Mika Brzezinski: There Is Vetting Despite No Records to Verify

Morning Joe featured on Tuesday, an interview with Congressman Peter King. Early into the segment, Mika Brzezinski began a war of words with Congressman King. After Brzezinski introduced the topic, King stated, I'm extremely concerned because what the President is telling us is not true. We cannot vet the refugees from Syria. There are no database to work against. There are no government records. When I talk to people involved in the vetting, they have no confidence at all in the people that are being allowed in.” Brzezinski interrupted the Congressman, saying that “there is vetting,” and arguing that he was wrong. What followed was a tense segment where the Morning Joe crew questioned King on his statements and his argument’s credibility.

King explained to Brzezinski that “I met with the people doing the interviews. I'm talking to the people involved in the highest levels of government. They have no confidence at all. This is not proper vetting.” She retorted, “the vetting is happening whether you like it or not,” implying that the Congressman was letting his political bias affect his judgment.

When Brzezinski continued to prod the Congressman as to how screening wasn’t vetting and why the US wouldn’t allow Syrian refugees, King replied firmly.

My job is to protect Americans, not to feel good about myself. Not to say I am doing something humanitarian, if Americans get killed because we are letting people in because they are not properly vetted – and they cannot be properly vetted. I don’t know how many times I could tell you this, you are wrong. I will not put American lives at risk.

Earlier in the broadcast of Morning Joe, Brzezinski showed hostility to anyone not wanting the refugees when she called GOP Governors Hateful and Stupid for banning the refugees. The discussion of refugees has increased since French officials revealed one of the attackers in Friday’s attacks on Paris had a fake Syrian passport.

See the relevant transcript below.

2015-11-17-MSNBC Morning Joe

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: 47 past the hour. Joining us from Capitol Hill, member of the House Homeland Security and Intelligence committees, Republican congressman Peter king of New York. Congressman good to have you on board. 

PETER KING: Thank you Mika. 

BRZEZINSKI: I just, we'll start I guess with the refugees and your concerns about Syrian refugees specifically coming here. 

KING: Yeah, I'm extremely concerned because what the President is telling us is not true. We cannot vet the refugees from Syria. There are no database to work against. There are no government records. When I talk to people involved in the vetting, they have no confidence at all in the people that are being allowed in. There's no way -- people talk about thorough vetting, there is no vetting as a practical matter. That is the reality. 

BRZEZINSKI: Well hold on a second, there is vetting. 

KING: There is not. Mika – 

BRZEZINSKI: There are face-to-face interviews, health screenings. Often it takes two years for a family to get here. 

KING: Mika, you're entirely wrong. 

BRZEZINSKI: Actually sir, I think you're wrong. 

KING: I met with the people doing the interviews. I'm talking to the people involved in the highest levels of government. They have no confidence at all. This is not proper vetting. I am telling you that.

BRZEZINSKI: But the vetting is happening whether you like it or not. 

KING: It is not a real vetting. You cannot vet. You have nothing to base it against. You are 1000% wrong. W.R.O.N.G.

BRZEZINSKI: So meeting face to face and screening them and interviewing them and often making them -- wait months and years, that is not a vetting process? 

KING: That is not vetting – No that is not. You cannot vet unless you have material to base it against.

BRZEZINSKI: So should we say Syrians stay out of America, you're not welcome here? 

KING: We're not saying Syrian unless we know who they are, we cannot be allowing them in. My job is to protect Americans, not to feel good about myself. Not to say I am doing something humanitarian, if Americans get killed because we are letting people in because they are not properly vetted – and they cannot be properly vetted. I don’t know how many times I could tell you this, you are wrong. I will not put American lives at risk.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Specifically, why are they not being vetted? How is Mika wrong in?

KING: There are no databases whatsoever. They have no records to base it against. They have no idea who these people are. A person could say he is John Jones, they don’t know who he is. And I am talking to the people at the highest levels. People in the departments doing this vetting.

SCARBOROUGH: What about the example? When you say talking to the people at the highest levels, can you be more specific? 

KING: This is information we get in classified briefings, from the departments these people are involved in. They tell us they have nothing to base it against. They ask the questions, they don't know if the person is giving the right answer or wrong answers. There are no databases.

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