Rep. Peter King: 'We Don't Know Who These People Are'

By Susan Jones | November 16, 2015 | 5:38 AM EST

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) chairs the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. (AP File Photo)

( - Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, says the Obama White House should not admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States because there is no way to do thorough background checks on them.

"We don't know who these people are," King said.

"Are you saying the president should suspend the idea of bringing in 10,000 refugees from Syria?" Chris Wallace asked King on "Fox News Sunday."

"He absolutely should suspend it, unless they can show 100 percent that a person is not involved with ISIS, because right now, there's no responsible way to do the vetting. That's the reality," King responded.

"And why people like Ben Rhodes continue to say this is beyond me. To me, it's as misguided as the president saying he's contained ISIS."

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes went on all the Sunday shows to defend the Obama administration's anti-ISIS effort and to insist that all Syrian refugees will be thoroughly vetted:

"We have very extensive screening procedures for all Syrian refugees who will come to the United States," Rhodes told NBC's "Meet the Press."

"There is a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security so we can make sure that we're carefully screening anybody who comes to the United States."

Nonsense, King told Chris Wallace: "Let me just say, Chris, I was listening to Ben Rhodes, what he said about the robust vetting about refugees is untrue. There's virtually vetting. There are no databases in Syria. There are no government records. We don't know who these people are. And when you meet with the people doing the vetting, they tell us that.

"So, this is really -- they are rolling a dice here. We know that ISIS wants to bring in terrorists with these refugees."

At least one of the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks reportedly came in with a group of Syrian refugees.

'Put political correctness aside'

King said the United States is the "main target" of Islamic State terrorists, and to effectively deter an attack here, "We have to put political correctness aside," he said.

"We have to have surveillance in the Muslim communities. That's where the threat is coming from.

"I don't think today the French police or French intelligence is monitoring the Catholic community or the Jewish community. The threat is coming from the Muslim community. And that's what we have to be doing in the U.S.

"Over the Fourth of July, for instance, we were faced with attacks that could have been the worst since 9/11, over the Fourth of July. Fortunately, the NYPD, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI were able to carry out arrests here in New York to stop the Fourth of July massacre which could have rivaled what happened in Paris. We can't let our guard down, we can't listen to people who say we have to shut down the NSA or tie the hands of the FBI, tie the hands of the police.

"This is not profiling. This is common-sense policing we have to do."

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