Pentagon chief says he's ordered review of foreign nationals exchange programs after Pensacola shooting

Pentagon chief says he's ordered review of foreign nationals exchange programs after Pensacola shooting
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Secretary of Defense Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition Brennan takes final shot at Trump: 'I leave his fate to our judicial system, his infamy to history, & his legacy to a trash heap' MORE on Sunday said the Pentagon will review the vetting process for an exchange program for foreign nationals that admitted a Saudi military officer who allegedly killed three people in an attack on the naval base in Pensacola, Fla.

“One of the first things I did yesterday was I wanted to immediately put out an advisory to all of our bases,” Esper told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBiden adviser: 'He does not have any concern' about Trump lawsuits Public health expert: Americans no longer acting 'with common purpose' on pandemic Anti-Defamation League criticizes White House appointee 'who has consorted with racists' MORE on "Fox News Sunday." “I asked that we begin a review of what our screening procedures are with regard to foreign nationals coming to the United States.”


“My understanding is currently they’re reviewed by the Department of State, they’re reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security and they’re reviewed by us and I want to make sure that those procedures are full and sufficient,” he added.

Esper went on to say that such programs are vital to U.S. national security interests when done properly.

“The ability to bring foreign students here to train with us is every important to us to building those long term relationships that keep us safer,” he said.

“So what you seem to be saying is ‘yes, if we need to vet better we’re going to do it, but we’re not going to throw out this program,’” Wallace responded.

“That’s right,” Esper said.

The Navy has identified the victims of the shooting as Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson 23, from Alabama; Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, from Florida and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters 21, from Georgia.

The FBI’s Jacksonville branch on Saturday officially identified the suspect, who was killed on the scene, as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force.