Rep. Ellison: 'Troublemakers' don't represent Libyans

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY: Now for the "Top Story" tonight, another point of view. Joining us from Washington Congressman Keith Ellison, who himself a Muslim.

So where am I going wrong here, Congressman?

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, you're going wrong because you're grossly over generalizing and you're forgetting about all of the Libyans who held up placards today which were visible to American eyes on TV saying that they apologized, that they love and appreciate Ambassador Christopher Stevens and you're forgetting about the fact that both in... in Yemen, in Egypt and in Libya that these governments have apologized and that these radicals, these trouble makers who you correctly identify are trouble makers, don't represent the vast majority of the people who live in those countries.

I mean, and then again you make the mistake of that the only folks is on the Arab world. You forgot about what President Obama said about Indonesia, also Malaysia and other parts of the world that have Muslim majorities that are not in Arab countries.

O'REILLY: All right, so you're telling me...

ELLISON: So I think you're going wrong on several times.

O'REILLY: ...number one, I wasn't generalizing. I was very specific and you can run it down. Pakistan is not a friend to the USA, hurting America. Afghanistan, despite all we've done, still not a friend to us. Iran an absolute danger to us.

Egypt used to be a friend. Now that Mubarak is out, they're not a friend any longer. Even President Obama said that today. And...

ELLISON: But he didn't say they were enemy, though.

O'REILLY: Well he may, I'm not going to say that Egypt is an enemy to the United States --


O'REILLY: But I am going to say the Egyptian government knew the demonstrators were going to attack the embassy and didn't stop it. Now, you as a sitting congressman have to take that seriously and you have to say to President Obama, we can't be sending them money if this continues and we have to punish them. How would you punish the Egyptian government for what happened this week?

ELLISON: Well first of all, I want to get to the bottom of the facts. I think there's a lot of things that we just don't know. For example...

O'REILLY: Nobody is denying the Egyptian government didn't know beforehand that this was going to happen. Nobody is denying that.

ELLISON: Now we don't know that Bill.

O'REILLY: Yes, we know it.

ELLISON: Here is what we do know we know that...

O'REILLY: The embassy wait, wait, wait. No, no, no. The embassy in Cairo even says they knew the attack was coming, which is why they issued the statement that hey, we're not your enemies. They knew it was coming.

So come on, let's not play games tonight, Congressman.

ELLISON: No, no games being played here. What I'm saying is we don't know what they knew, we don't know what assumptions. I think there needs to be some serious conversations between the United States and Egypt.

O'REILLY: Well, there has been serious conversations for the last three years.

ELLISON: But to leap to a conclusion, but to leap to a conclusion that we should punish someone, I'm not sure that the evidence supports that at this point. And the last thing we need is to basically make matters worse. What we need to do is to figure out exactly what Morsi know, when did he know it and then insist that they protect our embassies as we protect the Egyptians right here in the United States...

O'REILLY: Even if it's, and believe me when I tell you, it's going to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that these attacks in Cairo and Libya were coordinated on 9/11 as a direct act of war against the United States.

So when you get that, when you get that and you will, all right, then you say what? You must prepare for something. What are you prepared to do if indeed that that is proven?

ELLISON: If you let me talk, I'll tell you.

O'REILLY: All right.

ELLISON: Well, you're mixing up Libya and Egypt.

O'REILLY: No, I'm not.

ELLISON: They're two different countries. You absolutely are.

O'REILLY: Just stay on Egypt, let's just stay on Egypt.

ELLISON: The Libyan government, well, the Libyan government apologized, the Libyan people apologized.

O'REILLY: All right, fine.

ELLISON: And so just can't say Egypt and Libya. They're separate...

O'REILLY: I'm saying the attacks were coordinated by the Jihadists in both countries. But let's stay on Egypt. If it is proven the government knew, what do you do?

ELLISON: Well, we first of all, we need to, you want me to assume what we would do. I don't even know what we would find out until we investigate.

O'REILLY: So you're willing to say -- you haven't even thought about how to punish this government?

ELLISON: Oh I've thought about it.

O'REILLY: Then tell us.

ELLISON: But there's -- but there's difference -- there's different paths to go down depending on what the facts are. We don't have those yet, Bill. So what you're trying to get me to do is to commit to a course of action without even knowing everything we need to know to make a good decision.

O'REILLY: Well I mean, you've got to think about -- you've got to think about what you are going to do when, and not if, when all right, the facts come out that the Egyptian government certainly knew this was going to take place. They did. You know they did.

I mean, you don't gather hundreds of Jihadists in the middle of Cairo. Have you've been to Cairo Congressman? Have you been there?

ELLISON: About three times. Four -- four times.

O'REILLY: Ok so you know -- you know the military authorities can knock that down in ten minutes if they want to. If they want to, the military comes in, bang, it knocks it down.

ELLISON: Last time I was in Cairo -- the last I was in Cairo there were public protests going on as I was there. I could hear them out of a window when we were trying to talk --

O'REILLY: There's a difference between protests and an attack.

ELLISON: No, no, no. But you don't know if the Egyptian officials knew there was going to be an attack or thought it was just a protest.

O'REILLY: Well, the American embassy says they did. And that's what I got to go by.

All right, Congressman, we -- we appreciate it. A good debate. It's always a good back and forth with you and we appreciate it.

ELLISON: Thank you sir. Always.

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