An irate Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) began his Friday morning on CNN comparing the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, with the “national emergency” currently happening at the southern border with Mexico.
Brooks tangled with New Day co-host John Berman in an excruciatingly long—and often loud—disagreement over the current government shutdown and the possibility of a border wall.
When confronted with Brooks’ own past quotes against “government overreach,” he told Berman: “You guys at CNN are misleading the public.”
“What we’re facing today is a national emergency of major proportions,” Brooks continued. “And Congress has delegated to the president of the United States the right—and it’s express United States code, you can look it up yourself—the right to declare a national emergency under certain circumstances.”
Berman replied: “Why? Why? Why? What’s the emergency?”
“Let’s look at 9/11 by way of example,” replied Brooks. “We lost 3,000 people, more or less, on 9/11. That justified going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our troops are still there to varying degrees. 3,000. With the southern border, we have the loss of at least 15,000 Americans a year—that’s justification.”
When asked to break down that 15,000 figure, Brooks noted that thousands of Americans die at the hands of undocumented immigrants each year, while others are killed by heroin overdoses.
“How many dead people do you have to have, John?” he continued. “Before you’ll consider it an emergency?”
Berman responded by noting that the vast majority of illicit drugs come through the southern border “at ports of entry,” which a wall would not change. He also noted, from a 2018 Cato Institute study, that the crime rate among undocumented immigrants is actually lower than that of native-born Americans.
“If you want liberal propaganda, you go ahead and use it,” replied Brooks, who continued angrily, despite multiple attempts by Berman to veer him back toward the conversation about the case for a border wall.
“The issue at hand is: How many Americans would be alive today, but for our porous southern border?” Brooks asked. “But for illegal aliens and the homicides that they commit upon American citizens? Men, women, and children that are losing their lives, that would be alive today if we had border security, if we had a wall, if we had the gumption here in Congress to protect American lives. And right now we don’t, with the Democrats.”
Despite Brooks’ bulldozing, Berman tried to point out the conflation between those traveling into the United States at points of entry and those traveling where a wall would be located.
Berman said: “The statistics say most [drugs] come through ports of entry. I think any death is unfortunate–Congressman, let me finish. Let me finish. No, this is a debate over the wall now, Congressman.”
The next several minutes involved both men unintelligibly speaking over each other, stumbling onto subjects as varied as Syria and Hillary Clinton.
When Berman lassoed Brooks back onto the subject, he asked: “Will the wall stop visa overstays?”
The congressman answered: “The wall will do a great amount of good in reducing the flow of illegal aliens across our southern border. Walls work.”