From the September 20 edition of CNN’s New Day:
CHRIS CUOMO (HOST): People are afraid. No question about it. The fear is not backed up by the actual threat. Is that something that you accept as a premise?
SEAN DUFFY: I don't because I think the threat is real. I mean whether you go back to 9/11 or you see these constant attacks month after month throughout the year, I think people feel it's real. And we used to look, again, to New York, or L.A., or Orlando, or Boston, it happens in big cities. But when it goes to St. Cloud, Minnesota, places in middle America, not far from where I live, I think you strike fear in all of Americans and American moms that this can come home to any small town mall throughout the country. So I think it feels very real for Americans.
CUOMO: Feels. Statistically, not such a big threat. Intelligence officials, as you well know, put it very low on their list of priorities. But let's stick with the fear because it's real, and if you want to play to it in politics, that's fine, but you have to do something about it. So Trump says, I will. This will go away under a Trump presidency. So you get to the obvious, how? Extreme vetting. I’m going to do extreme vetting. What does that mean? Extreme.
DUFFY: So let's get that in one second. But first, I think you want someone to fight for security and safety. And I would just look to the president. And the fact that you're releasing prisoners from Gitmo, very dangerous Al Qaeda members. He's opened the doors and sending people out. The fact that we spent, Chris, $1.7 billion in cash to Iran, the lead sponsor of terror in the world. And then you look yesterday to the really unemotional response from the president to these attacks. I think people don't feel like they have a government, a president, and a leader that's going to fight to keep them safe. Now, I think this gets to be tough because you've kind of unleashed this movement with ISIS and Al Qaeda that's inspiring people around the world. I think Trump is right when he says, hey, this makes sense that we take a pause. Why do we have to let all of these people into the country when we can't effectively vet them? I think my constituents, they would say, hey, listen, Sean, I want you to fight for me, fight for America. Look out for us first. And if you can keep us safe and you can bring people in who want to live the American dream, good on you because we're a country of immigrants. But if you can't guarantee me that, your duty is first to me, not someone in Syria.
CUOMO: But even that's a distraction though, Sean. I'm talking about -- he said, I can stop this here. I'll do it with extreme vetting. The vetting that we do for Syrian refugees is better than any vetting we do for any other part of the system. And the proof is in the pudding. This skittles comment that Donald Jr. made, if you want to put up his comment you can. He said, if I gave you a handful of Skittles and told you three of them were going to kill you, would you eat that handful of Skittles? Ooh, That's a powerful metaphor. The problem is it's also BS. The numbers aren’t anything like that. The risk is like 1 in over 3 billion. The Washington Post wrote a piece about this. You would need two Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with Skittles to find three bad ones in it, that being the right ratio. You're dehumanizing these refugees. That's not what America is about. And your extreme vetting means what at the end of the day? How would you make it better than now, except keeping everyone out, which is not what this country's about?