Rep. Zinke: Obama in 'denial' about threat of Islamic extremism

Congressman discusses the brutal ISIS video


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 3, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: My next guest also met with Jordan's King Abdullah earlier today. He is a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and served as a commander of SEAL Team Six, also as commander of the Joint Special Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke joins us right now.

Congressman, thank you for being with us. You want an authorization, a congressional authorization for the use of force, and your argument is, is that the president's strategy of air strikes alone is not working, and will not work.

REP. RYAN ZINKE, R-MONT.: Well, it won't work. And...


HANNITY: It will work or it won't work?

ZINKE: It will not work. And you heard the president's comments. He has yet to say the words "Islamic terrorist organizations." So first, we have to identify what we're fighting, separate it from mainstream. And yes, it will take troops on the ground in the form of logistics, medical supplies, ammunition, fuel and special operations forces. This is not new.  Air operations alone will not be effective against ISIS.

HANNITY: You know, I want to first go back to the map that I showed in the last segment, Congressman, because the president was asked very specifically -- he was told that, Hey, ISIS has gained territory. This is a map of the area of influence. We had control of most of that territory when he became the president of the United States. ISIS has since taken it over. And they've taken it over in Syria, as well. Then we have the Institute for the Study of War showing northwest Africa, Somalia, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, all of these areas now controlled by ISIS since January of 2015.

Then the president makes this comment. And I want to play this for our audience here, where he says 99.9 percent of Muslims want exactly what we want. Do you agree with this? This is what he said.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There is an element growing out of Muslim communities in certain parts of the world that have perverted the religion, have embraced a nihilistic, violent, almost medieval interpretation of Islam. An overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don't even recognize it as being Islam. It's very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we're looking for.


HANNITY: Is the president not aware of sharia law and how implemented and literally how it's interpreted in the most repressive way possible, values that are the antithesis of values we believe in this country? Is he missing that?

ZINKE: I think he's in denial. Again, he doesn't say the words -- he can't say the words. Even the king of Jordan can say that this is a battle between (ph) Islam. And our duty as a leader of the free nation is to show strength and resolve. We have to separate the radical Islam organization from mainstream Islam. You know, when Jordan steps up and the world is now looking at Jordan is leading, where are we?

HANNITY: All right...

ZINKE: Where is this administration?

HANNITY: Agree. All right. So you spoke to the king today. Tell us about that conversation through the prism that you believe that America has to be willing to put boots on the ground. In what capacity? And what did the king say?

ZINKE: You know, basically, articulated that it is a war between Islam and Islam. But we can, as their ally, provide substantial assistance. And that's fuel and weapons and expertise. It takes, you know, people with skills, special forces to direct our air to the right targets. It takes blocking forces. It takes embedded, you know, soldiers.  So U.S. needs to take the lead in providing the support necessary for the Sunni tribes, the Kurds, and...

HANNITY: So the king is right, though. The king is basically saying that without the America's expertise and technology, and not necessarily boots on the ground in battle -- without us providing that support, we can't win. We can't push them back from that territory of the map that I just showed.

ZINKE: Well, immediately, we need to provide fuel, bombs, weaponry and assistance, targeting data. It's very difficult to find targeting data when you don't have boots on the ground and you're doing everything from the air. So yes, they need help. But also, you know, the U.S. -- the world is looking to the U.S. to lead. How ironic now is it Jordan is now in the leadership position.

HANNITY: How ironic. And if the king is willing -- really, probably putting his life on the line, as is General el Sisi by confronting radical Islamists in Egypt, the least we can do is support them in their fight so we don't have to go. All right, Congressman...

ZINKE: I agree. I agree. It is about getting the Sunnis to fight, the Kurds, and it is an Islam battle. But certainly, we can help substantially.

HANNITY: All right, Congressman, I agree with you on the need for congressional action on that. Thank you for being with us.

ZINKE: God bless.

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