Fox’s Chris Wallace challenges Sarah Sanders on claim terrorists enter at southern border

Fox News host Chris Wallace challenged White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on some of President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE’s claims about border security.

In an interview with Sanders on Sunday, Wallace took on the claim, made by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Pelosi pulls State of the Union surprise on Trump Overnight Defense: Four Americans killed in Syria suicide attack | State of the Union becomes latest shutdown flashpoint | Missile defense review on track for Thursday release MORE, that thousands of “special interest aliens” have been stopped at the border.

“But special interest aliens are just people who have come from countries that have ever produced a terrorist, they’re not terrorists themselves,” Wallace said. He also cited a State Department report saying that there has been no “credible evidence” of terrorists crossing the southern border from Mexico.

Sanders stood by the claim, saying that the southern border is the “most vulnerable point of entry.”

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“We know that, roughly, 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,” she said, before Wallace cut her off.

“Do you know where those 4,000 people come, where they are captured?” Wallace responded. “Airports … the state department says there hasn’t been any terrorists found coming across the southern border.”

Sanders then suggested that an “influx” of “terrorists” would flow through the border without increased security, such as Trump’s proposed border wall.

“I’m not disagreeing with you that they’re coming through airports,” she said. “I’m saying that they come by air, by land and by sea, and the more and more that our border becomes vulnerable and the less and less that we spend time and money protecting it, the more that we’re going to have an influx, not just of terrorists, but of human traffickers and drug inflow.”

The exchange comes as the partial government shutdown, which began over Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for a wall, enters its third week.

Sanders also told Wallace that Trump “means what he says” in suggesting that the shutdown could last for months or years.