of whomever the conference nominates for Speaker, and his position has not changed.’ When Scalise had won the internal GOP conference vote, DailyMail.com reported that Jordan had publicly pledged to back him but made few moves to urge his supporters to vote for the majority leader.
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