Trump: Syria refugees could be the 'ultimate Trojan horse'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 17, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." Tonight, President Obama continues to face heavy criticism for his appalling response to the vicious terrorist attacks in Paris. And here's what he said yesterday.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have always understood that this would be a long-term campaign. There will be setbacks and there will be successes. The terrible events in Paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback.

Even as we grieve with our French friends, however, we can't lose sight that there has been progress being made.

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    ISIL does not represent Islam to the degree that anyone would equate the terrible actions that took place in Paris with the views of Islam. You know, those types of stereotypes are counterproductive. They're wrong.

    Well, Jim, I just -- I just spent the last three questions answering that very question. So I don't know what more you want me to add.

    All right, so this is another variation on the same question. And I guess -- let me try it one last time.


    HANNITY: Here with now reaction, author of "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    You know, Mr. Trump, my question is really simple. This is a president that said hours before this attack in Paris that ISIS was contained. He referred to them as the JV team. He's talked about or administration officials have talked about overseas contingency operations and workplace violence.

    And meanwhile, this keeps happening again and again, and he can't say "radical Islam." What do you -- and now he's going to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees, even though our intelligence officials warn us that ISIS will infiltrate that population. How do you -- how do you process this?

    DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, personally, I don't think he was meant for this job, you want to know the truth. The temperament is wrong. I watched that disastrous news conference yesterday.  It was insulting. He wasn't angry at the killers, the murderers, the animals that did this horrible thing. He was angry at reporters and I think some of the Republicans, frankly. But he was angry at the reporters.

    And I just don't think -- it just -- it's not for him. And unfortunately, we have to suffer with it. But this job is not for him.  That was a terrible performance yesterday and an embarrassment to the country.

    HANNITY: The national intelligence -- the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said ISIS -- it's likely they will infiltrate the refugee population. The State Department spokesman, John Kirby, has said as much -- the assistant FBI director, the FBI director, James Comey, Michael Steinback (ph), Mike McCaul said, the House Homeland Security chairman, and here's more people warning that ISIS will infiltrate the Syrian population. Here's what they said.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The concern is in Syria, the lack of our footprint on the ground in Syria, that the databases won't have the information we need. So it's not that we have a lack of process, it's there's a lack of information.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that obviously raises great concern as to being able to do a proper background checks on individuals coming into the country.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't, obviously, put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but we're not going to -- there'll be nothing show up because we have no record on that person.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is some fear, some fear that some of these refugees may actually be posing as refugees, but they might actually be al Qaeda or ISIS terrorists trying to sneak into Europe or the United States.  What do you make of that?

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, certainly that's a possibility. I mean, you can't dismiss that out of hand.


    HANNITY: Mr. Trump, if the president keeps insisting, as he does, to take in these Syrian refugees, is he not gambling with the live of Americans? If Americans die, if what happens in Paris happens here, does he not end up having blood on his hands for not listening to his own intelligence officials?

    TRUMP: Oh, yes. Totally. It's a total disaster. The people are going to come in. I talked to you about this two weeks ago, where we talked about the migration, how so many of the people in the migration were strong young men. You look at them.

    I'm saying, Where are the women? Where are the children? We're taking in people we have no idea who they are. They have no identification. They have no papers. They're creating papers. They're making up papers.

    And as you say, he doesn't even mention the word. He doesn't want to talk about radical Islamic terrorism. He refuses to say the word! And here's a man who refuses to say those three words.

    And by the way, Hillary Clinton refuses to say the words. She's as bad as he is, but -- although I'm not so sure about that. Can anybody be worse than what we have right now?

    So you have people coming in, and I heard as of this morning they're already missing one or two people. They came in and they're gone. They're missing. So I think it's a way -- you know, it could very well be the ultimate Trojan horse. We're going to have to see. Hopefully not. But thousands are coming in.

    And you mentioned 10,000. During the debate the other night, the Democratic debate, they talked about 65,000. I've heard they want to take in 250,000!

    HANNITY: Yes, but not all from Syria. That 255,000 number's over three years, not all necessarily from Syria, but we don't know where they're coming from. And...

    TRUMP: We have no idea where they're coming from!

    HANNITY: Dianne Feinstein, hardly -- I'm hardly her biggest supporter, but she chastised the president by saying ISIS isn't contained.  I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is expanding. She's saying that!  How does our president get that wrong by saying that hours before the attack? How is that possible?

    TRUMP: Well, not only that, if you look at Gitmo, five people released that same day and they're back on in a private plane. They go back, and they're going to end up fighting very soon. They'll be fighting against us. He released them the same day.

    You would think that maybe, I mean, just maybe, he could have waited or done it some other time. They shouldn't be released to start off with.  But you look at what's happening, the way our country's being run in so many different ways -- but this is now the hot topic. This is security.  This is the ultimate problem because we need borders.

    Now, all of a sudden, everyone's, You know, Mr. Trump, I didn't agree with the wall. Now all of a sudden, everyone's agreeing with the wall, the real wall, not the toy wall that they built, the real wall. And plenty of people are going to come through the southern border. You know that and so do I. And they're going to be coming from the Middle East. They're going to be coming from places where it's not going to be a good situation. But people already, Sean, are missing.

    HANNITY: You know, if you -- that's true. They have the one person you're talking about in New Orleans in that specific case.

    You know, I look at your poll numbers. And this week and last weekend, two of your biggest numbers, one over 40 percent, 38 percent. And I wonder if this message is resonating.

    Daniel Horowitz of Conservative Review -- I'll put it up on the side so our viewers can watch this -- talks about the increase since 9/11 in the numbers of the people we are taking in from Muslim countries.

    I would agree with the president. We're not at war with Islam. But the problem is -- is there a clash of cultures, if you grow up in a country under sharia law, where women can't drive and must cover themselves and women can't go out in public without a male relative or four male eyewitnesses are needed for rape -- is there a conflict of cultures that makes it very difficult...

    TRUMP: There certainly seems to be.

    HANNITY: Yes, well, it's funny...

    TRUMP: There certainly seems to be.

    HANNITY: And Ow should we factor that in when we're accepting in -- and again, I'll put those statistics up while you're talking. How should we factor that in when we're taking in people from these countries? How do you ascertain whether they buy into the culture they came from or want to assimilate here?

    TRUMP: Well, look at what's happening in Germany. I mean, Merkel's taken in all of these people. They're having riots in the streets.  They're having tremendous crime. She's made a terrible mistake. She's gone from being a very good and respected leader, where the German people are beside themselves. They don't know what's happening.

    I mean, look at what she's done. Look at what so many of them -- and then others -- you know, you talk about the Gulf states. They're making a fortune. They won't take anybody. And I'm not sure, but I don't think they're putting up very much money, either.

    But you look at what's happening in terms of this migration and in terms of what's coming -- we have no idea. Will they assimilate? Are they going to be able to assimilate? I don't know that they even want to assimilate! And yet we take everybody.

    We don't know where they come from. We don't know what their crime record is. It could be wonderful, and it could be a disaster.

    But I have a feeling that a lot of bad things are going to happen out of this. And if you remember, a long time ago, when this first started, I said, Look, I have a big heart. I have as big a heart as anybody. And we should do maybe a safe zone or something over in Syria and get everybody else involved and have a big safe zone.

    But I tell you, if they come into this country, they're going out. If I win, they're going out. We can't take a chance. You know, if you take thousands of people -- and again I hear it's going to be many, many more than what you're talking about right now. But if you take thousands of people, Sean, all you need is a couple. You know, you don't need 25. You don't need 100. Look at the damage done in Paris with just a few people.


    HANNITY: If one American dies, is it worth the risk? And my answer is no, that we should -- we cannot afford to gamble with people's lives!

    Here's my next question. The Republicans in Congress, both the House and the Senate, you know, they have enumerated powers. They have the power of the purse. Would you urge them to use that power and defund the president's efforts to take in these Syrian refugees?

    TRUMP: I certainly would. You know what's sort of interesting? I was talking about it before. I'm a Republican. I'm a conservative.  Nothing's happened since we took the Senate.

    HANNITY: Nothing!

    TRUMP: So now we have the House and we have the Senate. Nothing's happened! It's the same exact story. In fact, in a certain way, with all of its executive orders, I think Obama's almost doing better.

    So we take the Senate. All of a sudden, we have majorities.  Nothing's happened! I'm almost more disappointed -- maybe I'll take the word "almost" out. I am more disappointed in the Republicans than the Democrats because at least the Democrats, we know where they're coming from, Sean.. The Republicans have done nothing! Look at the budget that was just passed. They've done nothing!

    HANNITY: I have said this many times. I'm more disappointed with the Republicans than I am Democrats.

    A lot of news was made after you suggested that there might be mosques in America that need to be shut down. Can you go into more detail?

    TRUMP: Well, you're going to have to do something. They're coming out of -- some bad things are happening, and a lot of them are happening in the mosque and you're going to have to do something. And I'm not the only one saying this. Other countries are saying this, frankly. But some really bad things are happening!

    HANNITY: In other words...


    HANNITY: If you see that there's plotting and planning and talk of jihad and terroristic threats that we think might be talked about in these places, if we can prove that, in that case, you would shut them down.

    HANNITY: Nobody wants to say this and nobody wants to shut down religious institutions or anything, but you know, you understand it. A lot of people understand it. We're going to have no choice! There's absolutely no choice. Some really bad things are happening, and they're happening fast. I think they're happening a lot faster than anybody understands, too, certainly a lot faster than our president understands because he doesn't understand anything. He doesn't get it, refuses to even call it by its correct name!

    HANNITY: All right, stay right there. We'll have more with Donald Trump right after the break.

    And coming up next...


    HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We are not at war with Islam or Muslims. We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression.


    HANNITY: Hillary Clinton, other Democratic candidates refuse to say the words "radical Islam" when talking about ISIS. We'll have more with Donald Trump. He'll respond.

    And coming up later -- President Obama gave a cringeworthy response to the Paris terrorist attacks. The one and only Mark Steyn is here tonight in studio with reaction.

    Also, Senator Rand Paul has introduced legislation to stop America from accepting refugees from countries that have significant jihadist movements. He's here to explain straight ahead.


    HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So even after the deadly Paris terrorist attacks, the 2016 Democratic candidates continue to downplay the threat of radical Islam. Watch this.


    CLINTON: I don't think we're at war with Islam. I don't think we're at war with all Muslims. I think we're at war with jihadists.

    We are not at war with Islam or Muslims. We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression. And yes, we are at war with those people, but I don't want us to be painting with too broad a brush.

    MARTIN O'MALLEY, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This brutal and barbaric group is perverting the name of a great world religion.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, D-VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think the term is what's important. What is important to understand is we have organizations, whether it is ISIS or al Qaeda, who do believe we should go back several thousand years.


    HANNITY: And that's not all. They're also dismissing concerns about the legitimate threat of ISIS infiltrating Syrian refugees. Listen to this.


    SANDERS: Now is not the time for demagoguery and fearmongering. As Americans, we will not be terrorized. We will not live in fear.

    During these difficult times, as Americans, we will not succumb to racism.

    We will not allow ourselves to be divided and succumb to Islamophobia.  We'll not turn our backs on the refugees from Syria and Afghanistan!



    HANNITY: And just a few hours ago, Hillary Clinton tweeted out, quote, "We've seen a lot of hateful rhetoric from the GOP, but the idea that we'd turn away refugees because of religion is a new low."

    Back with us for more, the author of the brand-new book, "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    You know, of the 21,000 and I think 84, 94 refugees from Syria we've taken in so far, 96 percent have been Muslim. Only 3 percent have been Christian. If there's no way to vet them and they do have these sympathies and our national intelligence director and others are saying ISIS will infiltrate, how is that hateful, by definition?

    TRUMP: It's been that way for a long time. In Syria, you have the Christians where their heads are being chopped off randomly and at will, and you have the Muslims, who I'm not saying they have a great life, frankly, but it's not as bad as what the Christians go through.

    I've been told by very, very good sources and people that really understand what's been happening over the last number of years, the hardest thing you can do is be a Christian in Syria and come into the United States. One of the easiest places in the entire world to come into the United States from is Syria, if you're a Muslim. So if you're a Christian, you can't get into the United States. If you're a Muslim, it's one of the easiest ways to get into the United States from Syria.

    So I'll tell you what. There's something going on out there that is - - maybe you and I don't know about it, but it's becoming more and more obvious. And as far as Bernie Sanders, I thought you were going to put his -- first of all, he's not going to win. He gave it away when he gave up the e-mail situation. And probably, she's protected, Hillary's protected by the Democrats, so she's not going to be -- have problems. She should have problems because everyone else has had big problems, and they've done much less.

    But Bernie Sanders's quote that I thought you'd have in there that he blamed the Paris attack on global warming -- that was the beauty.

    HANNITY: Well, that's what he said in the debate.


    TRUMP: But I had an obligation to watch the rest. He said -- he said -- during the debate, he said that the Paris attack is a -- you know, having to do with global warming. I mean, the whole thing is crazy. The third guy shouldn't even be on the stage. He was the mayor of Baltimore.  You see how that worked out. He shouldn't even be on the stage.

    And frankly, Hillary with her attitude, can't win -- in my opinion, she can't win the election. She's weak as can be on illegal immigration.  She is going to lose the election, especially if I run against her. But she is going to lose the election.

    HANNITY: But they have been wrong so often. They said you get rid of Mubarak, even though they gave him money and F-16s and tanks, get rid of Gadhafi, they said things would be better in the Middle East. They've gotten far worse.

    The president miscalculated. They're not the JV team. They've been wrong on so many -- so many different issues so many times. I'll even put up on the screen -- Senator Jeff Sessions has pointed out all these instances where we bring in immigrants, you know, from Uzbek (sic) and immigrants brought here from Kuwait and Ghana and Yemen...

    TRUMP: Right.

    HANNITY: ... and even the Boston bomber refugees, et cetera -- all these people come in -- and we'll put it on the side of the screen -- and we have been wrong so many times! They get here and commit acts of terror against us. So we have been wrong in the past. I don't think Americans can have confidence in the system of vetting. How do you -- again, you can't ascertain what's in anybody's heart, can you?

    TRUMP: We have been wrong so much. And don't forget, for two years, I've been telling you, Take the oil, hit the oil, bomb the oil, take away ISIS' wealth, do it, do it, do it. They just started doing it after this horror show happened. They just started doing it.

    So now, all of a sudden, people are saying, Mr. Trump was right, Donald Trump was right. But now they're bombing. Finally, they're bombing the oil and they're taking away some of the wealth.

    But they also have a lot of money coming in through a crooked banking system. The banking system is sending a lot of money to ISIS. We have to change that. Nobody knows more about the banking system than me, believe me.

    HANNITY: Well, then my question...

    TRUMP: We have a backward banking system...

    HANNITY: Yes, but my final question for you is -- OK, you're elected president. This is a huge problem. How quickly could you fix this problem?; How quickly does the wall get built and you take control of it?  And give me the specific steps that you'd take and how fast do we get it done?

    TRUMP: First thing I'd do is I'd get everybody together because we don't want to do this by ourselves, Sean. This is a problem -- this is a worldwide problem. I'd get everybody together. That includes Russia. And I've been right about that, too. Now all of a sudden, Putin's going wild with bombing ISIS, and that's a good thing, not a bad thing. Who needs to take the credit? Let him have some credit.

    But I would get everybody together, and I'd blast the hell out of them. They wouldn't be there long, believe me. I would blast the hell out of them. And you're right, the source of wealth, their primary source of wealth is the oil that we should have kept when we left Iraq. We shouldn't have been in Iraq, but we should have kept it when we left Iraq.

    But their primary source is the oil. We should bomb the hell out of it. And now they're just starting to do that, but they're two years late.  And interestingly, after Paris, all of a sudden, they start bombing sites that they knew about for a year and a half. Why didn't they bomb them a year ago? They're training sites, and they could have bombed them a year ago, but they started bombing them after the tragic events of Paris.

    So so many things are wrong. We need leadership in the world now.  You know, it's really a worldwide leadership, but boy, do we need leadership in our country!

    HANNITY: Well said. All right, Mr. Trump, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.

    TRUMP: Thank you very much, Sean.

    HANNITY: Coming up, the one and only Mark Steyn is here in studio.  He'll have reaction to my interview with Mr. Trump. Also, he'll weigh in on President Obama's very timid, weak response to the deadly Paris terrorist attacks.

    And later, Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Mike McCaul -- they're pushing back hard against the president's plan to bring potentially dangerous refugees from Syria here to America, and they'll both explain their plan.

    That and more as "Hannity" continues.


    HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So right after the terror attacks in Paris, Mark Steyn wrote, quote, "The barbarians are inside, and there are no gates." Here now to explain what he meant by that, author of "A Disgrace to the Profession," best-selling New York Times author Mark Steyn.

    How are you, sir? Good to see you.

    MARK STEYN, "A DISGRACE TO THE PROFESSION" AUTHOR: Hey, great to see you, Sean.

    HANNITY: Great column. I want you to explain this.

    STEYN: Yes, well, you don't need to take my word for it. The Belgian government admitted the other day that it doesn't have control over its own territory, that the suburbs in which these three brothers who were participants in this attack came from, that they -- they can't reliably police that. They can't reliably get in there and find out what's going on.

    And it turns, out even most absurdly, just to get back to all this refugee talk, that one of the brothers involved in this attack in Paris until a few days ago was employed by the immigration department in that town!

    HANNITY: Can't even make it up, right?

    STEYN: No, no! So when they say, Oh, well, don't worry, these refugees will all be vetted -- the guy doing the vetting in that Belgian town is the guy who attacked Paris!

    HANNITY: But this is coming to America. This president is insistent, in spite of the FBI director, the national intelligence director, the House Committee on Homeland Security -- they're all saying, Don't do it, that ISIS will infiltrate, just like they infiltrated in Paris. And he's insisting that he's going to gamble on American lives!

    STEYN: Yes. And the fact of the matter is that these are states that have failed because he does nothing. He stood there in front of the world in Turkey for the best part of an hour and announced that he would be doing nothing for a couple more years and told us all very condescendingly the people saying -- calling for action, these impetuous people who want to shoot first and aim later -- well, he has now, with ISIS -- he has had two years to aim. It's almost two years since they took Ramadi...

    HANNITY: Fallujah, Mosul...


    STEYN: ... Mosul. And they have used that territory to create a terror state.

    HANNITY: And he let that happen!

    STEYN: He let that happen! The lack of control of the Libyan ports, which are now used to fast track all these people into continental Europe - - again, he and Hillary let that happen. Libya is a failed state because Hillary Clinton thought it would look good on her resume to knock off an unimportant dictator!

    HANNITY: Let me ask you this. Why -- this is beyond mysterious at this point, the reluctance, the resistance to identify radical Islam. How can a president be so wrong on calling them the JV team or say they are contained, and even Dianne Feinstein says they're not contained, they're expanding...

    STEYN: Right.

    HANNITY: How could he be so wrong, you know, to say "man-caused disasters," "overseas contingencies," "workplace violence"? What is it about him?

    STEYN: Well, I think, to be honest, he's been marinated in a world all his life that thinks America is the problem and that if you remove America from the world scene, whatever happens is better than having America engaged with the world.

    HANNITY: But what does that say that this man has been president for seven years?

    STEYN: Yes, well, I think there's -- I think there's actually a lot of people, unfortunately, who agree with him. But the fact is that the oldest Christian communities on earth have been entirely erased on this guy's watch because of failed states that he helped create.

    HANNITY: All right, so is it a battle of cultures? In other words, a war of cultures? You look at Europe...

    STEYN: Right.

    HANNITY: ... and you look at their immigration issues...

    STEYN: Right.

    HANNITY: ... and you look at America now, these immigration issues are here.

    STEYN: Yes.

    HANNITY: Are we at a point where America's going to lose its identity and that we will be battling the same battles that Europe is facing?

    STEYN: I think a few years down the line. But I think the point you put to Donald Trump is actually quite right. If you're a liberal and you're all about, you know, gay rights and transgender bathrooms and all the other things they care about, when you look at polls of the countries where these refugees are coming from, they are overwhelmingly opposed to homosexuality and to all the other issues that liberals care about.

    So for example, you have Amsterdam, the most tolerant city in Europe, has an epidemic of gay-bashing. You have parts of Paris where non-Muslim women cannot walk about uncovered.

    HANNITY: Is the timing for Trump on immigration -- and he said just before this, Bomb the living -- out of them.

    STEYN: Right, right.

    HANNITY: Does this help him?

    STEYN: Oh, yes! I mean...

    HANNITY: Big time.

    STEYN: The point -- the point...

    HANNITY: Him and Cruz.

    STEYN: I mean, it's a horrible attack, but in a sense, it plays to the Trump view of the world, that these are serious times and they demand a serious response.

    HANNITY: And a strong response.

    STEYN: And a strong response. And what everyone feels about Mr. Hollande or Putin, if you compare it to Obama in Turkey, the worst he could say about this, that people who go to a concert, go to a restaurant, go to a soccer match and they're blown apart and there are corpses in the streets of one of the beacons of western civilization, and Obama says, oh, it's a setback, a setback.

    HANNITY: And he's angry at Republicans.

    STEYN: Yes. He's angry at Republicans. Hollande and Putin at least have the language. We'll see if they follow through, but they got the language right.

    HANNITY: All right, Mark Steyn, good to see you.

    STEYN: Thanks.

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