As President Donald Trump partially backed away from his claim this week that Middle Easterners have infiltrated a migrant caravan moving through Mexico, U.S. Sen. James Lankford said the president’s theory was not a random or unfounded accusation.

“We’ve seen several folks that are coming from the Middle East and from different areas of Asia getting into the human smuggling caravans that do move from Central America up into the United States,” the Republican senator told reporters Tuesday in Oklahoma City, referring to past caravans, not one currently heading toward the U.S. border.

“We’ve been able to pick those up, both in Guatemala and in Honduras, and in Mexico often. We’ve seen some of those here. ... It’s not large numbers but that’s not just some random theory or accusation. That has been factually proven to be true,” Lankford said.

The caravan of migrants fleeing hardships in Central America has made its way into southern Mexico. It remains at least 1,000 miles from its destination, the American border, but has nonetheless become a topic of political discussion in the U.S. as the Nov. 6 midterm elections near.

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