In a Thursday morning interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” co-host Joe Scarborough debated Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) on House Republicans refusal to consider legislation to keep people on the no fly list from buying guns.
Scarborough asked Cole why lawmakers have not nixed the terror watch lists if they believe the data is too flawed to use to determine who can purchase guns.
At the beginning of the interview, MSNBC’s Willie Geist asked Cole why Republicans have blocked votes on the “No Fly, No Buy” legislation and a measure to expand background checks. Cole noted that votes on gun control legislation failed in the Senate and a House committee recently.
And when asked about potential fixes to the terror watch lists, Cole said that lawmakers are working on it.
“It’s worth noting had any of these laws passed they wouldn’t have stopped anything that happened in Orlando. That’s the sad truth here,” Cole added. “The idea that there’s some magic legislative fix to what’s a deep social, cultural problem I think is an illusion. And frankly I think it’s a situation where the democrats have exploited this tragedy for political purpose.”
When asked if he could support a “No Fly, No Buy” bill if it established a process for people on the watch list to protest their placement on the list, Cole responded by saying that the list is deeply flawed.
“Once you’re on it, it’s very hard to get off of it. It’s an incredible invasion of your rights as an individual,” he said.
Scarborough then jumped in to ask, “Then why don’t we get rid of the list if it’s so bad? I don’t understand. Why have the list at all?”
“Just get rid of the list. This is the same argument that I hear on background checks: ‘We already have a background check system and it’s terribly flawed so we can’t fix the background checks system.’ I don’t get it,” Scarborough added. “Does the terror watch list serve a useful purpose or not?”
“Yes, it does,” Cole replied.
During more back and forth, Scarborough implored Cole to work on fixing the terror watch lists.
“Don’t act like you’re helpless, you’ve got the power,” Scarborough said.
“I don’t pretend I’m helpless,” Cole hit back. “I’m not going to vote for bad legislation because it’s politically expedient to do.”
Watch the exchange via MSNBC: