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The U.S. border will need "record" investment to ensure that criminal or terrorist elements do not slip in, Fox News Digital learned during an interview with National Security Agency Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby.
When asked if an open border is a good idea for the country even with remnant ISIS and al Qaeda members still operating, Kirby said, "We are working hard to secure the border through trying to invest in advanced capabilities.
"We still have troops that are down there assisting Border Patrol officers to try to help them so that they can focus on this. We asked for record levels of funding for DHS and, unfortunately, there was no Republican support for that.
"So, we're going to keep at this, and we obviously want to certainly encourage more support coming from the Republican side for some of the things that we're trying to do."
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A migrant family sits after being processed May 5, 2022, in Roma, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Potential terror threats aren’t the only concern on Kirby’s mind. He reiterated Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s blunt assessment that Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) talks with Iran have gone backward, adding, "It’s unlikely that we’re going to be able to close the gaps here in the very near future.
"That's unfortunate because, just a few weeks ago, we thought we actually were a little bit closer to return to the deal," Kirby said. "Unfortunately, I don't think we're as close now as we thought we were just a few weeks ago."
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He also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for engaging in using nuclear weapons to "blackmail" other nations but also noted that Putin’s threats are "not new" and that he has used them "since almost the beginning of the war. It's irresponsible rhetoric coming from a modern nuclear power."
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran, July 19, 2022. (President Website/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)
Kirby noted President Biden had said as much during his speech to the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday.
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"We take these threats seriously. We have to. So, we're monitoring his nuclear capabilities as best we can," Kirby said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, vows to strengthen Russia's military cooperation with its allies at the Army 2022 International Military and Technical Forum in the Patriot Park outside Moscow, Russia, Aug. 15, 2022. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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"I can tell you, we've seen no indication that tells us we need to change our strategic deterrent posture. Rather than blustering and claiming he's being blackmailed by other nations around the world, he needs to end the war," Kirby insisted. "He needs to pull his troops out. He could end today if he would do the right thing."
Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news.