ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Mornings With Maria on Fox Business to Discuss Border Negotiations, Hamas Threats, Washington’s Misplaced Priorities

December 16, 2023

NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking and Foreign Relations Committees and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, yesterday joined Mornings With Maria on Fox Business to discuss the ongoing negotiations over the supplemental package, Hamas terrorist threats within the U.S., and the Washington establishment prioritizing taking down Trump over working for the American people.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on Biden and Democrats’ “border security” funding not actually securing the border: “I stand in shock constantly with the White House coming out and saying things as you just reiterated. This is billed overall as a national security package dealing with Ukraine, Israel, parts of it for the Asia Pacific, and money for the border. I want to be clear about this: This isn’t about border security; this is about more money to process people more rapidly into America. The greatest national security risk we face right now as a nation is the problem at our southern border. It’s a massive violation of our southern border. There’s a tidal wave of people coming into our nation; we’re being invaded at our southern border. And this White House continues to try to ignore it—[Senator] Chuck Schumer is not willing to address it in any sort of serious fashion—and Republicans have said ‘no more,’ particularly after what’s happened in the Middle East. The number of people that have come into our country on the terrorist watch list is increasing. Something very, very bad could happen right here on our own soil; the threats have come from Hamas directly now. They’re threatening America directly, and we need to be extraordinarily careful about this. But rather than acknowledge that threat, the White House wants to continue to try to ignore the national security crisis at our own border and then try to force us to address national security issues in other nations. We’re not going to do it; we’re going to focus on our own national security first.”

Hagerty on the Biden Admin’s unserious proposals within the supplemental funding request: “There’s been discussion about it, but not serious discussion. I’ve seen no detail on that at all. But what I have seen, the detail that I have seen from the White House, is frankly language that says that they would like the ability to, I’m going to use Washington speak here, ‘to reprogram all of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]’s budget,’ to turn it from a law enforcement agency into a resettlement agency. Over $8 billion of their budget; they want the ability to reprogram that. ICE is the only organization that we have in America that can actually send criminals back to their home countries. But rather than use taxpayer money to send these criminals back to their home countries, they want to use taxpayer money to send them on an airplane ride to a city near you or me. This is absolutely preposterous. It just shows the lunacy of the Biden Administration. The fact that they’re ignoring our national security, we have children dying here in Tennessee from fentanyl deaths, overdoses every day. They’re ignoring this, yet they talk about the national security of Ukraine, of Israel, of other countries. We haven’t dealt with our own national security, and we have to […] Chuck Schumer already brought this ‘supplemental package’ to the floor, and [all 49 Republicans] voted against it. We sent a very clear message to Chuck Schumer.”

Hagerty on Hamas threats within the U.S.: “If you look at the number of people that have come across our southern border that are on the terrorist watch list, it’s rising, yet this Administration is doing nothing about it. We’ve got to acknowledge the fact that we are in greater danger, and ever since the October 7th attack on Israel by Hamas, we’ve seen red lights all around the globe in terms of national security threats. We have to wake up and address this, and the Biden Administration has been so unserious about it. You look at what [National Security Advisor] Jake Sullivan is doing over there, and the way they’re reporting it today, this is pinball diplomacy. They just bounce from one bumper to the next depending on how the polls look here in America. They’re trying to appease the radical left of the Democrat party who are all pro Hamas—they don’t even understand what they’re cheering for—yet at the same time, they’re trying to act like they’re going to be the allies to Israel. What we’re doing is we’re confusing the situation, to go in and call for a timeline to actually be dictating in the media of when things would end, when they would not. To telegraph that to Hamas, the enemy of Israel, that is absolutely undercutting Israel’s position. We should not be doing this at all. It’s just very weak diplomacy, and it’s hurting our allies.”

Hagerty on Washington’s misplaced priorities of taking down Trump rather than getting America back on track: “You see [Congresswoman] Liz Cheney on a book tour right now, and I think she’s just the embodiment of this psychology in Washington that they would rather see four more years of carnage under [President] Joe Biden. They’d rather see more children dying right here in my home state of Tennessee from fentanyl overdoses than to deal with the fact that [President] Donald Trump could come in and upend their world because he’s proven their policies wrong. Under Donald Trump, we had an economy that was growing at twice the pace of every other major economy in the world. Our borders were secure, our nation was safe. But Donald Trump’s tweets are something that they didn’t like. It’s just amazing to me that you see the Washington establishments say they would rather see four more years of Joe Biden than to see Donald Trump back in office […] Look, Donald Trump is a business person. I’m a business person. We have a different perspective. We want to see things get done. This is not about the perpetuation of some sort of policy mechanism and organizations in Washington that continue to thrive decade after decade. This is about winning for America. This is about winning for our allies. Trump knows how to do this. This seems to be lost in the minds and hearts of so many of these people that are in the Washington permanent establishment.”