Sen. Tom Cotton says he disagrees with GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial statement to ban Muslims from the U.S.
“I disagree with that proposal. I think it would be counterproductive. I think it’s important on the one hand that we recognize that we do face a war against radical Islamic terrorism. That’s a very small percentage of Muslims worldwide, but that’s a very large number of Muslims because there are over 1.5 billion worldwide,” Cotton said.
Cotton was a guest on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Ch. 7.
The state’s junior senator, who has taken on high-profile positions regarding national security, says it is also important for the U.S. to have short- and long-range goals to combat the terrorist threats garnering headlines.
“I think it’s also important that we recognize that while we might win this war in the short-term on a military front or an intelligence front – if the President changes his course – in the long-term, this is an ideological fight that can only be won by the help of moderate Muslims all around the world in countries that are already allied with us and trying to help us win this fight.”
Cotton said in the wake of the San Bernadino shootings that the U.S. needs to re-examine its visa screening and refugee relocation programs. He suggested that if applicants come from countries or neighborhoods known as terrorist hot spots, there should be a level of additional background check.
He also warned that the databases that carry information to conduct background screenings are not perfect.
“Syria is a war zone and it’s very hard to conduct those kind of background checks, so we have to be very clear-eyed and hard-nosed about the kind of security screening we can do,” he said.
Watch more of his interview below, which also includes comments on tying “no fly lists” to gun background checks, government metadata surveillance, and an in-state controversy over the Clean Line energy project.