Rivera: Alright, joining us now is Pete Hoekstra, who has just written an amazingly succinct assessment of what happened in the Middle East, for FoxNews.com. And he joins us now to talk about the take-down of the Russian aircraft. So welcome, Mr. Hoekstra. How are you doing?
Hoekstra: Geraldo, it's great to be with you. I'm doing fine, thank you.
Rivera: Now are you the, forgive me, I'm sorry, I should know this, are you the Pete Hoekstra who was the congressman who represented Michigan?
Hoekstra: I was a congressman. I've talked with you a number of times before, and I –
Rivera: Right. There's another Pete Hoekstra, who's a security expert, so I just wanted to know, you're the –
Hoekstra: [Crosstalk over few words.]
Rivera: You're the former Michigan congressman, GOP congressman, who was on the various intelligence committees, right?
Hoekstra: That is exactly right, yes.
Rivera: Right, alright. So forgive me my ignorance. [Hoekstra laughs.] I really apologize for it.
Hoekstra: Hey, you got the state right, I'm impressed.
Rivera: I [Rivera laughs], well I remember that. So Congressman, tell me, here's my scenario, here's my doomsday scenario. I don't believe what our fear in the immediate future should be is Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles or North Korea's mischief on the grand scale; I think that the most urgent immediate need is to watch the activities, the low-tech activities, like the Boston Marathon bombers, of Sunni Muslim extremists who get their hands on an explosive device, who either can access an aircraft like that, the Russian aircraft on the ground in Sharm el-Sheikh, or get it on board as passengers carrying something as small as a hand grenade, if they plant it with an egg timer, that goes off an hour after take-off, I think that that kind of stuff, walking in Grand Central Terminal here in New York City with a suitcase with an explosive device – to me that is the scariest thing. And if I may be so bold, I think that is the Trojan horse fear of the desire now to accept tens-of-thousands of refugees from the war-torn Middle East region into the country. What say you, Congressman Hoekstra?
Hoekstra: Geraldo, I think you're absolutely right. I think what we're going to find in this Egyptian, or this Russian aircraft crash, it's a tragic event, but probably a low-tech event, and that was an explosive. It may be a new way to sneak an explosive past you know the detection mechanisms that may be in place. Or what they found is they found a vulnerability in the security system at Sharm el-Sheikh. But you're also going to see you know, you're right, the bomb in you know outside a football stadium on a Saturday afternoon, a couple of people putting it together, those are exactly the kinds of things that we need to be worried about. And I think we're going to see an uptick in those kinds of attacks. Take a look at what's happening in Israel. They're promoting attacking people with knives. You know how low-tech can you get?
Rivera: Congressman, former Congressman Pete Hoekstra is my guest, a man deeply schooled in the world of intelligence. What about you know here in New York City, the NYPD severely criticized for its surveillance of various Muslim groups, either student groups or mosques, and so forth. Where do you draw the line, Congressman? How do you balance the rights of those folks, who I understand why they're upset, it's obvious, and the also obvious pool of potential recruits coming just demographically from this one corner of society?
Hoekstra: Well you know Geraldo you're the lawyer, so there are legal protections for Americans and people who are in the United States in regards to what surveillance can be and how far exactly we need to go and can go, so obviously we stay within the law, but and at the same time we need to target our activities where we think the threat's going to be coming from. Now the interesting thing is we, I work with Steve Emerson at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, you know we just discovered a manual, the latest manual from ISIS, and what they are now training their lone wolves to do, or the people that may attack in the West, is the manual tells them you know – don't go to the places where they would expect you to be. Don't be in the mosque, don't have a long beard, don't do these types of things, sit in with the normal, you know, regular Americans that may not arouse as much suspicion. And you're absolutely right that the Trojan horse coming in, and I worry specifically about the numbers going into Europe, but also the ones coming into the United States, but especially in Europe these people have not assimilated very well, the ones that come in that have radical tendencies from the get-go we need to worry about those, but if they're not assimilated, they become frustrated, and they become the potential terrorists you know for five, 10 years out.
Rivera: I totally agree with that. Alright, we're talking with Pete Hoekstra, the former chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. He's on this Investigative Project on Terrorism with our old buddy Steve Emerson. We don't always agree, Steve and I, but you can't doubt his sincerity.
Rivera: Let me ask you, as a former Republican congressman, what do you think of this race? What do you think of Trump? There's a new Fox News poll out that shows Trump ahead of Ben Carson 26 to 23. And it's just fascinating to see you have a whole bunch of candidates. Let me ask you a very, very specific question. You have a whole bunch of candidates right now. At the bottom of the barrel, who, let me, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Lindsay Graham, Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, our former governor here in New York, all at zero or below zero. Should they drop out and just give us the dignity of a graceful withdrawal?
Hoekstra: I think it would help clean up the field. It's hard to tell them. They've all invested a lot of time, money and energy into you know their dream of becoming the president of the United States, but I think relatively soon they ought to consider dropping out of the race. We need to narrow this field down, give the people you know, allow them to take a look at a more narrow field, make their judgments, go to New Hampshire, go to Iowa, and hopefully we get to a nominee relatively quickly. Our focus has to be, we've got a lot of good candidates, but the focus is not winning the primary; it's winning an election in November.
Rivera: So how do you convey that message to someone like Rick Santorum, former senator; Bobby Jindal is a sitting governor; Lindsay Graham is a sitting senator; Gilmore and Pataki had pretty you know noteworthy careers – how do you tell them to for the good of the party, for the good of the country really, just get out, so the noise level at least is more focused?
Hoekstra: I think this is one where you, you know their friends need to go to them and have that discussion. I don't think it's the duty of the party, or whatever, but this is a discussion of friends. I've run for higher office, I ran for governor of Michigan, you know I'll tell you, these are all-consuming efforts. You put your heart and soul into doing the best you can to get the right kind of result. Once you're in you want to stay in all the way through the end. And pulling out before the first ballots are cast, and that, I've got to imagine is a very, very hard and difficult decision. And so you know this is where you really have to lean on your friends, and some friends need to go to them and say – hey you ran, you put in a great effort for the good of the party, as you said for the good of the party, the good of the country, you know you're not going to win this thing, you know pick a horse and make your impact that way, help us focus on November.
Rivera: Amen to that. Congressman Pete Hoekstra. Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya – is that the book on which the article in FoxNews.com is based, Congressman?
Hoekstra: That's where part of it comes from, yes. It's been out now three weeks. We're doing very, very well. So thanks for giving it a plug.
Rivera: Architects of Disaster by Pete Hoekstra, I recommend it. I absolutely agree with this whole thesis on how you really have to look at the speeches and the positions taken by the Obama administration. In fairness, you have to recognize how naïve they were, when the president for example, as Pete writes, declared that America, quote, 'will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist,' when discussing, quote, 'those who cling to power through corruption and deceit in the silencing of dissent.' The result of what the president said is that Egypt was almost destroyed when we allowed the Muslim Brotherhood regime to take over, Libya went from being a relatively orderly country that had voluntarily surrendered its nuclear weapons into this, as Pete says, malignant tumor in North Africa, that spreads the cancer of weapons, training and ideology throughout the broader region. Well written. Congressman, I appreciate you coming on. Thanks, Pete.
Hoekstra: Always good to be with you. Thanks, Geraldo.