Tags: Homeland Security | ISIS/Islamic State | Religion | Russia | Syria | War on Terrorism | Dana Rohrabacher

Rep. Rohrabacher: Radical Islam Is Biggest Threat, Not Russia

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 11:35 AM

Seconds after beginning an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Tuesday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and show host Joe Scarborough began a heated argument over Russia and Syria.

The congressman threatened to walk out on the program, and the host eventually cut the lawmaker's mic when the arguments continued.

The arguing began when Scarborough asked Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, why the United States did nothing while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was "slaughtering his people, and the Russians stepped in and joined in on that slaughter."

"That's a question that's based on false premises," the Rohrabacher began, but he was interrupted by Scarborough.

"Well, you want me to answer your question?" Rohrabacher asked, with Scarborough retorting he did not want the lawmaker to "lie on my television show."

"Is this channel every time they ask a question, and somebody tries to answer the way they want to, they interrupt that guest?" Rohrabacher asked.

When Scarborough pushed, the congressman pulled out his earpiece and told the host, "if you're not going to let me say anything, it's good-bye . . . you don't want me to answer the question the way I'm going to answer the question."

However, he stayed on, arguing "we are at war with radical Islam. We are at war with people who want to destroy us. You're talking about a no-fly zone where we are shooting down Russian airplanes . . . we need to be working with the Russians to defeat radical Islam."

The congressman also argued the United States "aligned with Stalin in order to defeat Hitler," and while he acknowledged Stalin "murdered millions of people," Hitler was the bigger threat.

"Today, the biggest threat is radical Islam to our safety," he explained. "If we keep trying to focus on all of the faults of Russia so that we can't work with them to defeat this common enemy, you're not doing any service to the people of the United States or the cause of peace."

Rohrabacher also said there is "a lot of question" about whether people on the ground on Aleppo are civilians, and when he was told women and children are being killed, Rohrabacher responded "there is a lot of questions as to who those people are on the ground" and said there have been many people who claimed to be moderate Muslims, yet "we have ended up financing radical Islamists."

Former Ambassador Michael McFaul, also on the program, argued, for more than a year, Operation Inherent Resolve has been fighting, along with several thousand Saudis, to kill ISIS.

"What you're witnessing in Aleppo, there are some terrorists there, yes, but the majority of people there are innocent people," he said. "I don't believe that bombing Aleppo into rubble is going to defeat the terrorists. Exactly the contrary. The images of Aleppo are inspiring terrorists all over the world. That strategy is not going to work in the long term."

"Assad is not our enemy," Rohrabacher insisted. "Neither is Russia our enemy. The radical Islamists who have been murdering Americans by the thousands since 9/11."

MSNBC's Elise Jordan, jumping in, asked him what would happen if the United States becomes an "accomplice to evil," but Rohrabacher kept talking over her, resulting in Scarborough cutting his mic.

"What if we are an accomplice to evil? Should we be an accomplice to evil?" Jordan responded. "Are you endorsing the full scale embrace of authoritarian dictators who are murdering women and children?"

The congressman did come back on the air and started again, telling the show, "right now we are facing an enemy that wants to destroy Western civilization," just as the program was coming to an end.

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Seconds after beginning an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Tuesday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and show host Joe Scarborough began a heated argument over Russia and Syria.
Dana Rohrabacher, Aleppo, Joe Scarborough, radical Islam
Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 11:35 AM
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