Did the media forget Qassem Soleimani was a terrorist?

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This is a rush transcript from “The Ingraham Angle,” January 3, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Raymond Arroyo: I’m Raymond Arroyo in for Laura Ingraham. This is the Ingraham Angle from New York City tonight. We have the latest from Iraq and the breaking news from the region. What are the next steps in the wake of the U.S. strike on that Iranian terrorist mastermind? Should we be worried about retaliation from Iran and why are Democrats so outraged that Trump took out another bad guy? Congressman Matt Gaetz and Lee Zeldin are here along with Walid Phares. Also, was Soleimani a brutal murderer or revered leader? Some in the media seem confused. Tammy Bruce and Matt Schlapp will expose it all. And stay until the end of the show tonight. We have something special, Friday Follies, and I’m going to be joined by two incredible guests. Trump upsets liberal Hollywood by taking out a terrorist, and I hit the streets to discover if seniors are really playing more video games. Tom Shillue and actor Robert Davi join me right here in studio. You don’t want to miss this. But first, Iran is vowing revenge for the killing of its Revolutionary Guard leader in an airstrike yesterday. It’s not clear how they’ll retaliate, but U.S. troops and security officials are on high alert. And now there are reports of another deadly airstrike on Iranian backed militias in Iraq. For the latest details, we go to Fox’s Benjamin Hall, who is live in Amman, Jordan. Benjamin.

Benjamin Hall: Raymond, good evening from Jordan. Yes. All day we have been waiting for some possible retaliation from the Iranians, but actually out of nowhere came the surprise announcement that there may have been another U.S. strike just north of Baghdad. It is not yet confirmed yet, but early reports suggest that it may have targeted two cars, one of them carrying a key finance facilitator close to Qasem Soleimani. But, of course, the man everyone is still talking about is Qasem Soleimani, the notorious head of the Al Quds Force, the man who is considered the architect of Iran’s foreign aggression, as well as its terrorism. He also responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers. That attack took place early this morning as he was leaving Baghdad Airport. He had just flown in from Lebanon, and his convoy was struck by a Reaper drone with him, with the head of the militia, which led the attack on the U.S. embassy earlier this week. Qasem Soleimani was said to be actively developing plans for further imminent attacks against Americans in the region. Iran has said it will retaliate, and the State Department has told Americans to leave Iraq immediately. The strike has also strained U.S. Iraqi relations. And tomorrow, the prime minister, Abdullah Maliki, will convene parliament because he says the attack violates the terms of the agreement under which U.S. troops are in Iraq. There is even a suggestion they might be asked to leave. But for now, instead, 4,000 more troops are being deployed to the region. The U.S. are saying that it is an appropriate and precautionary action. But despite this build up, President Trump has made it very clear the U.S. does not want war with Iran. He has said that the death of Qasem Soleimani should have come in previous administrations. It happened now because the opportunity was there and also because it saved lives. Raymond.

Raymond Arroyo: Benjamin, thank you and be safe out there. Iran may be threatening to retaliate, but President Trump today had a stern message for the Islamic Republic.

[start video clip]

President Trump: We do not seek war, we do not seek nation building, we do not seek regime change, but as president, I will never hesitate to defend the safety of the American people. You.


So, let this be a warning to terrorists, if you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our citizens.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Joining me now with analysis is retired Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, senior fellow and military expert at Defense Properties. Also, Walid Phares, Fox News foreign analyst, and Congressman Mark Green of the House Homeland Security Committee and a former special operations flight surgeon. Thank you all for being here, gents. Colonel Davis, might harsh retaliation from Iran — what might that look like? Give me an idea of how they might retaliate when they say, “harsh retaliation.”

Mark Green: Yeah. They are going to probably go after as soft of targets as they can, or at least were targets of opportunity. And, you know, that’s primarily in the form of American military bases scattered throughout Syria in different parts of Iraq, because that’s where they have the greatest access to our troops. And that’s probably who’s at the greatest risk right now, which, of course, underscores what I’ve been saying for many months that we need to withdraw our troops in there to limit the strategic risk that we have. Because they’re not doing anything to protect our security right now, and their military mission that Trump sent them over there on was long since accomplished. And if we would draw those troops out there, then we’d significantly lower the risk and make it even harder for Iran to do anything in retaliation.

Raymond Arroyo: [affirmative] Walid, might they have the capability of reaching the homeland? That’s the big question here.

Walid Phares: Yes, they do have this capability. They have cells. Our national security agencies are aware of that. But the Iranians are rational in the way they aggress. So, they calculate the reactions and the strikes back. Iran is not an empire. It’s not a power that can sustain a direct clash with the United States, even if it can isolate a patrol or an individual, but at the end of the day, they’ve seen that for a one attack they’ve done against the embassy, they’ve lost their leadership. And that’s a major strategic lesson they’ve learned.

Raymond Arroyo: Okay. I have to play something for you. Obama’s former acting CIA director was glad to see Soleimani gone, but he also offered this dire warning on CBS. Watch.

[start video clip]

Michael Morell: The world is a better place without him. The problem is that comes at a very high cost. Number one, there will be dead Americans, dead civilian Americans as a result of this, possibly over the next few days. At a time and place of their choosing, they’re going to conduct a terrorist strike that kills a senior American official and that could be anywhere in the world.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman Green, do you believe they have the capability to reach a U.S. senior official and kill them?

Mark Green: Thanks, Raymond, for having me on the show. And first, I want to give a shout out to the men and women of the U.S. military who took this murderous thug out.

Raymond Arroyo: [affirmative].

Mark Green: You know, I’ve served on these missions, did these kind of missions myself. Their bravery is what really needs to be getting a shout out here. But, yeah. Iran has considerable capability both to go kinetic — they can do rocket attacks on our military forces in the region. You know, we’re also at risk when those troops, you know, transfer or move on roads. Their improved IED and their, you know, armor piercing IEDs are very dangerous. And our southern border, I mean, we can’t get the Democrats to help us secure our southern border. So, yeah, absolutely. There’s an opportunity for them to come and hurt Americans.

Raymond Arroyo: Frightening. Former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice doesn’t think killing –.

Mark Green: Get out of here.

Raymond Arroyo: — Soleimani was quite worth it. I want you all to listen to this.

[start video clip]

Susan Rice: It’s not clear that when you look at the strategic landscape and the costs and the consequences of such an action, whether the benefits outweigh the real risks.

Wolf Blitzer: Did the president, President Trump, do the right thing?

Susan Rice: I think, Wolf, that’s a very complicated question. And I am doubtful that ultimately it will prove to be the right thing.

Wolf Blitzer: Are Americans safer today than they were two days ago?

Susan Rice: I don’t think so.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Colonel Davis, this is the woman who claimed that Benghazi was caused by a movie. Is she right? Are we no safer after killing Soleimani?

Daniel Davis: Well, it may well be, at least in the near term, that some of our troops are at higher risk than they might have been. And other people in the region are at higher risk because of the actions that were taken here. But that’s part of the calculated risk that we take. You know, the question is, are they going to do that? Are they going to risk — as President Trump has made very clear today — that he would have even stronger retaliation were that to happen. But that also — we’ve got to be honest — that underscores the danger of, you know, cascading retaliation to where it could potentially spill into a war. And that would be absolutely the worst thing in our interests.

Raymond Arroyo: Walid Phares, in my reading, I discovered that two administrations, Obama and Bush, had the option of taking this guy out, this mastermind in Iran who spread such mischief and mayhem all across the Middle East. They decided not to do it. Why was now the right time?

Walid Phares: Well, first of all, why they decided not to do it is very important and relevant. The Obama administration was engaged in negotiating the Iran deal. And for that purpose, they let a lot of these militias operate from Hezbollah to the Hashid, of course, to the parts of Iran across the region. We lost basically four or five years of countering these militias because of the Iran deal, which was ended at the end of the day. The last two years of the Bush administration were difficult because of the sharp opposition when Congress has changed a majority. Now, the Trump administration has this opportunity, not just because we are superior on the military level, the peoples of the region are rising. And I am surprised that many U.S. analysts are not even factoring this in the analysis. We see millions of Iraqis demonstrating against these militias, burning their headquarters. Iraq is about to tip over. Iran is the same thing. There are protests in Lebanon against Hezbollah. That is not part of the analysis at all. We think that Iran is as strong as it was before.

Raymond Arroyo: Okay, we’re going to get to all of that. And gentlemen, I want to remind people how we got here. In Iraq the Baath Party came to power in the 1970s. Saddam Hussein became dictator in 1979. When he invaded Kuwait in 1990, the U.S. and its allies repelled him with Operation Desert Storm. Years later, fearing Saddam would use weapons of mass destruction in the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq in 2003. While ousting Saddam might have seemed a good idea at the time, it did unleash a string of unintended consequences that empowered Iran. The mullahs began to exercise control within the Iraqi government, supporting Shiite Islamic groups and militia groups. Nearly 5,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq over 15 years, and we spent an excess of a trillion dollars attempting to create a democracy in the Fertile Crescent. The utter incompetence of the last administration only made things worse. And despite the military pullbacks, United States personnel are still deeply committed in the region. I want you all to look at this map. There are 5,000 troops in Iraq today, not counting the 3,750 additional troops the president has just deployed. In Jordan, there were 2,795 troops, 13,000 in Kuwait and 12,000 in Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, Walid Phares, Congressman Mark Green, I want to bring you all in on this. Colonel, aren’t these troops more targets for the Iranians? I mean, I understand targeted strikes, but shouldn’t we be pulling back rather than sending more troops to this very unstable region?

Daniel Davis: Absolutely. I mean, I couldn’t agree with you any more strongly. I mean, and that’s one of the things President Trump ran on was to end these endless wars and that’s why the American people voted for him and it makes a lot of tactical sense. I can assure you I fought four combat deployments in this area, and I know that they’re not going to accomplish anything. Those small number of troops there, we definitely need to withdraw them, get them out of harm’s way because they’re not defending our interest anyway and so that gives us a lot more freedom and now then that leaves the Iraqis and the Iranians to have to deal with the political turmoil in their own countries on their own without the worry about American troops in the way.

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman Green, you interrogated Saddam Hussein. Very briefly, tell me what he told you. And were we looking in retrospect was it folly to remove Saddam Hussein when he was holding down many of these Islamic elements that we’ve seen bubble up and in many ways destroy the civil society of that country?

Mark Green: No. I don’t think so at all. I think it was the right thing to do. He was a murderous dictator. We know he used mustard agent on his own people. We have the images. We have the —

Raymond Arroyo: I know but there’s murderous dictators across the world. They’re in Sudan. They’re in Syria. They’re right now still in power. Do we remove them all?

Mark Green: Well, if you’ve got a guy like Saddam Hussein and if you look at the intelligence that we had at the time, which there was good intelligence that he might have a nuclear — he was looking for fissile material, I think it was the appropriate thing. Now, some of the mistakes that happened afterwards, you know, we did not do a great job in nation building. But taking Saddam Hussein out I thought was the right thing and when I talked to him —

Raymond Arroyo: What did he tell you, very briefly, Congressman?

Mark Green: He told me all sorts of things like why he started the Kuwait war, why he started the Iran/Iraq war. I mean, he was a megalomaniac who thought he was the king of the world. He thought he could do anything and his disappearance from the world stage is good for the world.

Raymond Arroyo: Walid Phares, —

Mark Green: Just like this Soleimani.

Raymond Arroyo: I’ve got to move on. Gentlemen, back in 2017, President Trump said this about Saudi Arabia or in Saudi Arabia rather about America’s role in the Middle East going forward. Watch.

[begin video clip]

Donald Trump: The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their country, and frankly for their families and for their children.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Walid Phares, doesn’t this latest troop deployment violate the president’s Middle East doctrine?

Walid Phares: Not at all because what we have not aired are the other parts of the speech where he told them drive them out. Drive the jihadists out. Drive the Iranian regime out and we will stand by you. It doesn’t mean that we will do your wars. You can revolt against them and we will be backing you by all the possible ways we can and commenting on this map, all the forces that we have now in the Middle East are not even equal to the initial force that we have deployed in Iraq. I’m against the idea of having a huge army but these forces basically are mobile and the last argument they’re going to be fired at, no. We are going to have them be the target. We’re not going to be the targets ourselves.

Raymond Arroyo: Okay. Very quickly, Walid, inform people about — I mean, I have long been and I will be in full disclosure I was very dubious about President Bush going into Iraq because I saw the Chaldeans, the Christian community there, utterly ruptured and leaders at the time warn this will destroy us. That has come to pass. That community’s gone and with it went civil society. You see an upside to this strike against this Soleimani that there could be a silver lining here. What is it, Walid?

Walid Phares: Look, I see an upside if we continue to do certain strategic actions. The downside if we just do it. And then go do nothing. For example, the Christians in the north that you are very concerned about, the Chaldeans, the Syrians and even the Yazidis have been refugees for the last now four or five years. By weakening this organization which is stopping them from going back home, we can bring the refugees back home and civil society since you mentioned civil society have we not seen for the last three months what was happening from Baghdad to Basra all these young Shia and majority in Iraq today is against these militias. So, we get to the 99 percent of the process. We get to [unintelligible] and then we go back home.

Raymond Arroyo: Yeah. Gentlemen, Adam Schiff seems to be up to his old tricks again. This time questioning the timing of Trump’s strike. Watch this.

[begin video clip]

Adam Schiff: I have yet to be fully satisfied that the administration either has a strategy, that this is not simply a one-off act of retaliation or preemptive strike. The question is why the administration chose this moment, why this administration made the decision to remove him from the battlefield when other administrations of both parties decided that would escalate the risks not reduce them.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Colonel, what do you make of a congressman, particularly a political adversary, questioning the timing of an attack and a president’s duty and constitutional duty to protect his troops and the homeland?

Daniel Davis: Well, I think President Trump has already answered that question pretty soon. They said they had actionable intelligence. The secretary of defense said that we had information that they were in the middle, in the midst of planning an attack that could have potentially killed hundreds of people. So, I think that has been pretty much answered. But all along those same lines is one of the things I hope President Trump does do is that when he sent those troops in there into both Iraq and Syria it was with an actionable military mission that could be accomplished, which was to drive ISIS out of their caliphate which he successfully accomplished but now then those troops are still there and they don’t have a military accomplishable mission. In fact, it’s very vague which is always a bad situation because that’s when you can get into mission creep. That’s why I hope the president withdraws them very soon.

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman Green, before I let you go, are you concerned that the Republican Party is now cast as the regime change in the Middle East war party once again and the consequences that could have in 2020?

Mark Green: No, not at all. I mean, the president has responded honestly quite measured to what Iran is doing. You look at when the drone was shot down. He specifically chose not to go kinetic and to use a computer virus. And then they attacked with 11 rocket attacks our bases. He chose five bases, camps of theirs to attack and then they attacked a U.S. embassy. This is sovereign U.S. territory. So, he went and took out the guy who planned the mission. He’s very, very measured and proportional. I don’t think that that’s the image of the Republican Party. Now, I will say that, you know, with folks like Senator Warren and Adam Schiff running around saying that this is an assassination using the terms that the Iranians are using, I mean, that certainly emboldens the enemy when they don’t support the troops that are in the field. This is not an assassination. These soldiers are there under congressional authority. The War Powers Act has nothing to do with this and yet they’re out there talking about that stuff. It’s ridiculous.

Raymond Arroyo: Colonel, Walid, Congressman, thank you all for being here. We’ll see what Iran does next. We’ll stay in touch. Coming up, does Nancy Pelosi think she’s the president? She and other Dems are whining about Trump not getting permission to kill Soleimani. But did he need it? Congressman Matt Gaetz and Lee Zeldin fire back next.

[commercial break]

Raymond Arroyo: Congressional Democrats are furious with President Trump for not getting their permission to strike terrorist mastermind, Qasem Soleimani.

[start video clip]

Chuck Schumer: The operation against Soleimani in Iraq was conducted, however, without specific authorization and any advance notification or consultation with Congress. I’m a member of the Gang of Eight, which is typically briefed in advance of operations of this level of significance. We were not.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: It has an air of solemnity and prayerfulness. Joining me now is Matt Gaetz House on Service and Judiciary Committee member and Lee Zeldin of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Gentlemen, thank you for being here. Congressman Gaetz, does the president need Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer’s permission to launch an airstrike on a dangerous target?

Matt Gaetz: The president would need congressional authorization to start a war with Iran, but as the president made very clear, this was an effort to protect our troops and to stop a war, not to start one. What the world is witnessing is a change in doctrine. The Obama-Bush Middle East regime change doctrine was to invade and then hope to persuade people that we were liberators. Instead, the Trump doctrine is at its best when we strike the terrorists and then bring our troops home. I’m concerned about the additional troop deployments for the reasons you mentioned in the last segment. I’m grateful that President Trump is trying to end the war in Syria. He is the first president to end one of these forever wars and not start one. And we should not engage in a war with Iran absent congressional approval.

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman, I don’t remember Democrats whining about the 563 drone strikes that Obama ordered. In fact, President Obama ordered ten times as many drone strikes as George W. Bush, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The Obama administration said the strikes complied with the extremely broad authorization for the Use of Military Force Act that was passed by Congress after 9/11. Congressman Zeldin, why are airstrikes acceptable under a Democratic president, but verboten now?

Lee Zeldin: Double standards. I mean, we’ve seen it at play over the course of this year on so many different levels, but that’s your answer. And here, this particular strike was meant in order to save lives of American diplomats, to save lives of U.S. troops. Nancy Pelosi, today, she used the word “disproportionate” to talk about —

Raymond Arroyo: She did.

Lee Zeldin: — this act that was successful in taking out Soleimani. “Disproportionate?” I mean, how many hundreds of more U.S. troops have to be killed, Nancy Pelosi, before it’s proportionate? How many more thousands of U.S. troops have to lose limbs before it’s proportionate, Nancy Pelosi? So, I mean, for everything that’s happened in the past, this was important justice. But that’s not why this was done. This was done to protect American diplomats and American service members going forward. It was an emergency. It was done effectively. It was appropriate. It was legal. It was proportionate.

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman, here’s how 2020 Democratic candidates are reacting to the drone strike. Listen to this.

[start video clip]

Male Speaker: His actions now put us on the path to another war, potentially one —

Joe Biden: — who follows a string of dubious actions that President Trump has taken that have drastically increased the prospects and the risk of war with Iran and danger to Americans.

Pete Buttigieg: Taking out a bad guy is not a good idea unless you are ready for what comes next.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman Gaetz, is the president really putting us on a path to war with this strike against Soleimani in your mind?

Matt Gaetz: It is not the president’s actions that put us on the greater path to war. It was Soleimani’s actions that were leading to war. Remember, Soleimani was trying to draw the United States into a war with Iran because he believed it would enhance his political standing within Iran if he could demonstrate his survivability. Soleimani problem is he vastly overestimated his own survivability. And when folks wrote his name on the walls outside our embassy as they were attacking American soil, attacking Americans, they essentially signed his death warrant. So if I were the next leader of the Quds Force, I certainly wouldn’t want those folks writing my name on the walls of any American embassies.

Raymond Arroyo: Republicans are pretty unanimous in their support for the president’s strike. But here’s what Senator Rand Paul said today. Listen.

[start video clip]

Rand Paul: Without a declaration of war, without Congress and the American people behind it, what you get is a messy mission. You get a mission of escalating intermittent violence, but he really has no purpose or plan. And the country doesn’t — hasn’t been told to be united. The president said he didn’t want perpetual war in the Middle East, but he’s adding more and more troops. If you don’t want perpetual war, you don’t keep sending more targets over there.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman Zeldin, does he have a point when you’re adding more troops? Are you worried that this could drag the president and your party and the country into a war, even if it’s not the intention?

Lee Zeldin: President Trump is someone who desires to end wars, not start them. And we’ve seen them throughout his entire time in office from One Nation to the next, one conflict to the next, his goal was to eliminate the ISIS caliphate, which was successful. His goal here is to protect American diplomats. It’s important to notice — note that that raid battalion that was sent over from Fort Bragg —

Raymond Arroyo: Right.

Lee Zeldin: — that was sent over while there were still these attackers outside of the U.S. embassy. The Marines sent up from Kuwait, that was something that was done while you still had these people attacking the U.S. embassy. So while Joy Reid was on MSNBC saying that this was Trump’s Benghazi, President Trump and his administration were ensuring that this was going to be a situation that was going to protect American lives. At the end of the day, it cost Qasem Soleimani his life. And I would just add that Matt Gaetz was making a ton of really important points just now, and to add to that, it’s almost like Rowhani and Zarif are writing the talking points for these Democratic presidential candidates, for the Senate Democrats, the House Democrats. They are so invested in wanting to take President Trump down.

Raymond Arroyo: And in a moment, I mean to get into the media and how they’re also echoing the same lines. But I’ve got to get to this, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks she’s figured out why the president ordered the strike now.

[start video clip]

Debbie Schultz: This action was taken more in President Trump’s self-interest rather than our national interest. Donald Trump was just impeached a week and a half ago, and we need to get to the bottom of how and who carry — helped him carry out this illegal cover up to allow him to withhold aid to help him politically and personally. That’s outrageous. And I think that has a lot to do with what this attack was about.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: “To help him politically and personally.” Congressman Gaetz, might we be looking at the next article of impeachment against the president from this Democratic House? And is this all about distracting people from a nonexistent trial?

Matt Gaetz: It’s pretty rich when Democrats say that this is Trump attempting to distract from domestic political issues when they have used impeachment to distract from the fact that they have no agenda for the American people on health care, on infrastructure, on immigration, or really anything. And so I think that’s really the Democrats going back to the same hymn in the hymnal, because they have really no other options and no other plan for the American people.

Raymond Arroyo: Congressman, thank you both very much for your insights. Happy New Year. Now, most people aren’t shedding any tears over the killing of Soleimani, but the radical left is irate. Congressman Ilhan Omar tweeted today, “We are outraged the president would assassinate a foreign official, possibly setting off another war without congressional authorization.” Fellow squad member Rashida Talib added, “We cannot stay silent as this lawless president recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk at home and across the globe.” Here to respond is Asra Nomani. She is the cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement. Asra, why are these two congresswomen so angry over the killing of a terrorist?

Asra Nomani: Well, what Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar forget is 40 years of terror that this man and his regime have put upon the people of Iran and women and civil rights activists throughout the region. What we have done in the United States today is taken out an assassin, a man who has taken himself siege upon the dreams of generations of people here over the last 40 years. And so, what these two congresswomen have done is allowed their hatred of Donald Trump to blind themselves from the reign of terror that this man Soleimani has put upon his own people and Americans throughout the region.

Raymond Arroyo: Asra, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted she vowed to stop Trump tweeting this, “So what if Trump wants war? Knows this leads to war and needs the distraction?” There’s that line again. “Real question is will those with congressional authority step in and stop him? I know I will.” Asra, does it sound like she’s attempting here to turn impeachment into a political weapon for a foreign power?

Asra Nomani: It really feels as if what Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have done is taken this agenda to come to hour and dethrone as they put it the leader of America and what they are forgetting in this moment is that what we have faced over these last 40 years as Muslims and as reformers in our community, our regimes like the regime in Iran that do not respect democracy like we practice here in the United States, that would not even allow women like them to speak openly and publicly like they do and so they have taken the wrong side on this battle as they have on so many other battles because of this intense hatred that they have for the democratically elected leader of this country.

Raymond Arroyo: It’s really unbelievable. Thank you, Asra, for your insight. Coming up, the media seems to have forgotten just who Soleimani was. You won’t believe how some news outlets are describing the terrorist mastermind. Tammy Bruce and Matt Schlapp are here to expose the media’s latest disgrace next.

[commercial break]

Welcome back to the Ingraham Angle. Terrorist, murderer, evil mastermind. These could all be acceptable ways of describing Qasem Soleimani. But apparently some didn’t get the memo. Last night the Washington Post called Soleimani, “Iran’s most revered military leader.” It brings to mind their eulogizing al-Baghdadi, the other terrorist, as an austere religious scholar. Remember that? Joining me now is Tammy Bruce, Fox News contributor, president of the independent woman’s voice and Matt Schlapp, chair of the American conservative union. Thank you both for being here. Now, this is how the broadcast media was describing this terrorist. Watch. [begin video clip]

Female Speaker: The U.S. has stripped Iran of an inspirational military leader.

Male Speaker: He is the second most powerful person in Iran.

Male Speaker: In Iran, he is seen as a revered military leader.

Male Speaker: This guy is regarded in Iran as a completely heroic figure personally very brave.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Oh, the Mother Teresa of Tehran. Tammy, why do some media outlets insist on lionizing these terrorists? What’s the motivation?

Tammy Bruce: You know, one of my favorites, by the way, is the New Yorker. Soleimani, a flamboyant construction — former construction worker and bodybuilder with snowy white hair, a dapper beard, and arching salt and pepper eyebrows, which I will have hopefully, you know, in maybe another 30 years. They’re doing it because and this is a knee jerk reaction now they’ve been trained. It’s automatic. It’s instinct because this is a good thing that President Trump did. There — they cannot accept that something that would actually in just the basic facts of reality cast a good light on the president. So, their instinct like with al-Baghdadi is to try to cast these individuals as these were like nice guys or maybe didn’t deserve this and Trump’s a maniac and you don’t love him for this because this was wrong. They are so engaged in this delusion that it’s affecting their ability even to relate basic figures and facts when it comes to reality. In fact, then it becomes a lie. It becomes a perpetual lie to the American people.

Raymond Arroyo: But it’s repeated and repeated and repeated. Matt Schlapp, how did this guy become the Mr. Rogers of Tehran? I mean, what is happening here?

Matt Schlapp: Yeah. Well, I think Tammy’s right that he’s now a foil to Donald Trump, but I think it’s important to put this in perspective. Remember under the Bush years when we went after terrorists in many cases we would arrest them and send them to Gitmo but according to the left that was abusive of their human rights.

Raymond Arroyo: Right.

Matt Schlapp: So, what did Obama do to enhance the human rights of terrorists? He started to assassinate them. I never read very many op-eds about it was a problem when thousands of terrorists were taken out with drones by President Obama, but here President Trump has the audacity after actionable intelligence that he was doing to go after innocence with a new attack takes the man out. Now we have to read all this about it being unconstitutional, an abridgement of human rights internationally. Barf, Raymond. Barf.

Raymond Arroyo: Tammy and Matt. I want you to listen to how CNN’s John Berman described the killing of terrorist Soleimani.

[begin video clip]

Joe Biden: That’s nothing compared to the murder of General Soleimani and this comes during the Senate impeachment trials. [end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Murder is unlawful, unjustified killing, okay, of a person.

Tammy Bruce: That’s correct.

Raymond Arroyo: As if we didn’t have the right.

Tammy Bruce: It’s a legal finding. Yeah.

Raymond Arroyo: Okay. But he seems to be indicating here that the president doesn’t have a right to remove a person who’s orchestrated hundreds, if not thousands of American deaths.

Tammy Bruce: Yeah. All of the effort on the left, including the impeachment, is to try to make President Trump illegitimate. Their argument is that, effectively, he shouldn’t be able to operate. He shouldn’t be allowed to operate. He shouldn’t choose Supreme Court justices. He shouldn’t act as the president. But this is not going to bode well for them next year. The American people understand what’s happening. They can make up their minds about who’s dangerous. It’s their family that are in the military. This was — these were specialized strikes. No civilians were injured. We are going to manage this. And you’ll remember he was attacked for removing our troops from the border of Syria —

Raymond Arroyo: Right.

Tammy Bruce: — because that was abandoning our allies. There is nothing this man can do that will be approved of. And the American people see this, I believe, for what it is.

Raymond Arroyo: Matt Schlapp, you heard earlier there are some concerns, even among congressional Republicans, that we may be entering another endless war or quagmire here. But I want to contrast the handwringing and the depiction of Trump’s order to take out Soleimani with the way the media reacted to Osama bin Laden’s death during the Obama administration. Listen.

[start video clip]

Male Speaker: President Obama will be remembered as the leader who nailed bin Laden.

Female Speaker: And it could be the defining moment of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Female Speaker: President Obama’s talk about unity does reflect a real palpable feeling in a lot of the country.

Female Speaker: It was breathtaking, and the moment of Barack Obama’s presidency so far.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: I haven’t heard any of this breathless commentary —

Tammy Bruce: I need a cigarette after that.

Raymond Arroyo: — since Trump removed these terrorists. Matt, are terrorists only worth removing if a Democratic president does it?

Matt Schlapp: Look, it’s a pretty scary thing, which is there was a time in this country where there was a national security consensus, be you liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, when it came to our national security, we could stand together. I applauded Barack Obama when he took out Osama bin Laden. I’m disgusted that these Democrats who want to be the commander in chief and want to replace Donald Trump can’t even stand up for the security of the American people and our allies. And remember, we’ve been at war with Iran for 40 years. We’ve never recognized this regime.

Tammy Bruce: A cold war.

Raymond Arroyo: Right.

Matt Schlapp: This is not a state that’s recognized by the American government. They are as rogue as al-Qaida is rogue. If it’s okay to take out Osama bin Laden, you should be able to take out a terrorist like Soleimani.

Tammy Bruce: And can I add —

Raymond Arroyo: Yeah.

Tammy Bruce: — part of the media complaint is that, “Oh, this is going to be perpetual war.” And even the complaints of some people in Congress.

Raymond Arroyo: Yes.

Tammy Bruce: We were told it was going to take 30 years to get rid of ISIS. It took 18 freaking months.

Raymond Arroyo: [laughs]

Tammy Bruce: Donald Trump does not do perpetual anything. He’s a businessman. There are end points. The faster you get something built, the fast you do something, the better —

Raymond Arroyo: The better.

Tammy Bruce: — for the overall picture of what you’re achieving. This is about getting things done. And finally, we have an action — man of action in the White House.

Raymond Arroyo: Before I run out of time, I want both of you to react to this. Fox News’ Peter Doocy today asked Joe Biden if he’d greenlight an airstrike to save American lives. Listen.

[start video clip]

Peter Doocy: If you were ever handed a piece of intelligence that said you can stop an imminent attack on Americans, but you have to use an airstrike to take out a terror leader, would you pull the trigger?

Joe Biden: Well, we did. The guy’s name was Osama bin Laden.

Female Speaker: Thank you so much.

Peter Doocy: And weren’t you — didn’t you tell President Obama not to go after bin Laden that day?

Joe Biden: No, I didn’t. I didn’t.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: “No, I didn’t.” Now, Uncle Joe must be having a senior moment because that’s not exactly what he told Obama. Here’s Joe Biden from 2012.

[start video clip]

Joe Biden: Mr. President, my suggestion is don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Matt, is it any wonder that Bob Gates said Biden was wrong about every foreign policy issue over the last four decades? What’s going on here?

Matt Schlapp: I’m having a flashback to another Democratic presidential candidate. I think Joe Biden was against the assassination of Osama bin Laden before he was for it.

Raymond Arroyo: Tammy?

Tammy Bruce: Yeah. Look, this is, I think — this is why primaries are important, campaigns are important, people being in front of the camera, being asked questions, hard questions, which falls always to Peter Doocy, apparently.

Raymond Arroyo: [laughs]

Tammy Bruce: Which is great for us. But it really shows you the nature of what politicians have gotten used to doing, lying, and making things up as they go along. We’re in an age now, technological age, where we can immediately remind people about what was really said. That’s a benefit for the country.

Raymond Arroyo: Right.

Tammy Bruce: And these are the kinds of things that will make his candidacy, of course, and they have a problem.

Raymond Arroyo: Tammy Bruce, Matt Schlapp, thank you both for being here. See you soon. Coming up, what could Trump do to make Hollywood hate him even more? If you answered kill a terrorist, you’re right. Tom Shillue and actor Robert Davi are here for more on Friday Follies. Stay there.

[commercial break]

Raymond Arroyo: It’s Friday, that means it’s time for Friday Follies. You didn’t think we’d skipped this week, did you? Hollywood is enraged that the U.S. killed a terrorist, senior citizens get a new hobby, and the pope gets slap happy. Joining us now with all the details is comedian Tom Shillue, Fox News contributor and host of Fox Nations, the quiz show, and actor-singer Robert Davi. Thank you both for being here. This is an all-star panel tonight, gentlemen, thank you.

Male Speaker: Really good to be here. Thanks for having us.

Raymond Arroyo: Now, Hollywood is in an uproar over the death of brutal terrorist Qasem Soleimani. They took to Twitter to express their outrage. Rose McGowan felt the need to apologize to Iran. She wrote, “Dear Iran, the USA has disrespected your country, your flag, your people. Fifty two percent of us humbly apologize. We want peace with your nation. We are being held hostage by a terrorist regime. We do not know how to escape. Please do not kill us.” Tom, she later apologized for that but what do you see here? What’s going on? 

Tom Shillue: Does she realize that she would not be very welcome in Iran? The [unintelligible] would not appreciate many of the outfits that she’s worn on the red carpet.

Raymond Arroyo: Including that one.

Tom Shillue: Yes. But she — look, I don’t want to pick on Rose McGowan. She seems to have been chewed up and spit out by Hollywood but, you know, so I encourage her to keep up her fight against Harvey Weinstein and all these pigs who went after her when she was a young actress. But with the politics, she’s not so bright.

Raymond Arroyo: Well, as Tammy Bruce said on the way out, the very people she’s trying to bring to justice she wouldn’t be able to do that if she were in Iran. Now, Robert, this is director Rob Reiner. He tweeted, “What a horrible sinking feeling having a commander in chief who you know is a pathological liar trying to justify striking the heart of Iran’s military.” The heart of Iran’s military? Is he for real?

Robert Davi: You know, it’s astounding to me. The — I feel like we’re in a clown world. When I saw the response to a lot of the people, the media, the politicians and then also Rob Reiner and the rest on the strike against a terrorist, since I’m a kid all I remember is death to America from Iran. Burning of the American flag. What Ronald Reagan went through with Jimmy Carter, the appeasement. These people forget about what happened in Nazi Germany in the ’30s when everyone was appeasing. The same left of Hollywood, the same left of the politicians appeased and then until Hitler killed six million Jews then everyone now turns a different — I mean, it’s a clown — it’s crazy, Raymond. I don’t understand it. The heart of the Iran —

Raymond Arroyo: These operations used to bring Americans together. It’s troubling that it doesn’t on any level and, you know, the troops, the people in harm’s way, that’s secondary. Now, I want to turn to something a little lighter because we need a palate cleanser. According to a recent survey, more adults over 50 are playing video games. The AARP survey claims that in three years’ time the elder gamer population has grown from 40.2 million gamers in 2016 to 50.6 million today. Now, we wanted to meet these people, so I hit the streets to find them.

[begin video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: What game are you playing and what system are you on?

Female Speaker: I don’t play video games at all.

Male Speaker: Um. I sometimes log on to a Sudoku site.

Female Speaker: I don’t play.

Female Speaker: I do play cell phone games.

Raymond Arroyo: Oh. What do you play on cell phone?

Female Speaker: Solitaire.

Raymond Arroyo: I got a Sudoku across the street.

Male Speaker: I play absolutely no games.

Raymond Arroyo: How about you?

Female Speaker: None.

Raymond Arroyo: No Fortnite?

Female Speaker: Nope. None.

Raymond Arroyo: No Grand Theft Auto?

Female Speaker: No.

Male Speaker: No. I have a car, and please don’t give anybody any ideas, okay?

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Tom, do you really believe there are 50 million elderly people playing video games?

Tom Shillue: Well, it depends on how you define games because the article you sent me, the woman was profiled, she likes playing Wii bowling.

Raymond Arroyo: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean —

Robert Davi: That’s a good game.

Raymond Arroyo: I know but do chess and word puzzles really count as video — they’re not entering, you know, they’re not playing Fortnite.

Robert Davi: They’re not playing Halo 5.

Raymond Arroyo: Right. They’re not doing that. Now I have to hit this story, no pun intended, before we leave. The Pope during a New Year’s Eve visit to St. Peter’s Square encountered an Asian pilgrim. She crossed herself then she reached out to him and he slapped her hand. On New Year’s Eve he apologized saying, “Many times we lose our patience. I do, too, and I’m sorry for yesterday’s bad example.” Now everybody loses their patience but not everyone is the Pope. Thoughts. Robert Davi.

Robert Davi: Well, it was kind of jarring when I saw that slapping.

Raymond Arroyo: Oh, yeah.

Robert Davi: It reminded me of my grandfather when I used to tease him and then he would kind of like — I mean, all right, but he’s — you got to realize he’s the representation of Christ. He is not Christ.

Raymond Arroyo: Right.

Robert Davi: But at the same time what she wanted to tell him, what I understood, was that the underground Christians in China — was that a dicey story?

Raymond Arroyo: That hasn’t been confirmed. We’re not sure.

Robert Davi: It’s not confirmed. Oh, I see.

Raymond Arroyo: There are some rumors that that may be what he’s talking about, but we couldn’t confirm.

Robert Davi: But I could see, I mean, you know, he might have physically had some pain and that’s a reaction.

Raymond Arroyo: Tom.

Tom Shillue: This is like the Zapruder film. I keep watching it over and over. The first time I thought it was the Pope’s fault and then I said wait a minute. She must have yanked his arm. I think it was her fault and now I’m back and I’m thinking the Pope obviously he overreached. We can tell that because he apologized.

Raymond Arroyo: Yes.

Tom Shillue: So, I, you know, I think the slap was a little hasty, but we know — Raymond, you remember, it was a few months back when he was —

Raymond Arroyo: With the ring thing.

Tom Shillue: When he was pulling his hand away.

Raymond Arroyo: We have video of that, which we may — we’ll play that out to the end, okay? Gentlemen, thank you both. Hang around. Final thoughts and I’m going to keep these guys in line. We’ll have a word in a moment. Stay there.

Robert Davi: Poor Pope.

Raymond Arroyo: Poor Pope.

[commercial break]

Raymond Arroyo: Well, we thought for a moment we’d sing Oh Soleimani, but we decided not to do that. Robert Davi is at Birdland in New York on the 20 —

Robert Davi: Yes, 25th of January.

Raymond Arroyo: — 5th of January.

Robert Davi: Saturday night. Get your tickets.

Raymond Arroyo: Tom Shillue, Fox Nation quiz show is a blast. I’ve done it once. He didn’t ask me back but that’s it and you can read the Will Wilder book. The whole series is available everywhere on Amazon and anywhere you buy books. Grab them. They’re great family reading. That’s all the time we have tonight. Want to thank Laura for letting me sit in. I’m Raymond Arroyo for the Ingraham Angle. Shannon Bream take —

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