Exclusive – Speaker Kevin McCarthy: Designate Cartels as Terrorist Groups, Time to ‘Embed Some Military’ on Border to Fight Them

Matthew Perdie / Breitbart News, Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News , Zenny Phuong / Breitbart News

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Breitbart News that it is time to “embed some military” on the U.S. border with Mexico to fight the Mexican drug cartels.

McCarthy’s comments came during an exclusive long-form video interview taped last month in the ceremonial U.S. House Speaker’s office just off the House floor. The interview, the latest installment in the Breitbart News On the Hill video series, touched on many topics including immigration and the border, but also confronting the Chinese Communist Party, the debt ceiling, and McCarthy’s decision to release January 6 surveillance tapes earlier this year.

Asked about the incident which happened just before this interview where four Americans were kidnapped by cartels in Mexico, McCarthy noted that “two were murdered” and “it wasn’t far from the border.”

McCarthy then affirmed he believes the Mexican drug cartels should be formally designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S. government.

“I think you have to designate them,” McCarthy said when asked if the U.S. should designate the cartels as terrorist groups.

“We do not have operational control of our border,” McCarthy added. “For anyone in America that’s been down there — I want to give credit to Gov. Abbott. It shouldn’t be his job to secure the border. But he has to put effort into it. You look what has gone on. These cartels are making billions of dollars human trafficking, right? But they’re using weapons. They’re shooting. We’ve watched in broad daylight what they would do with not respect for life or for Americans.”

What’s more, asked about a proposal from former President Donald Trump to use the U.S. military to combat the cartels, McCarthy endorsed the idea broadly that the United States should “embed some military” so as to use Pentagon technology to fight the cartels.

Matthew Perdie / Breitbart News, Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News , Zenny Phuong / Breitbart News
Matthew Perdie / Breitbart News, Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News , Zenny Phuong / Breitbart News

“I’ve met with the border agents many times. I think we’re going to have to embed some military to allow that technology to help secure it,” McCarthy said.

While McCarthy did not specifically back a measure from Reps. Michael Waltz (R-FL) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) that would authorize the use of military force to fight the cartels in this interview, their proposal would implement the spirit of what he was saying here.

Waltz, in a separate interview with Breitbart News at the House GOP conference retreat in Orlando, Florida, noted that his and Crenshaw’s Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the cartels would free up U.S. military assets at the Pentagon like space assets including satellites as well as cyber assets to target and disrupt cartel operations.

“It essentially authorizes military resources,” Waltz said in that interview. “So, space assets for targeting. Your Border Patrol — our law enforcement and border entities don’t have their own space assets. The military does. Offensive cyber — as opposed to just defending our networks here at home, but actually getting inside somebody else’s networks and start disrupting their money, their logistics, their ability to communicate. That all sits inside the Defense Department. So, this would authorize the use — this would authorize the use of military force, but I think it’s more accurate to call it resources.”

Trump, for his part, in January released a policy video in which he explained that if elected president again he would treat the cartels just like the United States treated ISIS under his administration.

“Biden’s open border policies are a deadly betrayal of our nation,” Trump said then. “When I am president, it will be the policy of the United States to take down the cartels, just as we took down ISIS and the ISIS caliphate, and just as — unlike the situation we’re in today, we had a very, very strong border, the strongest border, in fact, in the history of our country, and drugs were at a low of 45 years. There’s been nothing like what we did, just two years ago.”

Waltz said his plan is gaining steam among House GOP colleagues and that he and other supporters have discussed with Democrats both in the House and Senate on how to proceed in passing measures, including this one, that would help the U.S. crack down on the cartels. While no Democrats have yet publicly endorsed the idea, Waltz predicted that some in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate would come on board eventually, especially as the cartels increase their brutality and violence in cases such as the incident where two of the four Americans they kidnapped were killed.

The fact that the U.S. House Speaker is now publicly endorsing the idea as well seems to make it more likely that eventually Congress — or at least the GOP-controlled U.S. House — could act on this front, even if Democrat President Joe Biden is sluggish or non-responsive to public outcry for action against the multibillion-dollar international criminal enterprises.

Mexican leaders have expressed outrage at the idea that American officials would take such a drastic step. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed his clear opposition to the idea and even threatened to interfere in U.S. elections to help Democrats and oppose Republicans should the GOP succeed in championing such a proposal.


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