DHS nominee: Border wall alone 'will not do the job'

DHS nominee: Border wall alone 'will not do the job'
© Greg Nash

During his Tuesday confirmation hearing, retired Gen. John F. Kelly, President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Obama condemns attacks in Sri Lanka as 'an attack on humanity' Schiff rips Conway's 'display of alternative facts' on Russian election interference MORE's pick for secretary of Homeland Security, said of the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall that "a physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job."

Kelly emphasized to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that the brunt of the work keeping the U.S. safe from national security threats needs to be handled by agents on the ground and better technology. 

His comments came during his first round of confirmation questions, conducted by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainEarth Day founder's daughter: Most Republican leaders believe in climate change in private Trump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Democrats need a 'celebrity' candidate — and it's not Biden or Sanders MORE (R-Ariz.). McCain asked Kelly if he agreed with his position that "building a wall is not the way to keep out drugs or people."

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Kelly's remarks downplay what had been a key initiative in Trump's immigration policy and a cornerstone of his campaign — a wall on the southern border to stem the flow of illegal immigration and drugs.