Fox's Pete Hegseth calls for massive strikes against Iran to take out infrastructure and possibly cultural sites

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt also claims Iran is hiding missiles at cultural sites

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Citation From the January 8, 2020, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): So Pete, when you were with us yesterday, we knew something was going to happen because they said they are going to have fierce revenge. Okay, We saw what they did, 15 missiles, our direction. What do you make of that?

PETE HEGSETH (FOX & FRIENDS WEEKEND CO-HOST): Yeah. Not fierce revenge. Also, won't be enough for the Iranian regime. Listen, they are not as capable as they want the world to believe they are. They want something to sell for internal propaganda. I totally get that. None of this though changes the calculation of this regime, which is an evil regime. This is like if ISIS controlled the state, just Shia version. They have their own caliphate. They want to export it. They're premised on the exportation of terrorism, death to America, death to Israel. So when I hear talk about, well now it's time to get back to the table and talk, I say they need to come back to the table for talks on their nuclear capabilities. They need to come back limping and begging, not seething. So, will this be enough, will it end here? I don't think so. I don't think even close. And not because people like me want to escalate, the president has played this perfectly, he's played it being careful and cautious. At the same time, sometimes--

DOOCY: Well, who takes the next shot then?

HEGSETH: Sometimes have you moments, Steve. And I happen to believe that we can't kick the can down the road any longer in trying to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. They used the killing of Soleimani as an excuse to say, "we're scrapping the Iran deal." We all know they were scrapping it anyway, so what better time than now to say, we're starting the clock, you've got a week, you've got X amount of time before we start taking out your energy production facilities. We take out key infrastructure. We take out your missile sites. We take out nuclear developments.

DOOCY: That is not a popular idea.

HEGSETH: We take out port capabilities. Or, you know what, take out a Quds headquarters while you're at it, if you want. I understand that's not a popular idea. I don't want boots on the ground, I don't want occupation, I don't want endless war. But Iran has been in endless war with us for 40 years. Either we put up and shut up now and stop it, or we kind of wait, go back to the table, and let them dither while they attempt to continue to develop the capabilities to do precisely what they said they want to do. So either we -- we're honest about the nature of this regime, or I think we miss a moment. So I think it's been played well so far, but we should keep the initiative on our side, as opposed to trying to just tit-for-tat react to something they'll continue to keep doing, they always have.

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Pete, I know we are prepared to hit 52 targets, the president has said. Maybe if there were casualties, but because they're not, maybe the mission will change? But what do you know about these cultural sites, because we're not supposed to be hitting cultural sites, but I understand, I've been hearing that we believe that the Iranians are hiding missiles and weapons in some of these cultural sites, churches, or mosques.

HEGSETH: Of course they do. This is what Islamists do, it's what they've done in the battlefield against folks like me and my entire generation. Human shields, using mosques, using, you know, hospitals, schools. This is what our enemies do. Now, that doesn't mean we go on and target cultural sites. But what it means is we are clear-eyed about how our enemies use the rules that we write against us. And if we want to defeat them -- this is, having seen it -- if we want to defeat them, we have to think smart about how these rules -- how we navigate within these rules without playing a game that's rigged to help them so that we can't win. If we're going to fight to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, this regime, then we need to rewrite the rules that are advantageous to us. I don't want to hit cultural sites on purpose, but if you're using one to harbor your most dangerous weapons, then that should be on the target list, too.

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): And the president did kind of back off that. He says, I'm going to go by the international law. He kind of backed off that in the Oval Office yesterday.