CNN's Scott Jennings: "Border security is equally important" as fighting ISIS
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From the October 31 edition of CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto:
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JIM SCIUTTO (CO-HOST): Scott if I can just follow, just set aside politics for a moment, the president has now ordered 5,200 troops to the border. Yesterday the Pentagon announced that more will be on the way. There are already 2,000 National Guard troops there in addition to the regular Customs and Border Control agents that are there regularly. This means there will now be more U.S. troops on the border with Mexico to defend against a migrant caravan then there are in Iraq where the Pentagon estimates there are still today 15,000 to 17,000 ISIS fighters. Is there a greater national security threat at the border from this caravan than there is from ISIS in Iraq today?
SCOTT JENNINGS (CNN COMMENTATOR): Well no, I mean clearly ISIS remains one of the biggest threats to American interests around the world but that doesn't --
SCIUTTO: Why is the president ordering more U.S. soldiers to the border with Mexico six days before an election than he has in Iraq to fight ISIS?
JENNINGS: Well, my point is even though ISIS is extremely important, I think most people would also argue that border security is equally important and that it's not an illegitimate policy idea to put troops on the border to back up the border guards that we already have there. Now, I am not a military analyst or strategist and I can't tell you how many troops is needed to do what, but I do think it's a legitimate purpose of the National Guard and of the military to back up our border guards who are guarding against illegal immigration. I don't think it's all about the caravan, by the way. That's obviously been in the news but --
SCIUTTO: The president has made it a lot about the caravan.
JENNINGS: -- I think a lot of Americans do think it's not a bad idea to use the military there.