Northcom Commander Says President Biden Has Never Asked Him for a Briefing on the Border


Northern Command Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck admitted on Wednesday at a House hearing that President Joe Biden has never asked him for a briefing on the United States’ southern border.

House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) asked VanHerck, “Has the President the United States requested a briefing from you about the situation at the border?”

VanHerck, who as Northcom commander is tasked with monitoring and protecting the U.S. against threats, responded, “Not that I’m aware of.”

Banks slammed Biden for not requesting to be personally briefed, due to the problem of illicit trafficking of fentanyl across the southern border.

…107,375 Americans have died from drug overdoses, specifically related to fentanyl — a leading cause of death of Americans my age in this country today. We know that the vast majority of that fentanyl is coming across the southern border.

It surprises me greatly, frankly, angers me that the president the United States of America is so tone deaf and has turned a blind eye that he’s not asking you — the top general in the United States of America tasked with overseeing drug interdiction at our southern border — to come and brief him on the leading cause of death of Americans of working age in this country.

In contrast, Banks said President Donald Trump in 2020 visited Southern Command for a briefing  specifically to talk about the campaign against drug trafficking.

“That’s the type of leadership that he provided in this country. The opposite of what we’re seeing coming from President Biden,” he said.

According to VanHerck, Northcom plays a substantial role at the southern border.

He said while the command does not enforce the law due to posse comitatus preventing the U.S. military from acting in a law enforcement role, Northcom provides the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with intelligence analysis, detection, and monitoring of drug trafficking.

He said U.S. troops under Northcom are stationed at the border assisting DHS with detection and monitoring at about 106 locations, as well as intelligence analysis.

In addition, the command’s Joint Task Force North provides direct support to law enforcement agencies, such as through intelligence assessments in Mexico, and helping Mexican authorities collect intelligence on drug precursors in order to interdict them, he said. JTF North also provides support to enable U.S. law enforcement agencies to interdict money and weapons.

“The president could ask under special authorities for the military to do more,” VanHerck said.

Banks called it “pure insanity and a testament to the lack of leadership” that Biden is not doing more to stop the flow of fentanyl flooding into the U.S.:

It’s unbelievable to me. That this president has completely ignored the situation that I’m baffled by it, that the general has not briefed the president of the United States directly and shown that kind of leadership knowing that he could, as you just said, he could ask you to do more at the border.

And he’s not asking you to do it. There’s not a family in my district in northeast Indiana anymore that I’ve talked to who isn’t directly affected by the drug epidemic in this country, and that the president of the United States won’t go to his top general in charge of protecting our southern border and stopping drugs from coming in here when he could.

“It’s just it’s absolutely it’s shameful. And I’m going to continue to do whatever I can to make sure that we get a president in the White House who pay – was paying attention to the southern border,” Banks said.

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