United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday acknowledged that there was “no proof” to back his claim that Middle Eastern terrorists are among thousands of migrants traveling from Honduras toward the US border, Bloomberg reported.
Trump was responding to queries about his comments regarding a caravan of thousands of immigrants and asylum-seekers travelling from Central American nations with the aim of entering the US. “There’s no proof of anything”, Trump said while adding that terrorists “could very well be” among the group. “I think there’s a very good chance you have people in there,” he said.
On Monday, Trump said that the United States will substantially reduce financial aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as the countries had failed to stop their citizens from leaving and illegally entering America. “Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s police and military are unable to stop the caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States,” Trump had tweeted. “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and the military that this is a national emergency. Must change laws!”
During the press interaction on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence said “it is inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border.” He claimed that “more than 10 terrorists or suspected terrorists” were intercepted at the US southern border.”
Pence said Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez had told him that Venezuela and unidentified “leftists” are encouraging the so-called caravan, which is headed towards the US border. It comprises mostly Hondurans, who say they are fleeing violence and poverty.
Unidentified Trump administration officials, however, told Bloomberg that there was no evidence to back the President’s claim. The news agency said Pence’s statement inaccurately referred to the number of known or suspected terrorists intercepted at all ports of entry as the statistic for those stopped only at the southern border.
Trump told reporters that he was regularly communicating with the US Border Patrol who update him about the people they have stopped at the border. “They have intercepted Islamic State [agents], they have intercepted all sorts of people. They have intercepted good ones and bad ones,” Trump said.