Rep. Jason Chaffetz expressed concern Wednesday that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson claimed to know little about reports that four people suspected of having ties to terrorism were caught after crossing the border into Texas on Sept. 10, one day before the anniversary of 9/11.
Johnson was testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee, on which Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, sits. When asked by Chaffetz whether he was aware of any incidents of terrorists or suspected terrorists crossing the border from Mexico, Johnson replied, "Sitting here right now, no specific case comes to mind."
Chaffetz then mentioned the case of the four who were apprehended just one week ago.
"I've heard reports to that effect," Johnson replied. "I don't know the accuracy of the reports or how much credence to give them."
Chaffetz asked whether that was not information that would be important enough for the secretary of Homeland Security to be made aware of.
"He's the secretary of Homeland Security. You need to know this," Chaffetz said later Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."
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Chaffetz said 466,000 people have been captured crossing the border over the last 351 days, and Homeland Security says 157,000 more got away.
Those captured come from 143 different countries, he said, with 13 from Syria, six from Iraq and four from Iran.
"I don't know which one scares me more," Chaffetz said. "Does he not know? Is he oblivious to it as the Homeland Security secretary? Or is he going to be deceptive and just try to run out the clock and not really answer the question?
"I asked him, 'What is the operational control right now on the border?'" Chaffetz said. "And he said, 'I don't know.'"
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