Top commander knocks Trump's border wall

The head of the command charged with protecting America's southern border says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump camp talking points: Mention Monica Lewinsky Trump floats theory that Google suppresses negative news on Clinton Trump: I saved former Miss Universe's job 'and look what I get out of it' MORE's proposed wall won't solve anything.

“A wall will not solve the immense problems that go out there,” Adm. William Gortney, commander of U.S. Northern Command, which oversees the military in North America, told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing Thursday.

Gortney's comments came after lawmakers raised concerns about drug trafficking across the border.

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Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinMylan CEO should be ashamed of EpiPen prices Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Overnight Energy: Judges scrutinize Obama climate rule MORE (D-W.V.) asked whether a wall could solve that problem in a thinly veiled reference to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Trump has made the border with Mexico a central theme of his campaign, saying he would build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States.

“There’s people who believe, and of course there’s a lot of rhetoric about a wall these days in the news,” Manchin said, without referring to Trump by name.

“Do you believe that it could help or would help more than not having a wall,” he asked.

Gortney pointed to other tactics in place now as being an effective border control and said they need to be applied more broadly.

“I have flown the border,” he said. “And I’ve seen the technology that is applied there, be it sensors, be it fencing, every type of fencing that happens to be out there.”

“And we need to put in place all of that technology across our border as we try and work with mission partners south of our border," he added.

He also said the U.S. had to "cut back significantly the demand here in our country" of illegal drugs.