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By Will Racke
Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday that a continuous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border may not be necessary as long as the Trump administration approaches border security in a “thoughtful manner.”
The Wisconsin Senator told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he didn’t see any contradiction between Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly’s remarks to Congress that the border wall won’t stretch from “sea to shining sea” and Trump’s campaign promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” spanning the entire southern border.
“I have always thought the wall was a metaphor for securing the border, and I think it has just been incredibly important that this president, finally, we have an administration that has committed themselves to securing the border in whatever shape and form that takes,” Johnson said.
Kelly appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security on Wednesday and said it is unlikely that his department will build a wall that covers all 2,000 miles of the border. (RELATED: Homeland Security Chief: Border Wall Will Not Stretch ‘From Sea To Shining Sea’ [VIDEO])
“If they [Border Patrol agents] can’t have the wall from sea to shining sea, then at least give them the wall, the physical barrier, the technology that will do the job for them in the locations where they’ve identified,” Kelly told the committee.
Johnson echoed Kelly’s assessment of the border wall project, telling Cuomo that the government can supplement physical barriers by “inducing technology, building our manpower force, and fixing personnel problems so we can actually hire the people we need to keep our border secure.”
Cuomo responded by conceding that Johnson had made a good case but added that he has “never heard the president refer to it as a ‘metaphor.’”