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In interviews with "Axios on HBO," two top immigration officials echoed claims from President Trump that immigration at the Mexican border is an "invasion."

The big picture: Trump received pushback for using the term, with critics saying it demonizes immigrants and sounds too reminiscent of war. Acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan and acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli told "Axios on HBO" that it was a justified way to represent the situation at the southern border.

What they're saying:

  • Cuccinelli to "Axios on HBO": "I think that when a large number of people attempt to overwhelm your system, that is an invasion, and that is what has happened. Our system is not designed for the kind of numbers we're seeing. Are there rapists and criminals in here? You bet there are."
  • Morgan to "Axios on HBO": "What would you call 1 million people in 12 months — 1 million people that attempted to illegally enter this country? What would you call it?"

Morgan further claimed that "invasion" is a worthy term for "a crisis problem," adding, "I don't think the issue is to quibble over what terminology or adjective."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 pandemic was "preventable disaster," WHO-commissioned report says

A health worker gives a COVID-19 test to a woman in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

The COVID-19 pandemic was a "preventable disaster" that exposed weak links "at every point" of the preparedness process, according to a World Health Organization-commissioned report published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response criticized governments worldwide for being unprepared for the pandemic despite the prevalence of past "global health threats," such as Ebola, Zika, and SARS outbreaks.

Don McGahn agrees to House panel interview on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about the Russia investigation that led to the impeachment trial of former President Trump — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.