Alexa Henning

Vanessa Ambrosini

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, on Tuesday questioned witnesses regarding the full scope of threats the United States faces, including the Biden-made crisis at the southern border, cyber-attacks, any violence regardless of political ideology, and drug related crime — not just the crime what Democrats and the media seem to want to politicize to push their own narrative.

Full exchange here and excerpts below.

Senator Johnson asks:

“General Taylor, when you look at the title of the agency you once headed, it’s intelligence and analysis. And from my standpoint, the analysis is really all about gathering all that information and then trying to prioritize it so we can adequately address the threats that face this nation. I thought Ms. Patel had a pretty good suggestion that you start with the violence — a pretty good way of prioritizing things. You know: What is the greatest threat magnitude? How many people could lose their lives? How much damage can be done? I’ve always thought it was a little strange, the chairman’s focusing on white supremacists. Listen, I don’t condone them; I condemn white supremacy. I condemn any act of violence. I don’t categorize it  whether it’s right wing, left wing; I condemn violence. But the fact of the matter is we lose 70,000 people a year in drug overdoses. General Taylor, do you have any idea how many deaths, how many murders occur from drug violence, gangs?”

General Taylor responds:

“I have no numbers sir, but it’s an epidemic.”

Senator Johnson asks:

“It’s thousands, isn’t it?”

Gen. Taylor responds:

“It is, across …”

Sen. Johnson:

“…We’re talking about thousands of drug related murders every year, tens of thousands of drug related overdoses. And now we’re supposed to concentrate on domestic terrorism as the greatest threat. Again, it’s not. Right now, the New York Times reported 160 different nationalities of people being picked up on the southern border of the last couple of months.”

Sen. Johnson asks:

“We are clogging up our system with close to 6,000 apprehensions a day — General Taylor, when you were in the administration, we have a humanitarian crisis, according to President Obama, of 2,000 people being apprehended a day. During 2018, 2019, it was a little over 4,000. Last couple of months, it’s been 6,000 people per day on average, almost. Six thousand people. What happens to our system when it’s clogged up with 6,000 people? Doesn’t that open up the border to additional drug trafficking? Doesn’t that create opportunities for transnational criminal organizations to exploit? … No, 6,000 people per day and it’s really not being abated at all. Isn’t that a threat? Isn’t that an enormous threat?”

Gen. Taylor agrees:

“Absolutely, and it’s a threat that we have to face along with all other threats that come at us from across the globe from our international partners and international adversaries. In my view, the myriad of threats facing this county are significant and broad and not just for the Department of Homeland Security but for state and local law enforcement organizations, for the FBI, for the Department of Justice, a coordinated effort to address…”

Sen. Johnson asks:

“We really ought to concentrate on the numbers and the magnitude of the threat. I condemned what happened here on January 6th , but I condemn as well the more than 500 riots that occurred through the summer, including in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Two dozen people murdered, 700 law enforcement officers injured, $2 billion worth of property damage, yet we all just want to move beyond that and ‘Let’s just focus on January 6th.”

Sen. Johnson concludes:

“My only point is I think we have politicized these threats we face and we’re not keeping our eye on the ball on the things that really represent a threat to this nation, which is — right now, border security is probably number one, and we’re ignoring that and denying reality.”

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