“One of the best in the business”: U.S. Senate candidate John James is a big fan of anti-Muslim bigot Pete Hegseth

An image of John James and Pete Hegseth at a GOP fundraiser

Image from the Livingston County Republican Party's Facebook page

U.S. Senate candidate John James has built his political career with help from Fox News and host Pete Hegseth, including going on his Fox & Friends program and appearing with him at a GOP fundraiser, where James called him “one of the best in the business.” Hegseth is an anti-Muslim bigot who has warned followers about the Muslim birth rate in states like Michigan; criticized the election of Muslims to public office; and praised President Donald Trump’s call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” 

James is a Republican and frequent Fox News guest who is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan, a state with one of the largest Muslim American populations in the country. 

Hegseth is a co-host of Fox & Friends’ weekend edition. He is an influential pro-Trump voice who has lobbied Trump to pardon people convicted of war crimes. Hegseth himself has endorsed committing war crimes. 

Hegseth and James appeared together at a May 24, 2018, fundraiser for the Livingston County Republican Committee in Michigan. James introduced Hegseth and touted his own appearances on Fox & Friends and praised Hegseth as “one of the best in the business” and someone who stands as a “beacon of truth at the vanguard of our First Amendment.” 

Following the event, he tweeted: “PUMPED to have FOX & Friends Weekend host and fellow combat veteran @PeteHegseth with us at the @LivingstonGOPVC Lincoln Day Dinner!” 

James has also repeatedly appeared on Fox & Friends over the years, including with Hegseth. (Media Matters previously criticized Fox News for allowing Hegseth to interview James even though he appeared at a fundraiser with James and the Fox News employee was paid for his appearance.) 

Hegseth has pushed anti-Muslim rhetoric on Fox News. For instance: 

  • In a February 2016 segment about Hamtramck, Michigan, which has a Muslim majority, Hegseth pushed fears about the “assimilation” and “integration” of Muslims. 
  • In May 2017, Hegseth criticized then-Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges (D) for giving her State of the City address at a mosque. He stated: “This is the left doing everything they can to fall over themselves to fawn over a new community.” 
  • In May 2018, Hegseth said of France: “I hate to put it this way, but I think it's true. They've got a slow-motion 9/11 happening in their borders in France. ... Demography matters. Muslims are having 2.6 kids, whereas French-born folks are having 1.6 kids.”

Hegseth is also a supporter of Florida Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who has described herself as a “proud Islamophobe,” has said that she didn’t “care” about the anti-Muslim mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has stated that she’s in favor of “more” migrant deaths. Hegseth has repeatedly defended Loomer; said that he hopes “she wins, and wins big!”; and posted a now-deleted tweet containing a donation link for her campaign. 

Hegseth makes his anti-Muslim views clear in his book American Crusade, which was released in May. In it, he wrote that “just like the Christian crusaders who pushed back the Muslim hordes in the twelfth century, American Crusaders will need to muster the same courage against Islamists today"; warned about the “Muslims’ birth rates” in states like Michigan, New York, and Minnesota; and complained about the number of Muslim-Americans who have been elected to office across the U.S. 

Here are several excerpts. 

Hegseth warned about “Muslims’ birth rates” in states like Michigan and the number of Muslim candidates who have won political office across the U.S. 

Today, Europe is sort of waking up to the fact that it has been invaded again—culturally and demographically. According to the Pew Research Center, the Muslim population in Europe, excluding Turkey, was estimated at 30 million in 1990, at 44 million in 2010, and is expected to grow to 58 million by 2030. The number is growing while birth rates among native Europeans have all dropped. Many European countries would have declining populations if not for Muslim immigration. Combine these factors over time, and this is what you get: in 2019, the most popular name in England for newborn boys was Muhammad. 

Could the same thing happen in America? Of course. With enough leftism and enough time, anything is possible for Islamists. As I have reported on extensively at FOX News, certain cities in my home state of Minnesota have started to look much different thanks to overwhelming and intentional Muslim immigration. What started with good intentions (see: Somali Omar in chapter 1) and peaceful refugees eventually evolved into insular communities, internationally funded mosques, welfare fraud, culture clashes, and radicalization. Then, as Muslims’ birth rates have grown—alongside their political influence—local “tolerant” populations have made concessions. Critics are called racists, crimes are hidden from the public, and the European cycle has begun. Similar trends are happening in other states, including Michigan and New York. 

Thankfully, we are behind the trends of Europe. Our two oceans, barriers to refugee invasions, and traditional Christian fabric have insulated us well, but we are losing them—quickly. American leftists insist on pursuing the very same policies that led to the cultural invasion in Europe. The unholy alliance between leftists and Islamists means that open borders, nonassimilation, the erosion of national allegiance, and toleration of the intolerable has left the door open for Islamists to establish a foothold in our country. In November 2019, twenty-six Muslim candidates won elected office in the United States. Muhammad is now a top ten boys’ name in America—what will it be in 2030? [Link

Hegseth: “The ‘Islam = Peace’ narrative is a naive and cowardly worldview.” 

In my first book, IN THE ARENA, I wrote at length about the threat of Islamism. Most Americans, especially leftists, live with a romanticized Lawrence of Arabia view of Islam and Islamism. Islam is a “religion of peace” to be embraced by the tolerant West, they say. This mantra is pounded into our head in school and then repeated ad nauseam in the herd mentality culture and politically correct news media. The “Islam = Peace” narrative is a naive and cowardly worldview, because the alternative is confronting the reality of a threat that’s almost too scary to fathom. For most of America’s history, we’ve had the convenience and good fortune to shield ourselves from the impact of Islamism; it was on other continents, endangering other people, far from our shores. 

Then two towers fell in Manhattan, and an entire generation of Americans—including myself—went to war and got a front-row seat to the reality of Islamism. [Link

Hegseth: “Just like the Christian crusaders who pushed back the Muslim hordes in the twelfth century, American Crusaders will need to muster the same courage against Islamists today.” 

I fully understand the distinction between “peaceful” Muslims and Islamist Muslims. I have many dear friends who are Muslim—including Texas Omar, his family, and colleagues at FOX News. They are wonderful people, working and fighting—in their mind—to save a religion besieged by radicals. I don’t agree with that assessment, but they love America, so I respect them greatly. 

But they are under siege. Next to the communist Chinese and their global ambitions, Islamism is the most dangerous threat to freedom in the world. It cannot be negotiated with, coexisted with, or understood; it must be exposed, marginalized, and crushed. Just like the Christian crusaders who pushed back the Muslim hordes in the twelfth century, American Crusaders will need to muster the same courage against Islamists today. [Link

Hegseth: “Islamists—and even mainstream Muslims—use aggressive tactics to exploit American 'tolerance' as utter weakness in order to achieve accommodations.”  

Islamists—and even mainstream Muslims—use aggressive tactics to exploit American “tolerance” as utter weakness in order to achieve accommodations that would never otherwise be tolerated. I’m not talking about on the battlefield, I’m talking about in our classrooms, city councils, and social media. Simply put, their sheer insistence, the specter of violence, and their passionate beliefs lead many average citizens to retreat on demands for assimilation to American principles, a reality we have seen powerfully in Minnesota among a large Somali refugee population. Muslims insist, insist, and insist—making “others” feel as though they are under the gun or somehow wrong. “Bigots!” the leftists cry. For fear of public reprisal and cries of “intolerance” against anyone who questions their religious demands, most Americans simply cave in to a stubbornly insular Muslim community. [Link

Hegseth complained that “we must not only tolerate Islam and Islamists—we must celebrate them, we are told.”  

Of course, elitists are the worst. Their think tanks and universities are riddled with so-called experts who tell the rest of us the lies, over and over again, that “Islam is a religion of peace” and “diversity is our strength.” The country of Qatar donates millions to powerful DC think tanks such as the Brookings Institution, funding “experts” who won’t dare cross their donors. We must not only tolerate Islam and Islamists—we must celebrate them, we are told. Leftists impose speech codes, written and unwritten, about what can be said about Islam—and then dare the rest of us to defy the PC police. Any criticism of Islam is deemed “hate speech” (see: Canada and Europe), and they tie themselves in knots explaining away Islamist terrorism as rooted in economics, politics, and even climate change. Elitists are first apologists, and then enablers, of Islamists. [Link

Hegseth complained that “Islamists happily exploit” the view that celebrates Muslim immigration “to seed the West with as many Muslims as possible.”  

Globalists tell us that borders don’t matter; that anyone, from anywhere, with any ideology, has an equal right to live in America, Europe, and the West. “These are peace-loving citizens of the world. Let them in,” they say. Not only do they balk at Muslim immigration bans or moratoriums, they celebrate Muslim immigration. Of course, Islamists happily exploit this view to seed the West with as many Muslims as possible. Suddenly, years later—thanks to their very high birth rates relative to native populations and their strategically insular culture—the sons and daughters of those migrants and refugees multiply in greater numbers than do native citizens. Islamists, first peacefully and then militantly, expand their influence within this otherwise “peaceful” cycle. Name one modern European country that has opened its borders that has not seen this happen? Time’s up. The answer is: none. [Link

Hegseth wrote that Trump was “right” to call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” 

As usual, President Trump has been—and continues to be—willing to say and do the things most American political leaders would never have the guts to do. In December 2015, candidate Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on!” He was right then and, once in office, tried to implement a more tailored ban from certain countries with large populations of Islamists. It was tied up in the courts until going into partial effect. With a win in the courts, he now plans to expand it. The result: it’s 2020, and half the country, more than half of elected officials, and almost everyone in the media still have no idea what the hell is going on. Except for President Trump, our leaders still don’t take the threat of Islamism seriously. [Link