This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 22, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK STEYN, GUEST HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." Days after Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of becoming ISIS's best recruiter, the GOP front-runner is firing back in a huge way!
I'm Mark Steyn, in for Sean. Last night, during a massive rally in Michigan, Donald Trump went after his Democratic rival by slamming her debate performance, questioning her honesty, and even poking fun at her mid-debate trip to the bathroom. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You see Hillary? I mean, did you watch that? What happened to her? No, she's terrible. She's terrible! Donald Trump is on video and ISIS is using him on the video to recruit! And it turned out to be a lie. She's a liar.
And the last person that she wants to run against is me, believe me. Believe me. What happened to her? I'm watching the debate, and she disappeared! Where did she go? Where did she go? I thought she quit! I thought she gave up. Where did she go? Where did Hillary go? They had to start the debate without her!
I know where she went. Disgusting! I don't want to talk about it. No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it. It's disgusting. Let's not -- we want to be very, very straight up, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEYN: Joining me now to break down this developing feud between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams and Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce.
So presumably, Tammy, she was fact checking ISIS videos during this alleged bathroom break.
TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's hard to know really what she was doing. I mean, look, she had what she started with, which was an opinion that he's -- you know, is being used or can be used for ISIS recruitment, but then she had to go further. She had to do what Hillary does, which is exaggerate and go to the point of perhaps the lie. And that's when she got into trouble.
So I think that the campaign wants to use this theory that he's being used for recruitment, but then she went to the point of more drama. We know this is her issue. This is not a debate. She makes things up. The problem for the campaign is that it reminds the American people why she's so untrustworthy, why they don't like her and why they think that she doesn't belong in the White House.
STEYN: Well, let's just hear her today, earlier today, doubling down on her claim about Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What you're hearing from some of the Republicans, most particularly Mr. Trump, about Muslims is not only dangerous, it's shameful. And if you go on Arabic television, as we have, and you look at what is being blasted out, with video of Mr. Trump being translated into Arabic, No Muslims coming to the United States, other kinds of derogatory, defamatory statements, it is playing into the hands of the violent jihadists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEYN: Juan, isn't this ridiculous? I mean, ISIS uses snuff videos, people beheading people to recruit people. They don't use speeches by Donald Trump. He's got the better of this argument, don't you think?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Not at all. I'm kind of surprised that you and Tammy are trying -- are you guys out here defending Donald Trump? Is that the point? Because The fact is, I don't think there's any argument in America that what Donald Trump has said on the stump has offended Muslims worldwide and is used by jihadists when they talk about the extreme positions of some Americans.
STEYN: Wait a minute. So you're saying that in Saudi Arabia, they're offended that Trump doesn't want Muslims to come to America, when in Saudi Arabia, you go to jail if you're caught with the Bible, and there's a big sign on the interstate as you approach Mecca saying, Non-Muslims, get off this exit.
WILLIAMS: I guess you think Saudi Arabia's the equivalent of the United States, but I love America and I know America's not Saudi and those are not the rules for Americans. So in America, you can say what you want. You can stay on the highway, Mark, but I do think that you are held accountable for what you say.
And in this case, there are people who are, I think, on the right would say, Oh, this is indicative of Hillary's trouble with the truth. Except, look, that is fantastical. That is appealing to a larger issue for Hillary, which is very real, her honesty.
But this, in fact, is the truth. He says awful things about Muslims that offends Muslims and fires up the worst...
STEYN: Wait a minute! Wait a minute, Juan! Of all people, you were fired by NPR for saying awful things about Muslims!
WILLIAMS: I spoke the truth, which is that I get scared if I see people in Muslim garb getting on a plane. But that's separate. I mean, I think you have to have an honest debate, and an honest debate would say, Mr. Trump, this is what you said. Buddy, you got to live with it.
BRUCE: Here's the problem, though. It's what Hillary said. She wasn't implying anything. She said there were recruiting videos. All fact checkers, FOX News, New York Times have determined that to be false.
WILLIAMS: That's true.
BRUCE: That's the issue.
STEYN: Kirsten, what's -- what's going on here? Are we getting a preview of how a Hillary-Trump presidential contest is going to go?
KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think we may be. I mean, it's interesting. You know, in a way, I think the attack that he's making on her probably helps her because she is probably dreaming of him making this sort of war on women type attacks, right, so she can play that card.
I think on this issue of the accusation that she made, it seems to me have been based on a story that was sort of exaggerated. And so when -- with the clip you played, though, she was -- she made it seem like she had seen it or somebody who was working for her had seen it.
And so I think I agree with Trump -- with Juan to the extent that probably, you know, Trump is not great for the American image. But they do need to have some sort of evidence that someone's using this to recruit jihadists. I don't think that she can just go out and say that unless it is supported, and like you said, multiple fact checkers have said that there really isn't any evidence that this has happened. Doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but you know, they need to show that it has.
STEYN: Let's have a look at the Quinnipiac poll, Kirsten, which is the latest update on what the American people make of Hillary's honesty. Would you say that Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy? No, 59 percent.
Tammy, you seem to be saying it's just -- she couldn't resist. It's like when she claimed to have been named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Everest, who didn't conquer Everest until five years after she was born. It's a kind of strangely unnecessary lie...
BRUCE: It is.
STEYN: ... to get into.
BRUCE: It's a compulsion. That's the problem. It's a habit. But in this case, you've got a problem because there is an ISIS recruitment video that now we've seen that features her husband and Barack Obama and John Kerry. So we have that.
But my problem -- I'm not on the Trump train.
BRUCE: And yet there are events that are occurring that are having people like me have to defend him, reminding the average American that, Wait a minute, there's a reason why we don't like the establishment. Donald Trump seems to be an alternative. And he ends up actually being right. He ends up perhaps, but not being what the left accuses him of being, but maybe they're doing some projection themselves.
STEYN: To pick up that point, Kirsten, Tammy says she's not a Trump person. I don't suppose anybody in Yemen is a Trump person. Isn't the reality here that they actually don't -- they know about Democrats or Republicans? They hate all the infidels. So you know, in a sense, they hate Trump, yes, but they hate Bernie Sanders and they hate Martin O'Malley and they hate Francois Hollande. So why does this even matter in that sense, Kirsten?
POWERS: Well, but I think that you could see a situation where they could, if they wanted to -- and that's what the article that Hillary was citing actually said. It wasn't that it had happened, but there were security experts that were saying this could be used, this is the type of thing that you could use to sort of prove -- you know, it's just another nail in the coffin. It's not -- but yes, it's not the cause of their hatred, but it's another way to show that Americans are anti-Islam or hate Muslims. And so that's actually what the article said, it didn't -- it didn't say that it actually had happened.
STEYN: President Bush once said to me a terrific line. He should have put it on a bumper sticker about eight or nine years ago. I was with him, and the subject of things that offend the Islamic world came up. And he said, Oh, you know, if it's not the Crusades, it's the cartoons, meaning it can be anything from geopolitical conflict to a cartoon in an obscure Danish newspaper.
So why worry about it all? I mean, isn't that -- isn't that actually the reality here that...
WILLIAMS: No. I mean, why worry about it is a very interesting point of conversation, Mark, because for you and I, you know, for all of us here tonight, it's, like, Why worry about it? If it's just among us, we will speak freely. We'll have an honest debate, a very vigorous one.
But the reality is, we have Muslim allies in the world that we rely on for our security. We have people that we work with. We have Muslims among us in this country. They are our neighbors. They are fellow citizens. And there's no need to antagonize them.
And I think that's why President Bush, if you're talking about George W., immediately after 9/11 made it clear this is not a war against Islam, this is a war against the forces of evil in the world.
STEYN: Yes, but Tammy, there are limits to that. And don't you get the sense that Trump's numbers among Republicans and Democrats, actually, for this subject indicate that the American people would like -- they don't feel they're being told the truth when John Kerry says Paris is nothing to do with Islam.
BRUCE: Well, we've seen a decline in our safety. We've seen a decline in the condition of the world. We also know and we agree that, in fact, this is not every Muslim, that this is some weird cultic dynamic happening in Islam. As a result, we reject the idea that if you scratch the surface of the average Muslim, there's a genocidal jihadi underneath, that we can, in fact, have this conversation and condemn the Islamists without worrying that Muslims everywhere are going to turn against us. And yet that is the liberal argument!
BRUCE: The liberal argument is, Watch out because they're all going to turn against us. Well, in fact, that is the argument we need to reject and we've been told to reject. So we see the truth on the ground. That is what speaks to us.
STEYN: Yes, that's a good point, actually. It's the liberal argument that says Islam is this monolith. Thanks a lot, guys. Great discussion.
Coming up -- Bowe Bergdahl was in court earlier today and arraigned on charges that could put him behind bars for life. Our panel and Rudy Giuliani will have reaction.
And later, President Obama tells campus protesters to be more open to opposing viewpoints. Perhaps he should start listening to his own advice.
All that plus "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade will be here in studio. Stay with us.
STEYN: Welcome back to "Hannity." After disappearing from a U.S. Army base in Afghanistan in 2009 and then being held captive by the Taliban for five years, Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was formally charged by the U.S. military with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, was arraigned in court today, but deferred entering a plea. If convicted of misbehavior before the enemy, Bergdahl could face a life sentence, and the desertion charge carries a maximum five-year sentence additionally.
Joining me now with reaction are FOX News contributor and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Pete Hegseth, FOX News national security analyst K.T. McFarland and FOX News military analyst General Bob Scales.
Pete, this is kind of a big deal. Here is a soldier who was celebrated in the Rose Garden and by the highest figures in the administration, and he is facing life imprisonment. How did this situation come about?
PETE HEGSETH, CONCERNED VETERANS FOR AMERICA: As he should. It sure is a big deal because, first of all, he -- the fact of the members who were with him and others that have really looked closely at this case is that he did desert and that he put the lives of men who were looking for him at risk and cost lives of brave Americans who were looking for a soldier who they knew willingly left his post.
It's important for that reason, but it's also become a bellwether, really, of our military and of the prosecution of this war.
Are we going to allow a deserter who was traded for five of the worst Taliban killers and then celebrated in the Rose Garden, even though we knew he had deserted -- is he going to go free, or will the military justice system really -- really break free of politics, dig down deep and go after a guy who, it appears -- and again, a lot of this is going to be -- is going to be fleshed out in trial, but appears did indeed desert, if you look at those who were closest to him and actually try him and potentially give him life in prison for putting lives at risk, which is exactly what he did.
STEYN: Yes, everything that Pete says, K.T., was presumably known to the president...
K.T. MCFARLAND, FOX NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes.
STEYN: ... and the national security adviser and everybody else on the day they held that ceremony with his parents at the White House. So what the hell was up with those guys?
MCFARLAND: You know, I think it speaks to a bigger issue, which is that the president has a complete disconnect to the American armed forces. I don't think he appreciates their values or their sacrifices. He was looking for a quick PR victory. And so what did he do? He had a big Rose Garden ceremony.
He doesn't have Rose Garden ceremonies for other military heroes who have gone to great lengths and at great sacrifice for the nation. And the fact that the president -- you know, it's a lot of big things, but it's a lot of little things. It's little stuff, like he doesn't even salute when he gets off the Marine Air Force One, the helicopter when he arrives at the White House. He doesn't go to the Army/Navy game.
It's a disconnect and I think a disrespect to the American armed forces. When I worked for President Reagan, it was a very different relationship between the president and the men and women in uniform. And I think it speaks to the mindset of President Obama.
I think it speaks to his inability to appreciate the sacrifices that they're making at all times of year, and they've -- and the fact that they're putting their lives on the line to carry out his policies, which on many occasions, he's come back to us after the fact and said, Oh, I didn't think it would work anyway.
STEYN: How did you feel about that, General? K.T.'s point seems to be that it's kind of part of a general contempt for the military, the whole thing about making Marines hold his umbrella in a little bit of light drizzle, that kind of thing.
GEN. BOB SCALES, U.S. ARMY (RET.), FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I don't think there's any doubt that there's been tension between the Pentagon and the White House for seven years. But let me -- but because of that, because of the political pressure on our military to sort of soft sell Bergdahl and to extend the time that he's under investigation beyond the election, I just have to say I am very, very proud of the senior leadership of the Army.
They pushed all that aside and they did something that in 39 years of the Army, I never saw, and that's to take a special court-martial, which is sort of like a misdemeanor court-martial, and elevate it to a felony court- martial. That takes a lot of guts. It shows that the Article II investigation was terribly flawed.
But it also, I think, tells us that particularly the Army leadership, particularly General Abe Abrams, who is the forces (ph) command commander, said, No, I'm going to stand by my veterans. I'm going to stand by the faith of -- of -- my nation has in my Army. I'm going to stick to ethics and values of the profession, and I'm going to elevate this to the level of court-martial, where it belongs.
STEYN: So Pete, would you agree with that, that this is the Army pushing back against the politicization of the Department of Defense, as it were?
HEGSETH: I think so. I hope so. I agree fully with the general. That's why this trial is so visceral for members of the military because we want to believe that these institutions we hold up, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, others, that there's a sense of honor, civic duty, a focus on the mission that this White House clearly doesn't understand, won't understand.
It's not just the president. It's his cadre of advisers. It's the generals that he's brought in who are politically oriented. We still want to believe that the institutions we served in believe in honor and will enforce it.
And so we're looking to this trial to say, Please cut through, please seek truth, please seek honor because we know this White House won't, in the hopes that these institutions will survive the eight years of Barack Obama, and a new commander-in-chief can reinstill them back in the right direction.
STEYN: Just quickly, K.T., how do you think this is going to go?
MCFARLAND: Well, I think that if they've having this kind of a case against him, and as General Scales said, they've taken the risk of going against the political leadership, I think they must have a pretty strong case against him. And particularly as we get ready for the holidays and understand that American men and women are deployed all over the world away from their families...
STEYN: Yes, that's right.
MCFARLAND: ... this is an important thing for them to see, that presidents come and go, but our armed forces and the values that they represent sustain and endure and continue.
STEYN: Yes, that's supposed to be forever.
Coming up, we'll have more reaction to Bowe Bergdahl's arraignment. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is here next to weigh in. Plus, we'll get his reaction to President Obama blaming the media for growing fears of ISIS.
And later, the president urges college campus protesters to consider opposing viewpoints. If that's the case, maybe he should try doing the same.
That and much more straight ahead.
STEYN: Welcome back to "Hannity." Here with more reaction to the Bowe Bergdahl case is former New York City mayor and former U.S. attorney Rudy Giuliani, resplendent...
STEYN: ... in seasonal green. His tie was constructed from poinsettia leaves. Looks terrific.
RUDY GIULIANI, R-FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Thank you, Mark.
STEYN: How do you -- how do you...
GIULIANI: Merry Christmas.
STEYN: Merry Christmas. How do you feel about this Bowe Bergdahl case, and particularly this strange need to tell us by Connecticut senators and national security advisers that this man was a hero who served his country?
GIULIANI: You know, being a hero serving your country means saving other people's lives, it means putting your life at risk and saving -- that's why you get the Congressional Medal of Honor or the Navy Cross or whatever.
I don't want to be too harsh on Bowe Bergdahl. I don't know what's going on inside his mind. But definition of hero would not fit. Only a trial, a real trial could determine, was he a deserter or was he a person with mental illness.
STEYN: No, but...
GIULIANI: But he did -- he did -- he did put in jeopardy the lives of hundreds of American troops. There's a real question as to whether some of them didn't die as a result of trying to find him after all those years. And he disobeyed orders, which, you know, my old view of the armed forces was that that in and of itself is a pretty serious offense.
STEYN: Right. Right. And it's weird when there's so many genuine heroes doing things all over the map that we never hear about, choosing -- officialdom choosing to venerate this man and make him into...
GIULIANI: But the idea is, here's a man who served his country. OK. You know, Benedict Arnold served his country.
GIULIANI: Now, I'm not saying he's Benedict Arnold. I don't want -- (INAUDIBLE) but you can serve your country and you can be dishonorably discharged...
GIULIANI: ... and hey, you're not a hero.
GIULIANI: Now, I can't see how he can get something -- I mean, the best he could hope for is a dishonorable discharge, I would think.
STEYN: Yes. No, no. That's -- that's...
GIULIANI: I mean, he's lucky if he doesn't go to prison. I mean...
STEYN: No, no. That's...
GIULIANI: So how does that become a hero?
STEYN: That's -- that's -- that's true. Let's hear another curious thing from the White House, aside from Bergdahl. This is the president talking a couple of days ago on what's behind all this ISIS fever, as he sees it. Let's hear that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is not an organization that can destroy the United States. This is not a huge industrial power that can pose great risks to us.
If you've been watching television for the last month, all you've been seeing, all you've been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you.
The media is pursuing ratings. This is a legitimate news story. I think that, you know, it's up to the media to make a determination about how they want to cover things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEYN: So we cover Paris and San Bernardino because it's -- we're chasing ratings.
GIULIANI: Well, I mean, the president is living in some world that I don't understand. People have described it as delusional, denial.
The reality is, he's trying to compare apples and oranges, two different kinds of threats. He's trying to compare the Nazi threat...
GIULIANI: ... where they could have invaded England, the Soviet threat, where we could have destroyed the world...
GIULIANI: ... which didn't happen with the Soviets, to this threat, which although it might not be as multi-faceted, those threats didn't involve terrorism. Those threats didn't involve the buildings, the two buildings that I saw come down...
STEYN: Yes. Yes.
GIULIANI: ... with 3,000 of my citizens in it from these people.
And I'd like him to go to San Bernardino and minimize ISIS and the threat of Islamic terrorism. I'd like him to go to Paris in particular, where ISIS was directly involved.
GIULIANI: Go tell the people of Paris that ISIS really isn't -- you know, the Nazis were worse.
STEYN: Yes, and it's...
GIULIANI: And we don't have to worry as much about this.
STEYN: Europe -- the U.N. says Europe's taken in over 1 million refugees essentially -- essentially, from what ISIS has done to the Middle East. And they're mainly going to a couple of countries. They're going to Germany. Sweden, it is an existential threat simply because the system can't cope with it.
GIULIANI: Well, this president has been behind this from the beginning, right? At first, they were the JV.
GIULIANI: Then the day before the attack, they were contained.
GIULIANI: Now they really aren't as big a threat as the media makes them to be. I don't know. When you slaughter that number of people in Paris, you slaughter that number of people in San Bernardino, you kill 3,000 people in New York -- I was at the -- I was a half block away from the Liverpool station in 2005, when there were five bombings in London.
GIULIANI: Don't tell me this isn't a dangerous enemy! And I'll tell you, it's a complete lack of leadership! What the American people want to hear is an American president that says, I understand this threat...
GIULIANI: ... and I am going to get rid of it for you. And to me, the loss of any American life to terrorism is a disaster.
STEYN: Well, let's talk about that day you mention, 9/11, and leadership because you were the face of American leadership that day because the president and vice president were being ferried from one safe location to another.
Donald Trump has been attacked for this idea that there were Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on that day. I take it that you, as the leader on the scene that day, know a lot of things about that day that the rest of us don't.
GIULIANI: Here's what I do know and here's what I don't know.
GIULIANI: I don't know about New Jersey...
GIULIANI: ... because I wasn't paying attention to New Jersey, except for one thing, which gives some support to what he said. We cut off the tunnels from New Jersey...
GIULIANI: ... because there were a larger group of radicalized Muslims in New Jersey than in New York. One of the first things Commissioner Kerik did was cut off the tunnels to New Jersey because he was afraid the terrorists would come in from New Jersey. Remember, in 1993...
GIULIANI: ... we were attacked by Islamic terrorists out of a mosque in New Jersey.
GIULIANI: There were sporadic celebrations in New York City that day, nothing on the dimension that Donald has said, but there were -- and they're in the -- I have corroborated these with people that work with me. There were some in Brooklyn. There were some in the Bronx. And there were some in Queens. Sporadic, 20 people, 30 people, more on that nature.
STEYN: But we're now arguing about numbers. You're saying it's indisputable that were residents of the United States who celebrated on that day.
GIULIANI: Without any doubt.
STEYN: And you think --
GIULIANI: Without any doubt. Plus I have seen film footage of people in European countries celebrating.
STEYN: OK. But that's fascinating to me because you're saying on the day in New York boroughs there were celebrations.
GIULIANI: I had the police department protect the Muslim community the moment that happened. I actually dispatched a whole unity of the police department to the Muslim communities in New York. And over the course of the next two to three days the police commissioner came back to me with reports that there were celebrations in those communities.
STEYN: Well, we'll see how the politics of that plays out. Rudy Giuliani, that's fascinating stuff.
Coming up, President Obama tells protesters on college campuses to be more open to opposing views, but does he really mean it? Our panel will weigh in next.
And later, "FOX and Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade is here to explain how America's history with radical Islam goes all the way back to our founding fathers. That and more as HANNITY continues.
STEYN: Welcome back to HANNITY. In a recent interview with NPR, President Obama warned campus protesters against the idea of shutting down opposing viewpoints. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As I said before, I do think that there have been times on college campuses where I get concerned that the unwillingness to hear other points of view can be as unhealthy on the left as on the right. What I don't want is a situation in which particular points of view that are presented respectfully and reasonably are shut down. And we've seen that sometimes happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEYN: So where was the president months ago when protests were breaking out on campuses across the country? And shouldn't the president take his own advice when it comes to working with conservatives in Washington?
Joining me with reaction, from Fox News radio Todd Starnes, and Fox News contributors Deneen Borelli and Jedediah Bila. And Todd will have his "All-American Christmas" special on Christmas Eve. From my point of view, I think that sounds a bit exclusionary if not an actual micro-aggression.
TODD STARNES, FOX NEWS RADIO HOST: We're a sort of the USO show for the war on Christmas. We actually put Christ in Christmas in our special.
STEYN: That sounds good. Where do you stand on the president's sudden discovery of the virtues of free speech and open inquiry?
STARNES: Imagine that. Here we have, Mark, the perpetually offended generation. And it's especially interesting because this year the war on Christmas has really been waged on college and university campuses where you wave a candy cane at one of these little college children and then they grab their banky and then run off to their safe space.
So I think it's interesting that the president is all of a sudden coming to terms with this issue which I don't think they can really address. I don't think they can put the cat back in that bag, if you will. I think this is a big problem on American college campuses where stressing for tolerance has led to intolerance.
STEYN: Deneen, I don't even pay attention to this stuff anymore. It just kind of passed my eye that some university or other, somebody's complaining the song "White Christmas" is racist. The problem here seems to be that -- the danger here maybe is that young people, free speech is a value that has no purchase on them anymore.
DENEEN BORELLI, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You have these individuals who are inexperienced. They've been indoctrinated on these campuses. And so the whole PC culture is running rampant. The no-speech zones, the "don't look at me" zones. They want all these demands, and the administrators are falling for it, which is very concerning.
STEYN: The funny thing is, Jedediah, there is a lot of genuine intolerance in the world. The late Christopher Hitchens had a good phrase. He used to say he was sick of one-way multiculturalism. The sultan of Brunei has just announced that it's banning any public -- any public sign of Christmas, and the Christians, if they want to celebrate, will have to do it in private. Why do we get annoyed about trump talking about immigration policy from countries that are validly intolerant?
JEDEDIAH BILA, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it's really scary. I think people think of the United States and say, well, that could never happen here. But the bottom line is there is a different attitude towards Christians in this country. There is an attitude -- you can go to art exhibits where Christianity is being mocked all the time. You can't do that with other religions and get away with it.
When it comes to the president, I think it's an important message that he's saying when he talks about diversity on college campuses. I've taught there. That's something that doesn't exist. Conservatives are constantly condemned.
But the bottom line with him is he doesn't practice that in his own life. He'll say that and talk about diversity of thought and then get up and condemn Republicans and name call and act like a kid in a classroom. If you're going to do that, then stand for it on the national stage in your own speech and in your own policy, even if you disagree. So what? We're all trying to better this country, maybe in different ways, but you don't have to condemn people who disagree with you and then lecture us on how to do that.
BORELLI: But with Obama, he likes to play it both ways. Remember, he's a community activist, and so he's playing both sides of the issue any time he speaks. It depends on the audience.
STEYN: And you do get the impression that the way the world works now is there are certain groups to whom free speech applies. You can do a vulgar musical like "Book of Mormon," but if "Book of Mohammed" opens there's a big smoking crater where the theater was the day after opening night.
STARNES: And Mark, we're starting to see this play out in public schools across the country. Just a few days ago I wrote a column at FoxNews.com about the high school holiday concert where the youngsters were belting out a rendition of "Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar."
STEYN: That's from the Andy Williams Christmas show.
STARNES: Yes, very moving, very festive album there. But I think what we're seeing here is the Islamic faith being given accommodation in public schools now while the Christian faith is being marginalized. And that is a very disturbing trend.
BILA: It's not just about religion. You have people that, on college campuses that are talking about basic freedoms, that are talking about protecting the constitution, that are condemned, that they're somehow viewed as inhibiting, I don't know what, entering the modern world or whatever it may be. So there's a religious component to this when it comes to Christianity. But there's also this idea on college campuses that if you're not part of this collectivist groupthink that somehow there's something wrong with you.
STEYN: Yes. It's beyond religion. It's the idea that there's a correct view on climate change and there's a correct view on bathrooms for the transgendered, and the list gets longer and longer and longer. And so the idea that there's space for dissident opinions on an ever-lengthening group of subjects diminishes.
BORELLI: Well, there's no tolerance. And remember, a couple of months ago you had the Black Lives Matter movement disrupt students who were trying to study in the library on a college campus. And so if you're not in lockstep with them, they're going to make an example of you.
STEYN: Yes. That's true. Thanks a lot, guys. And do feel free in the spirit of Christmas --
BORELLI: Merry Christmas.
STEYN: And don't forget to tune in to Todd's "All-American" -- I don't think he lets infidels like me watch it. But tune in for the "All- American Christmas Special." You can see it online at ToddStarnes.com. And coming up, the rise of ISIS has been a major story this year. But America's history with radical Islam goes back much farther than that. "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade is here next to explain how, unlike President Obama, our founding fathers weren't afraid to confront radical Islam. All that and more as "Hannity" continues.
STEYN: Welcome back to "Hannity." America dealing with the threat of radical Islam may seem like a new phenomenon, but it was in fact one of the first major foreign policy challenges our country faced. And Unlike President Obama, leaders back then weren't afraid to confront the problem and call it what it really was.
Joining me now is the author of "Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, The Forgotten War that Changed American History," "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade. And Brian, this goes back to right after the birth of the United States when it had merchant ships at sea but no big American Navy to protect them.
BRIAN KILMEADE, AUTHOR, "THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES": And guess where they were going, Mark. They were going through the Mediterranean. And guess where they were passing. Tripoli, which is now Libya, through Tunisia, through Algeria, and through Morocco. And they did not know it, but the Royal Navy had their back when they were a colony, but when we won the war we also lose their protection. And it turns out when we examine it, it was Islamic terror. It was using the Koran as a weapon, bastardizing what it was meant to be, and saying essentially you are infidels because you do not worship Allah. Therefore we are allowed to take your stuff, imprison you, enslave you. And, by the way, if you want it to end, just pay us extortion.
STEYN: Yes. And the problem back then was that the United States couldn't afford to pay what European nations were, in fact, ponying up to these guys.
KILMEADE: We were buried in debt. We had no constitution, we had no president. We asked Congress to come up with an idea, and they thought these guys are 10 feet tall. We thought that they were actually going to come on our shores and take us because of terrorism and what it represented back then, because our guys weren't heard from for 10 years. Our ships were just disappearing. And by the way, it was back to nickels and dimes, too, because nobody wanted to insure us. They said, oh, you want us to insure American ships, really? The ones that don't come back with any cargo or deliver their cargo? So this was a legitimate crisis.
STEYN: Yes. And I'm still stunned by what you said is that Congress was concerned by the debt and that is why it couldn't just throw money at the problem.
KILMEADE: You would have to shut down the tape and redo the segment. But actually this is America. We were concerned about war debt.
STEYN: Yes. Can we get that Congress back?
KILMEADE: Right. We were concerned about debt. We wanted to show that we were legitimate because everyone wanted us to fail, as you know, because we did a thing called voting, and we wanted to have people there for merit. And we were an experiment that everyone couldn't wait to fail. And we felt pressured to make it work. Jefferson felt the pressure because I think he was the most international of all out presidents. He knew what France thought of us.
STEYN: But what is fascinating about the story is that America wasn't a super power. It is just like this little ramshackle collection of Appalachian colonies with no military effectively. And yet it had something that doesn't seem quite so straightforward today. It had will and strategic clear-sightedness.
KILMEADE: And you know what you should also keep in mind in researching this book. We found there was concern among people in the 1800s that we were losing the spirit of 76 that brought us the revolution. They were concerned about losing the American gumption that got us what we got. And what happened is we doubled down and we did no quit. And these Islamic extremists of their day said, why are these guys still around? They're shelling us from the sea. They never stop. They never cut a deal. And then until we started a land war which started in Egypt and went right through Derna in route to Benghazi and then to Tripoli, they still weren't taking us seriously. What they didn't understand, what we didn't understand and still today is by surviving, they're winning. Just by pounding someone and making it seem as though they're being annihilated, if they can still breathe and survive, they're happy, because they don't care about their people.
STEYN: Right, right. And you talk about the way that this began, the choice that was given to the first ship they seized, which is basically you either have to pay money to them or you have to convert to Islam.
KILMEADE: And almost none did. They said we're Americans. We're not going to do that. Plus we didn't even understand Islam. But in the debate in this country at that time, which I thought was so interesting, is you know we were debating about Muslims, can they be president, and back and forth with Ben Carson -- they were debating it back then. And they yelled at each other. And at the end of the day they said religion shouldn't matter. As long as it's secondary and it's America first, it is OK. And guess what. They had a beer afterward. No one killed each other. No one called anyone a bigot or a racist. They went about their day.
STEYN: But aside from a fragment of lyric that may ring a bell, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli," is there a single schoolhouse in America where this is taught?
KILMEADE: No. Not more than half a day ad-libbing from a teacher that might have a passion that you have or maybe that I have because they choose to go beyond their curriculum. And guess what. I blame Jefferson. He did so much. He never made a big deal of this. We're looking at this today and going Islamic extremists America confronts, or should we avoid like Adams? Should we confront like Jefferson or avoid like Adams? We saw a confront like Bush or avoid like Obama. The next president, I hope, says I'm going to like Jefferson. I'm going to have to confront the enemy and show them absolute power. And I think that is why I think people are attracted to the book because it shows a legitimate American story because we took the same challenge, and we showed the world we're not going to knuckle under.
STEYN: Yes, and it's part of this nation's heroic national narrative, and actually it's a tragedy that basically that's been in an American school under 50 doesn't know about it.
KILMEADE: Soon they will. And my hope is -- I get a lot of people online saying I'm homeschooling my kids or I'm making my teenager watch it. And your kids are out there. And both of your sons are reading now. And hopefully there are more kids like Mark Steyn's kids who choose to read rather than just watch television.
STEYN: OK, if you can get through to my kids, it's an amazing book. Thank you, Brian. Thanks a lot. It's a cracking read, and a merry Christmas to you.
There is more "Hannity" after the break. Stay with us.
STEYN: Welcome back to "Hannity." That is me singing "Ted Nugent" off my new album, "Feline Groovy, Songs for Swinging Cats." This is really going to make Ted Nugent, I think.
A quick programming note. Be sure to tune in to the "West Point Holiday Special" with Gretchen Carlson Christmas Even at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. eastern, and then again on Christmas Day at 10:00 p.m. That is all the time we have. We'll see you tomorrow night.
Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.