White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act Biden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' MORE on Monday downplayed the Trump administration's misrepresentation of the number of suspected terrorists apprehended at the southern border, arguing press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made "an unfortunate misstatement" a day earlier.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked Conway if the White House's inability to get its facts right on immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border hurts its credibility after Sanders said on "Fox News Sunday" that "nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border."
Anchor Chris Wallace challenged Sanders on her comments, noting that the State Department had said there haven't been any terrorists found coming across the border and that most were captured at airports.
Conway on Monday acknowledged that most of the nearly 4,000 terrorists apprehended in fiscal 2017 were found at airports, citing a report from the Department of Homeland Security.
"It got unfortunately conflated by a colleague," she said.
Ingraham criticized the media for "cherry-picking" statistics and argued that "we all kind of make mistakes."
"That was an unfortunate misstatement and everybody makes mistakes, all of us," Conway agreed. "The fact is, it’s corrected here and anybody who turns a blind eye to the actual numbers of human trafficking, the increase in the drugs, we are concerned about your children here in the United States not being subject to all these drugs and we’re concerned about their children."
Trump administration officials, including the president and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFar-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema — it won't work Ex-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides MORE, have in recent months stated that thousands of terrorists attempt to enter the country, but have generally not elaborated on where those individuals are apprehended.
NBC News on Monday obtained data showing that, in the first half of 2018, Customs and Border Protection stopped a total of six immigrants at the southern border who are now in the terrorism database.
President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE is set to deliver a prime-time address on Tuesday discussing the situation at the border, which he has referred to a crisis. The president has pushed for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border, which has precipitated a partial government shutdown that has lasted 18 days and counting.
The president is scheduled to travel to the southern border on Thursday.