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Updated Feb 23, 2017 - 11:09 am

Arizona rep: Nukes could be smuggled across US-Mexico border in marijuana bales

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said Wednesday the possibility of someone smuggling a nuclear weapon into the United States inside a bale of marijuana is one reason the border with Mexico must be secured.

“We 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 that we’ll simply hide it in a bale of marijuana,” U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told CNN.

Franks was brought on the network to discuss President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. He made the nuclear weapon comment when citing reasons a porous border could have implications on both national security and the rest of the world.

“America is the world’s flagship of freedom,” he said. “If we don’t have a secure border, that would hurt everyone in the long run.”

It was not the first time Franks has made such an argument. His website posted a 2012 U.S. House speech, in which he claimed that terrorists could hold the country hostage using a nuclear weapon smuggled across the border in a marijuana bale.

“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, then transporting them into the heart of two different, crowded, unnamed cities,” he said.

“Then calling and telling the White House exactly when and where the first one will be detonated, and then following through 60 seconds later.”

Franks said he understands the wall will likely cost billions of dollars to build. He said he wants to maintain his stance as a fiscal conservative, but also wants to make the best decision for the country.

“We have to measure all the costs – ancillary and otherwise – and make the best decision that we can,” he said.

The congressman also made it clear that, despite strong opposition to the wall, those arguing in support of it should not be stereotyped.

“This notion that everybody that is committed to border security is somehow racist or hates other people is a disgrace and it’s just not true,” he said, adding that he is married to an immigrant.

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