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Interviews

John McCain vs. Code Pink

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 3, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: Factor follow up segment tonight, last night, Senator John McCain excoriated, word of the day, excoriated the protest group Code Pink. The senator believes and video tapes backs it up that Code Pink got little too close to 980-year-old Henry Kissinger in a protest last week in Washington.

Here to reply the co-founder of that organization Medea Benjamin. Medea, I will give you 30 seconds to, you know, defend the organization. Go.

MEDEA BENJAMIN, CO-FOUNDER OF CODE PINK: Well, first, let's be clear. We didn't physically assault anybody. They were plastic handcuffs. We were careful not to touch Henry Kissinger or anybody else there. This is using our First Amendment right to free speech. And I think the O'Reilly Factor should applaud that people care enough to get up there and do this kind of things.

O'REILLY: It depends how you do it. I mean, George Schultz's wife says that one of your people bumped into her, that's what she says.

BENJAMIN: No.

O'REILLY: How do you know? I mean, there were a lot of people there.

BENJAMIN: Because look at the tape. Let's look at the tape. We certainly didn't do that. We are peace activists, Bill, we don't hit people and we don't create wars.

O'REILLY: Anyway, McCain got mad at you. Kissinger has a broken shoulder, he is 91-years-old. You might have picked another target. I know you don't like Kissinger and the crew. But he is 91 with a bad shoulder. So, I wouldn't have done it if I were you. But now, I'm glad you are on so we can talk about something substantive. You heard today that ISIS burned the Jordanian pilot to death. And I am sure you know that they've massacred and slaughtered thousands of people. Code Pink, what's your group's assessment, how would you stop all these murders from ISIS?

BENJAMIN: We think that the U.S. invasion of Iraq, that John McCain was such a supporter of, actually opened the way to the creation of ISIS.

O'REILLY: Okay. But that doesn't really matter now, does it?

BENJAMIN: It does matter now, because it shows the history that U.S. military intervention only creates more extremism.

O'REILLY: All right. Let's say I agree with you --

BENJAMIN: We have allies like Saudi Arabia that are funding the extremists, we have allies like Turkey that are letting the extremists cross the border that are sending weapons in. We should get our allies like the Turks and the Saudis to stop the recruits, stop the funding, and stop the weapons.

O'REILLY: Okay. So you are saying that the Code Pink strategy, you want to stop ISIS. Right? Even though, you're peace people, you want to stop them? Right?

BENJAMIN: Well, because we are peace people we want to stop them.

O'REILLY: Okay, you want to stop them. Okay.

BENJAMIN: We want to stop all violence, that's what we are about. We are about living at peace in the world.

O'REILLY: And they're leading the league in violence followed by the Taliban and al-Qaeda. So, you want to stop them but your strategy Code Pink is to get Turkey in Saudi Arabia to do it.

BENJAMIN: No. It's to get all of the allies together to say how can we stop the recruits? How can we stop the money and how can we stop the weapons?

O'REILLY: Okay. That's a bit theoretical, isn't it?

BENJAMIN: That's how we isolate ISIS, and then we support the groups in the country.

O'REILLY: A little theoretical.

BENJAMIN: Yes. It's terrible but U.S. intervention is making it worse because we have seen what intervention -- let's look what intervention has done.

O'REILLY: Okay, but Medea, you have got a human being set on fire today, all right?

BENJAMIN: You supported the intervention in Libya, you supported intervention in Yemen. All of those have actually made ISIS stronger, the Taliban stronger, al Qaeda stronger. Boko Haram, they are all stronger because of intervention.

O'REILLY: Okay. I don't buy any of that, but your philosophy today, after the man was burned to death, the Japanese guys are beheaded, the Americans were beheaded, your philosophy today, Code Pink, says get Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other allies, we all get into a big room and we figure out how to stop the recruiting? That's your solution or do I have it wrong?

BENJAMIN: I said the recruiting, the funding, the weapons, the sale of oil, all of that.

O'REILLY: How long do you think that would take?

BENJAMIN: To stop. And the ones who can do the best work actually are our great friends the Saudis. Because it's their extremist Wahhabi ideology that is the basis.

O'REILLY: Okay. So, we depend on the Saudis to defeat ISIS and al Qaeda and the Taliban. They are the ones that ought to do it?

BENJAMIN: I think the best thing we could do is get our allies to stop funding them. That would be the number one thing to do.

O'REILLY: Okay. It's a little hard Medea since the funding goes all over the place. But all right. Look, I'm glad you came on and we always want to hear what you have to say. Thanks Medea.

BENJAMIN: Thanks for having me on.

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