Entries in Peter King (9)


Rep. Peter King: Hillary Clinton Would ‘Destroy’ Rand Paul and Ted Cruz

United States Congress(NEW YORK) -- If you’re a 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, watch out for Rep. Peter King’s right hook.

While discussing his boxing skills with ABC News’ Rick Klein, King, R-N.Y., who has been talking up his potential presidential ambitions, took jabs at other possible 2016 contenders.

“I’m going to be feeling out the opponents the first few rounds, throwing jabs and jabs and, when they’re not looking, right cross and it’s all over,” King said.

He even offered some praise for the Democrat who would be the odds-on frontrunner, provided she decided to run.

King believes the Republicans don’t stand a chance if they put up the wrong candidate against Hillary Clinton.

“I think she’s very strong on foreign policy, and I think that if we nominate someone from our isolationist wing of the party, she’ll destroy them,” King said, putting Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz squarely in the isolationist category.

King also had criticism for another potential Republican 2016 hopeful, Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Fla., who King believed failed to deliver on providing aid to the Northeast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

“I have a lot of regard for Sen. Rubio, but I have some hard feelings after what he did, voting against aid to New York,” King told ABC News. “[It] shows some narrowness which I’m not over yet.”

That said, King’s issues with the GOP are not only limited to the domestic front. The congressman also thinks Republicans need to participate in a “coherent” foreign policy dialogue and should focus on avoiding “name calling” and “pandering to people’s fears.”

“I like Paul [Ryan],” King said. “But as far as defense, Paul hasn’t really spoken out on defense.”

“So far … no one is out there talking about national defense,” he continued. “The economy’s important, immigration’s important but the fact is if we don’t survive as a nation, none of that matters.”

Without this kind of discussion, King believes Republicans will face an uphill battle, especially if the Democrats nominate Clinton. And he is not alone in thinking that.

On Friday, White House strategist David Axelrod said Clinton would be the most likely Democratic nominee in 2016.

“I think that Hillary Clinton probably will be the candidate,” Axelrod said Friday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rudy Giuliani Getting Ready to Run for President Again?

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani "is very close to saying he's going to run" for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, according to his old friend, Congressman Peter King of Staten Island.

Giuliani, a popular figure within the party, failed to win the GOP nod in 2008, receiving exactly one delegate during the primaries.

However, King said that this showing hasn't discouraged the former mayor, who gained national recognition for getting New York back on its feet after the 9/11 attacks.

The lawmaker told reporters that Giuliani learned from his mistakes the first time he ran for president and has been lining up support, adding, "If he were to make the decision today, he would run."

However, some political observers wonder if Giuliani has more to offer other than his handling of the 9/11 crisis, particularly since the death of Osama bin Laden seems to weaken his argument that he's the best choice to deal with terrorists.  Giuliani is also not so much a social conservative as he is a fiscal one, which also might not sit well with the Republican base.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is There a President King in America's Future?

PeteKing [dot] House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican Party is looking for a few good presidential candidates.  Is Congressman Peter King one of them?

The outspoken Republican from Staten Island, New York insists he has no designs on the White House, at least for the moment.

King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, told Politico Wednesday, "I'm not going to Iowa, I'm not going to New Hampshire, I’m not forming an exploratory committee."

Rumblings over the Internet about a possible King candidacy began Tuesday when Long Island Republican Committee chairman Joseph Mondello said that King should definitely throw his hat into the ring.

The longtime lawmaker didn't exactly shut the door on a possible run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 when he told Politico he might be interested "if it takes off."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Osama bin Laden's Death Brings Praise from Capitol Hill

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- News of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces striking inside Pakistan Sunday brought praise from both sides of the political aisle in Washington, D.C., but all agree the U.S. must remain vigilant in the war on terrorism.

Here is what some lawmakers are saying:

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, top Republican on Senate Armed Services Committee:

“I am overjoyed that we finally got the world's top terrorist.  The world is a better and more just place now that Osama bin Laden is no longer in it.  I hope the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks will sleep easier tonight and every night hence knowing that justice has been done.  I commend the president and his team, as well as our men and women in uniform and our intelligence professionals, for this superb achievement.  But while we take heart in the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, we must be mindful that al Qaeda and its terrorist allies are still lethal and determined enemies, and we must remain vigilant to defeat them.”

Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

"The killing of Osama bin Laden closes an important chapter in our war against extremists who kill innocent people around the world.  We are a nation of peace and laws, and people everywhere should understand that our ten-year manhunt was in search of justice not revenge.  Terrorists everywhere must never doubt that the United States will hunt them down no matter where they are, no matter how long it takes.

"We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women of our intelligence agencies and our military for their tireless dedication and enormous sacrifice to bring justice to a man responsible for the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11 and thousands more men, women, and children around the world.

"I commend President Obama and his national security team for never forgetting the need to secure justice for those who lost their lives nearly 10 years ago and for those who have lost their lives in the war against extremism that continues today.

"A single death does not end the threat from al Qaeda and its affiliated groups.  We must remain vigilant and committed to keeping the world safe and secure."

House Speaker John Boehner:

"This is great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world.  We continue to face a complex and evolving terrorist threat, and it is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts to confront and defeat the terrorist enemy and protect the American people.  I want to congratulate -- and thank -- the hard-working men and women of our Armed Forces and intelligence community for their tireless efforts and perseverance that led to this success.  I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaeda.  I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment.  It is a testament to the professionalism of our dedicated national security professionals that no American lives were lost in this operation.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I hope that today’s action provides some comfort to the 9/11 families who lost loved ones in the devastating attacks on our shores.

“Though the death of Osama bin Laden is historic, it does not diminish our relentless pursuit of terrorists who threaten our country.”

Rep. Peter King, R-NY:

“Today, the American people have seen justice.  The leader of the United States’ top enemy has gotten what he deserves for orchestrating the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans on Sept. 11, 2001.

“In 2001, President Bush said ‘we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.’  President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words.  President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda.

“This great success would not have been possible without the tireless work of countless brave men and women who have served around the world in this War on Terror.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, top Senate Republican:

"The death of Osama bin Laden marks a long-awaited end to the work of the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks.  No one who remembers the horror of that day can help but feel relieved that Osama bin Laden is dead.  This is a great victory in the War on Terror and for all who have worked so tirelessly over the years to thwart the monstrous designs of this madman and his disciples.  On Sept. 11, 2001, America came together and vowed that we would never forget the memory of those whose lives were lost on that terrible day.  Tonight's announcement shows that we have made good on that pledge.  It is proof that no matter how difficult or how long it takes, our military, intelligence forces and law enforcement officials will never stop until the job is done.  America celebrates tonight, and is grateful for the heroic efforts of the many men and women around the world who have fought and who are still fighting to protect the world from terrorism.  Though they may never make the headlines, we are ever mindful of their many sacrifices.  This war on terror continues, but we can be happy tonight that with the death of Osama bin Laden, the world is a better place.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY:

"This is a thunderous strike for justice for the thousands of my fellow New Yorkers -- and citizens from all over the world -- who were murdered on 9/11.  It took close to ten years, but the world's most wanted terrorist has finally met his deserved fate.  New York's heart is still broken from the tragedy of 9/11, but this at least brings some measure of closure and consolation to the victims and their families.  This is a massive accomplishment for the countless military and intelligence personnel who have been urgently dedicated to this task for the past decade.  Because bin Laden's evil dogma has poisoned the minds of so many others, we cannot let up in the war on terror.  This successful mission sends a definitive message to those who would test the resolve of the people of the United States of America: do not doubt our resolve; if you do us harm, we will find you, we will mete out justice, and we will prevail."

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate:

“I was advised by Vice President Biden this Sunday evening that Osama bin Laden has been killed.  Though this is not the end of the threat of terrorism, it is a clear warning to our enemies that when they threaten and kill Americans, they will be pursued and held accountable.  Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to our intelligence community and military for pursuing this manhunt for almost ten years and successfully eliminating the most high profile terrorist on earth.  Those who believed bin Laden and his network were invincible will now awaken to a new reality.”

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, top Republican on U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

"This is a historic moment for the U.S. special operations and intelligence communities.  I highly commend the special operations units who undertook this mission and carried it out with no injuries to women or children inside the compound.  The CIA and others in the U.S. intelligence community did a phenomenal job over several months in carrying out this assignment."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Muslim Congressman, Religious Leaders Rebuke King's Hearings

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. André Carson, D-Ind., one of two Muslims serving in the House of Representatives, joined senior religious leaders from various religious communities, including Islam, Christianity and Judaism, in rebuking Thursday’s hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims, saying it proved to be a setback for the country.

“At a time when we should be actively working together to strengthen relationships across the Muslim world to help fight extremism, Representative King's hearings risk tearing down some of the bridges that we have built,” Carson said in a press conference.  “These hearings weaken the very foundation upon which this country was built.”

Carson joined Congress in 2008 after winning a special election to fill the seat of his late grandmother, Congresswoman Julia Carson.  Carson’s opponent in the 2010 election, Marvin Scott, was accused of attacking Carson for his Muslim faith during the campaign, but Carson won the election and held onto his seat.

The faith leaders gathered on Capitol Hill to condemn the hearing for grouping the entire Muslim community as extremists.

“We also stand shoulder to shoulder in opposing the singling out of any one religious community in a way that would cast unwarranted suspicion on that part of the American population,” Rev. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, said.

They also acknowledged that any religious community could be singled out in the same manner as the American Muslim community.

One Muslim leader admitted that extremism may exist in some Muslim communities but argued it is not indicative of the entire Muslim population as a whole.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Hearings on Radicalization Among American Muslims Not the First

PeteKing [dot] House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Thursday's House hearing on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community's Response" has created a firestorm of criticism by civil rights groups and Democrats who say that Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is intentionally isolating Muslims.

Democrats and rights groups say he's guilty of "modern-day McCarthyism," and is using religion to divide Americans.

Critics had sought to have the scope of the hearings expanded beyond Islam to consider radical sects of other religious and belief groups too.

Despite the outcry, it should be noted that King’s hearing is not the first or the fifth or even the tenth hearing in Congress to tackle the issue of violent Islamic extremism.

Independent Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is himself a defense hawk, chaired a series of 14 hearings on "Violent Islamic Extremism" from his perch as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. So Did Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rep. Jane Harmon, D-Calif., who held six similar hearings.

Lieberman's hearings spanned from Sept. 2006 to Feb. 2011.

Sen. Lieberman, I-Conn., says his hearings were different in that they examined the ideology of Islamic terrorism rather than spotlighting the Muslim community, but he called King's hearings "important."

In a statement, Lieberman said: "The problem has gotten worse, and thus there is more awareness of it. Chairman King's focus also appears to be on the responsibility of the Muslim American community for dealing with the threat of homegrown radicalization, whereas our focus was on the ideology that spawns Islamist terrorism," Lieberman said in a statement. "But the questions Chairman King is raising are important ones. Our government needs a more comprehensive approach to combating and preventing homegrown radicalization.  I have been saying that for years," he added. "Law enforcement, intelligence, and local police departments do an increasingly good job. But it's clear that if we're really going to prevent the radicalization of Muslim Americans, people within Muslim American communities must be alert to signs that somebody is beginning to turn in a radical direction and then work with others in the community and law enforcement to stop that person from carrying out an attack."

Lieberman continued: "My own hope is that these House hearings will lead to a better understanding of three things: One is the extremely small percentage of Muslim Americans who represent any threat to this country; the rest are patriotic and law-abiding.  Two, we need the Muslim American community to help us reduce this threat.  And three, the administration must issue a comprehensive strategy that engages the public and private sectors to confront and prevent the radicalization to Islamist extremism of people within the U.S."

While hearings of this nature are nothing new, what's different this time, civil rights groups say, is King's rhetoric. They also point to the title and witness list of the hearings, saying they more specifically target the American Muslim community rather than the threat of extremism itself.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Holder Criticizes Focus of Rep. King Hearings on Muslim Radicalization

Chris Hondros/Getty Image(WASHINGTON) -- The afternoon before House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., kicks off hearings looking at the issue of radicalization of Muslims in America, Attorney General Eric Holder rebuffed allegations by Rep. King that members of the Muslim community had not been helpful to law enforcement in counterterrorism investigations.

At a Justice Department press conference on Wednesday, Holder said, “The Muslim community…have contributed significantly to the resolution of many things that we have resolved over the course last 12 to 18 months....Tips that we have received, information that has been shared has been critical to our efforts to disrupt plots that otherwise might have occurred.”

“What we have tried to do at the Justice Department is reach out to the Muslim Community, to establish relationships that otherwise might not have existed; to establish a dialogue so that information flows to us; so that information flows from us -- so there is a better understanding in the Muslim community about what the aims are of America’s law enforcement,” Holder said. “I think we’ve been pretty successful in that regard and we have a good relationship.”

Last year in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III discussed the importance of outreach efforts and said that in 2009 the FBI had created Specialized Community Outreach Teams to work with specific communities in the U.S. Mueller testified that the case of Somali youths who left the Minneapolis area in 2007 and 2008 to fight with the al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab network in Somalia led to the creation of these teams. 

In testimony Mueller said, “The FBI understands that protecting America requires the cooperation and understanding of the public. Since the 9/11 attacks, the FBI has developed an extensive outreach program to Muslim, South Asian, and Sikh communities to develop trust, address concerns, and dispel myths in those communities about the FBI and the U.S. government.”

Rep. King and his committee plans to hear testimony from Abdirizak Bihi, the founder of the Somali Education and Advocacy Center, about the youths who traveled overseas.

Asked if the hearings could polarize Americans -- and asked about Rep. King’s assertion that Holder himself is very concerned about radicalization, keeping him awake at night -- Holder said, “My focus is on individuals as opposed to communities and I think that is what we need to be focused on. What is it that drives individuals to do certain things? We don’t want to stigmatize, we don’t want to alienate entire communities, we need to focus on individuals and groups of individuals who might band together, who would try to harm American interests or American citizens, that is what this Justice Department is doing.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Peter King to Examine Threat of Radical Islam at Home

PeteKing [dot] House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- The chairman of a key congressional committee is scheduled this week to examine the apparent threat posed by homegrown Islamic radicals.

But some members of the Muslim community fear that Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is on a witch hunt, holding hearings that recall the days of Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communism crusade.

Hundreds of people in New York City this weekend protested the hearing entitled "Radicalization in the American Muslim community," which is scheduled for Thursday.

"Peter King, we are on to your game, dividing people and using fear and intolerance," one female protester said.

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to Congress who will be testifying at the hearing, said, "These hearings, as presently organized, won't do any good.  And they may well do a lot of damage."

Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, "These hearings have the potential to demonize Islam."

But King has said the goal of the House Committee on Homeland Security is not to target all Muslims but to deal with the reality of terrorism.

Forty-nine suspects have been charged with acts of international terrorism in the past two years.  They are nearly all Muslim men, typically in their 20 or 30s.  The charges include plotting to blow up a car in Times Square, targeting the New York City subway and the shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas.

And there have been numerous stings, including one involving New York City men who allegedly wanted to use a shoulder-fired missile to shoot down U.S. military planes.  Other stings involved young men radicalized on the Internet.

The members of the Muslim community believe it is being unfairly maligned because of the actions of a few.  Muslim leaders have also pointed out that a number of terrorism suspects were arrested based on tips from their community. Wednesday on Good Morning America, Rep. King countered that claim saying there have been documented cases in which Islamic leaders in New York and elsewhere have advised followers not to help law enforcement personnel -- and in at least one case, the leader of a mosque warned a follower the FBI was investigating him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House Praises Muslims for Aiding Fight Against Terrorism

Comstock/Thinkstock(STERLING, Va.) -- The White House commended Muslim Americans Sunday for their role in fighting violent extremism, just days before the House plans hearings to investigate the “radicalization” of the U.S. Muslim community.

“The most effective voices against al Qaeda’s warped worldview and interpretation of Islam are other Muslims,” Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough said at an interfaith forum held at a Northern Virginia Muslim community center Sunday night.

McDonough praised the members of the community for taking “an unequivocal stand against terrorism” and was adamant that the U.S. does not practice “guilt by association.”

“You’ve condemned terrorism around the world against people of other faiths…In so doing, you’ve sent a message that those who perpetrate such horrific attacks do not represent you or your faith, and that they will not succeed in pitting believers of different faiths against one another,” he said.

McDonough’s comments come as Rep. Peter King, R-NY, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, plans to hold a hearing Thursday on the "Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community's Response."

Earlier Sunday, King reiterated warnings that "something from within" the Muslim community is a threat to America and needs to be explored.

"We're talking about al Qaeda.  We're talking about the affiliates of al Qaeda who have been radicalizing, and there's been self-radicalization going on within the Muslim community, within a very small minority, but it's there.  And that's where the threat is coming from at this time,” King told CNN.

Critics say the hearings risk demonizing the Muslim community by targeting one faith over another.  While McDonough did not mention King or his hearings directly, he made it clear that “to protect our nation, we will not stigmatize or demonize entire communities because of the actions of a few.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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