Robert C. O’Brien, a former national security adviser during the President Donald Trump administration, said Monday while visiting the Utah Capitol that “we need to finish building the wall that President Trump started.”
During a news conference where he talked about U.S. national security, and while also endorsing a bill that would prevent Russia, China, North Korea or Iran from purchasing land in Utah, O’Brien was asked about his thoughts on the southern border.
“We got to keep control of the border,” he said. “And getting control of the border is not anti-immigrant.”
O’Brien added that anyone who has immigrated to the U.S. knows the border needs to be controlled.
“The wall works, but we also need to man the wall with Border Patrol agents, and in some cases National Guard,” he said. “So I’m glad to see Utah participating in helping Texas control the border.”
Last week, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox announced he would be sending five troops from Utah National Guard and five law enforcement officers from Utah Highway Patrol to Texas.
At the news conference, House Speaker Mike Schultz said he was “blown away” by his experience visiting the border. Cox and Schultz visited the border on Feb. 4.
“I expected seeing mass migration coming across, people camping and human tragedies,” he said. “When I got there, I saw a border in that area that had been completely secured.”
Schultz said Texas’ ability to safeguard the border shows what can happen when states work together to enforce the laws.
O’Brien said the No. 1 threat to U.S. security was the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party. He alleged, without providing any evidence, that 30,000 unaccompanied Chinese military-aged men had crossed the border.
“We’ve got a full spectrum adversary, it’s going to take a whole government approach on our part to defend against it,” he said.
During the hourlong news conference, O’Brien also commended Utah legislators for their efforts to stand up against China.
“It’s very brave to stand up against China … and so it takes a lot of courage as a state legislator, elected official to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough,’” he said.
Rep. Candace Pierucci, R-Riverton, discussed two bills she introduced during this year’s legislative session that target foreign government intervention in the Beehive State.
HB404 prohibits a municipality from entering a sister city relationship with any places in Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, and prohibits the purchase of a product made from “forced labor.”
Pierucci said her other bill, HB516, “prohibits restricted foreign entities and companies headquartered in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, from purchasing or owning land in Utah.”
“This is critical for our state as we safeguard our country and state’s interests,” Pierucci said.