GOP Rep.: Bales Of Marijuana Concealing Nukes Can Cross Border

Bill Clark/CQPHO

A Republican congressman from Arizona defended the construction of a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border by arguing that a nuclear weapon could be smuggled across a porous border in a bale of marijuana.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), whose district is just over 100 miles away from the U.S.-Mexico border, referenced the illicit drug trade in a discussion Wednesday with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

“The reality, Brianna, is that we have to measure all of the costs, ancillary and otherwise, and make the best decision that we can. But I can suggest to you that there are national security implications here for a porous border,” Franks said. “We sometimes used to make the point that if someone wanted to smuggle in a dangerous weapon, even a nuclear weapon, into America, how would they do it? And the suggestion was made, ‘Well, we’ll simply hide it in a bale of marijuana.’”

“So the implications of a porous border have national security dimensions that are very significant and that bear a lot of conversation when we talk about costs,” he said.

This was not Frank’s first reference to a nuclear weapon traveling across the border in a bale of marijuana. In fact, he raised the possibility on the floor of the U.S. House during an Aug. 2, 2012 speech, according to his website.

“Specifically imagine for a moment, Mr. Speaker, the scenario of Hezbollah, one of Iran’s terrorist proxies, gaining possession of just two nuclear warheads and bringing them across the border into the United States concealed, say, in bales of marijuana,” he said, “then transporting them into the heart of two different, crowded, unnamed cities. Then calling and telling the White House exactly when and where the first one will be detonated, and then following through 60 seconds later.”

Watch the exchange below via CNN:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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