Fox Business Network “Varney & Co.” host Stuart Varney and Representative and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton (D-MA) clashed over the House bill putting a pause on Syrian refugees on Friday.
Moulton argued that the US shouldn’t put a pause on admitting Syrian refugees because “the vetting process that’s already in place is as strict as for any traveler coming to the United States, and it works, 18 to 24 months for someone to come here. So, the idea is that ISIS is going to get someone in Syria today and send them over here tomorrow is completely wrong. But even more, secondly, passing this bill is playing right into ISIS’ hands. You are making it easier for ISIS to recruit people here at home, and that’s how they work.”
Varney then cut in to ask, “if we suggest that we don’t want Syrian refugees coming here at this time, we encourage recruitment for ISIS over there?” Moulton responded that it wouldn’t make it easier for ISIS to recruit in the Middle East, but “we’re worried about an attack here.”
Varney interjected, “We take the risk on your behalf?”
Moulton answered, “we’re not taking it on our behalf. We’re trying to make America safer. We’re trying to make it hard for ISIS to recruit people here, because that’s what they do. They didn’t just send refugees into Paris for the attacks, they recruited people in Paris. That’s what they’re going to work on here. they had people–
Varney objected that the source of many attacks “has been a domestic Muslim population, some of whom become terrorists. t’s happened in America. It has happened in Europe, and people are dying, and you want to expand the domestic Muslim population and you say that that keeps us safer, does it?”
Moulton countered that Varney’s contention was wrong, “because what’s happening is they are radicalizing this domestic population, you actually hit the nail on the head. It’s a domestic population.”
Varney then asked if letting in more people would lead to deradicalization? Moulton stated that people become radicalized because “they are different, that the American values that we all hold up, that are written on the base of the Statue of Liberty do not apply to Syrians, or to Muslims. That’s what is exactly — that’s exactly what ISIS wants. That’s what they need as a propaganda tool to radicalize people here at home.”
Varney then said that the bill that passed the House was only to pause the inflow of Syrian migrants to ensure they were properly vetted, to which Moulton maintained they already are properly vetted.
Varney then asked, “if one of those people comes into America, that you want to bring in here, and one of them kills an American, will you take responsibility for that?”
Moulton then asked him, “What happens if ISIS uses this bill to radicalize people here at home, to conduct attacks? Because that’s what they’re doing. You even said that yourself. They’re radicalizing Muslims, here at home, to conduct attacks. That’s what they’re doing, and your bill is playing into their hands.” During this, Varney began repeatedly asking Moulton if he would answer the previous question.
Varney again asked Moulton if he would take responsibility for any deaths caused by Syrian refugees brought into the US. Moulton said, “I take responsibility for my vote, and I’m proud of it, because I know it’s in the national security interest of the United States.” He further said he wouldn’t vote for something that “plays into the hands of ISIS.”
Moulton then asked Varney, “Will you take responsibility, as someone who supports this bill, if they use it as a propaganda tool, to recruit Muslims here at home, to attack us in America?”
Varney responded, “They will use this for propaganda at any point in any possible way.”
Moulton then said that ISIS is different from al Qaeda because ISIS recruits people already in the US, while al Qaeda recruited overseas and sent people to the US.
Varney then argued that people won’t be radicalized “if you put a pause on Muslim refugees coming here.” Moulton responded, “Oh, they will use this, they will use every advantage they can, and we cannot do that.” Varney countered, “They’ll use anything…if we let them in, they’ll use it.”
Moulton then said, “American values are timeless. We don’t have caveats on Americans values.” Varney cut in, “we don’t have caveats on American security, sir.”
Moulton responded, “As someone who’s fought four tours in Iraq, I understand that.” He added that he believes in both “American values” and national security, and wouldn’t do “anything to play into the hands of ISIS, to make it easier for them to recruit terrorists, whether at home or abroad, and that’s what this bill does.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett