Pete Hoekstra agrees there's no specific threat to the U.S. in the wake of the London attacks, that he has confidence in the intel community to ascertain threats, but that he believes they are "overwhelmed". We need to get rid of political correctness and describe the the threat accurately. He emphasizes the need for a global coalition to combat this threat. He pinpoints UK's immigration policy as one of the reasons this threat exists there, and believes that executive tools like President Trump's travel ban should be considered.
Jarrett: Joining us now with his insight, Pete Hoekstra. He's the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former representative for Michigan's 2nd District. Congressman, thanks again for being with us. No specific credible threat to the United States. Those are the words from the Department of Homeland Security this evening in the wake of the terrorist attack in London. Do you believe that?
Hoekstra: Oh, absolutely. I think you know we do have a great law enforcement capability here. They do a phenomenal job. It is true that if they had a specific and credible threat identified, they probably wouldn't tell us until they had eliminated it, but, no, I don't think there is a, I tend to believe them, absolutely.
Jarrett: As a former chairman of the House Intel Committee, how much confidence do you have in the intelligence community when it comes to discerning potential acts of terrorism?
Hoekstra: I think they're very good, but as we're seeing now, whether it's in U.K. or other parts of Europe, you know our intelligence communities are overwhelmed. They face the threat of you know what's going on today in North Korea, what's going on in Northern Africa, Libya, what's going on in Syria, Iraq, Iran, and then the threat of terrorism on the continent in Europe or the continent here. They are overwhelmed. They're very good, but they're overwhelmed.
Jarrett: So, what should be done about that?
Hoekstra: Well, I mean you know you've got to go after each threat individually and design its own strategy according, you know after radical Islam, you've got to eliminate the safe-havens in Libya, Iraq and Syria. You need to develop a global coalition to go after these entities and absolutely destroy them. We need to get rid of political correctness. We need to identify the threat for what it is.
Hoekstra: I listened to the Mayor in London talk, it's almost exactly the same as what he said you know a couple of months ago, with the other attack on the bridge. I think the citizens of London and the U.K. are going to demand more of their politicians. They said the right thing for tonight, but tomorrow or you know for what is now Sunday in the U.K., the citizens are going to demand more answers.
Jarrett: Speaking to the safe-havens to which you refer, Iraq and Syria, for the terrorists, are you disappointed that more nations in that region, Arab nations in particular, have not done more?
Hoekstra: Absolutely. That's why I think the president went to Saudi Arabia and addressed the leaders of many of these countries. They need to step up, they need to do the funding, but more importantly, they need to get their armies involved in this fight against this threat. They also need the religious leaders in that part of the world to stand up and condemn radical Islam and call it the heresy that they claim it is.
Jarrett: With every new attack, and you know just in the last couple of weeks, we've seen it in London, does it underscore the need for the president's travel ban?
Hoekstra: I think so. I think if the, when the U.K. does a deep-dive as to why they have the problems that they have today, they're going to find and they're going to realize, and I think their politicians know this and I think the people of the U.K. know this, they just haven't been willing to acknowledge it, the reason they have these issues today is because of their immigration policies, their lack of assimilation, their lack of vetting as to who they were letting into the country over the last 20 years. We can't make the same mistakes here in the United States. We need strong vetting, we need thorough vetting, especially from individuals coming from failed states. And then the people that we do let in, we need to make sure that we've got strong assimilation programs.
Jarrett: Well, the events, tragic as they are, may get the attention of the Supreme Court, which will now invariably deal with it. Pete Hoekstra, thanks so much for being with us.
Hoekstra: Right, yep, thank you.