Rep. [crscore]Peter King[/crscore] and MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski engaged in a heated debate over the viability and quality of the vetting process that would allow Syrian refugees into America.
Tuesday on “Morning Joe” King explained, “I’m extremely concerned because what the president is telling us is not true. We cannot vet the refugees from Syria.”
PETER KING: I’m extremely concerned because what the president is telling us is not true. We cannot vet the refugees from Syria. There are no databases to work against. There are no government records. And when I talk to people involved in the vetting, they have no confidence at all in the people that are being allowed in. There’s no way. People talk about thorough vetting, there is no vetting as a practical matter. That is the reality.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Hold on a second. There is vetting.
KING: There is not. Mika —
BRZEZINSKI: “There are face-to-face interviews, there’s health screenings. Often it takes two years for a family to get here.
KING: Mika, you’re entirely wrong. You are wrong, you are wrong.
BRZEZINSKI: Actually, sir, I think you’re wrong.
KING: I met with the people doing the interviews. I’m talking to the people involved in the highest levels of government. They tell us that they have no confidence at all. This is not proper vetting. I’m telling you that.
BRZEZINSKI: But the vetting is happening whether you like it or not.
KING: No, it is not a real vetting. You can’t vet if you have nothing to base it against. You are wrong, Mika. You are 1,000 percent wrong, W-R-O-N-G.
BRZEZINSKI: So meeting face-to-face and screening them and interviewing them and often making them wait months and years — that is not a vetting process?
KING: That is not vetting. That is not vetting. No, it is not. You cannot vet unless you have material to base it —
BRZEZINSKI: So should we say, ‘Syrians, stay out of America, you’re not welcome here?’
KING: Mika, we’re not saying Syrians. We’re saying these refugees. Unless we know who the refugees are, we cannot be allowing them in. My job is to protect Americans, not to feel good about myself, not to say that I’m doing something humanitarian. If Americans get killed because we are letting people in because they are not properly vetted — they cannot be properly vetted. How many times am I supposed to tell you this, Mika? You are wrong. They cannot, and it puts American lives at risk.
Host Joe Scarborough then asked King to explained why Brzezinski was wrong. King responded because “there are no databases whatsoever. They have no records to base it against. They have no idea who these people are. A person could say he is John Jones. They don’t know who he is, and I’m talking to people at the highest level.”
Scarborough then asked King, “So let me ask you a question that Hugh Hewitt asked Chris Christie yesterday. What if it’s a five-year-old orphan?” (RELATED: Christie: No Syrian Refugees In America, Not Even ‘Orphans Under The Age Of Five’ [VIDEO])
King said, “Sure, let the five-year old orphan in,” because “a five-year old orphan is no threat.”
Regarding women and children, King said, “We have women terrorists, absolutely we’re concerned about women coming in. Women and men are both — unfortunately ISIS is an equal opportunity employer. And you can have women and men who can both be involved as terrorists. Absolutely.”
King expressed trepidation accepting Syrian refugees because, “We’re dealing with an organization which is involved in terrorist activity.”
“When you know that ISIS is going to attempt to infiltrate terrorists with those refugees, that puts the U.S. directly at risk,” explained King. “Unit we can come up with some system, and I don’t know how we will, I would say we should try to find a sanctuary for them in the Middle East. But until then, we cannot put Americans at risk.”
Since we know ISIS has the “capacity” to hide terrorists among refugees, “coming from New York I don’t want [to allow Syrian refugees into America] because we want to feel good and do what we think is the right thing, allow somebody into this country who is going to be killing people in the New York subway system or Bloomingdales or Macy’s, or attack the Thanksgiving day parade.”
Regarding governors deciding not to allow Syrian refugees into their states, King said they don’t have the right, explaining, “I think that under the law, the president and the State Department has the final word. The president has to consult with governors but he has the final say.” (RELATED: Growing List Of Governors Say They Won’t Accept Syrian Refugees)