President Donald Trump in the Oval Office Tuesday addressed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and responds to questions about the caravan coming from Mexico.
"They're not coming in. We're going to do whatever we have to, they're not coming in," Trump declared.
"Mr. President, one more thing on the caravan. You had said that there were Middle Easterners. in the caravan. Can you explain that? Are you saying there are terrorists?" CNN's Jim Acosta asked.
"I have very good information," Trump responded. "I have very good information. And if you look at what's happened with Honduras and statements made about Honduras, and even a phone call that our vice president had today, which I think he can maybe reveal."
"A lot of Middle Easterners who live in the United States, Americans of Middle Eastern descent, who find that kind of rhetoric appalling," a concerned Acosta lamented.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Yes, anybody else?
QUESTION: Mr. President, one more thing on the caravan. You had said that there were Middle Easterners...
QUESTION: ... in the caravan. Can you explain that? Are you saying there are terrorists...
TRUMP: Well, there could very well be, yeah. There could very well be. And if you look at...
QUESTION: But (ph) you're (ph) never (ph) sure (ph)?
TRUMP: I have very good information. I have very good information. And if you look at what's happened with Honduras and statements made about Honduras, and even a phone call that our vice president had today, which I think he can maybe reveal.
Do you want to mention that, Mike? Is that OK? Probably.
TRUMP: Go ahead, please.
PENCE: At the president's direction, I spoke to President Hernandez of Honduras. He told me that the caravan that's now making its way through Mexico, headed for the southern border, was (ph) organized by leftist organizations and financed by Venezuela.
And we have -- as -- as we've...
TRUMP: And the Democrats, maybe?
TRUMP: And the Democrats.
QUESTION: Mr. President, it sounds like you're teasing about that. But where's the proof that Democrats are paying for this caravan? Why (ph) would they pay for a caravan to come up, two weeks before...
TRUMP: You know what, you're going to find out...
QUESTION: ... the midterms (ph).
TRUMP: ... and we're going to see -- well, maybe they made a bad mistake, too. We're going to find out about that.
What else did they say, Mike, about ISIS? Did they say something?
PENCE: Well, just that it's -- it's been organized by leftist groups. They've made their way north. Once -- so once they crossed into Guatemala, now crossed into Mexico. There's some estimates north of 7,000 migrants. So the group is growing.
The United States of America intervenes and prevents 10 terrorists -- or suspected terrorists -- from coming into our country every day. So it's -- it is inconceivable that there would not be individuals from the Middle East as a part of this growing caravan.
And what the president's determined to do is put the safety and security of the American people first. And I know the president will be addressing this in the coming days, about the ways -- we need to close the loopholes that human traffickers and other dangerous individuals use to entice vulnerable families to make the long and dangerous trek north.
QUESTION: Mr. Vice President, are you saying that you have evidence that there are terrorists in the caravan right now?
PENCE: What I can say to you is...
QUESTION: You're saying, statistically, there's been a number over the years (inaudible) on (ph) that (ph) topic (ph) (inaudible) you're saying there are terrorists in the caravan. But a lot of Middle Easterners who live in the United States, Americans of Middle Eastern descent, who find that kind of rhetoric appalling...
TRUMP: OK. Let me just say -- let me just (inaudible)...
QUESTION: Isn't that true, Mr. President?
TRUMP: Let me just tell you something. I spoke with Border Patrol this morning. And I spoke to them last evening, and I spoke to them the day before. I speak to them all the time.
And they say -- and you know this as well as anybody -- over the course of the year, over the course of a number of years, they've intercepted many people from the Middle East. They've intercepted ISIS, they've intercepted all sorts of people.
They've intercepted good ones and bad ones, they've intercepted wonderful people from the Middle East, and they've intercepted bad ones, they've intercepted wonderful people from South America and from other parts further south.
They've intercepted a lot of different people. But among the people they've intercepted -- very recently -- are people from the Middle East, OK?
So you can't be surprised when you hear it. You've heard that before. Happens all the time. And I spoke them literally last night. I spoke to another one this morning. Very good relationship with Border Patrol. And ICE.
And they said it happens all the time, from the Middle East.
TRUMP: That's not even saying bad or good. But some real bad ones.
TRUMP: But they intercept ...
TRUMP: Well, they could very well be.
QUESTION: But there's no proof.
TRUMP: There's no proof of anything. There's no proof of anything. But they could very well be. If you look at what that was building -- you know they were talking about 5 or 6,000 people.
I'm pretty good at estimating crowd sizes. You probably have figured that you tend to get a little bit off the real number. Last night, as an example, that was record setting stuff wasn't that (inaudible).
They don't want to talk about that but I will tell you -- let just tell you that I really -- I believe that ...
QUESTION: Pretty big.
TRUMP: That was pretty big. That was pretty impressive by any standard and these are great people. And -- and by the way, you vote (inaudible) the vote is -- and this could be with bad or indifference with democrats or republicans.
But the amount of voting is at a level that they've never seen before for the midterms. You heard that (ph) -- I mean I don't know whether I'm supposed to say that's good or bad, but I will tell you the amount of people voting is at a level (inaudible) that you've never seen at midterms.
A record level by a lot. So I think -- I think very -- I think there's a very good chance that you have people in there. I also think that there's a very good chance that over the course of the period of time you have or they don't have to necessarily be in that group.
But certainly you have people coming up through the southern border from the Middle East and other places that are not appropriate for our country. And I'm not letting them in. They're not coming in.
All right. They're not coming in. We're going to do whatever we have to, they're not coming in.