Secretary Mattis on border security - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Secretary Mattis on border security

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of Defense James Mattis says any military assistance to step up border enforcement would follow current law and congressional mandate.

President Trump last week said the U.S. would be guarding the southwest border "with our military."

When asked about that assertion, Mattis said he's evaluating how to best support the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border law enforcement.

"We're looking at how we can best provide the support to the Department of Homeland Security," Mattis said. "We'll figure it out and it will be consistent with law and the spirit of Congress. No problem."

Earlier this week, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said some border fencing and barriers are on Defense Department property, and the DOD could bolster fencing in those areas.