The following is a rush transcript of Todd’s interview with Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Click here to listen to the full interview.
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TODD: I want to go right now to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. We’re very honored to have with us Congressman Jim Banks. And congressman, it was good to see you at CPAC and we’re honored to have you on the show today.
BANKS: [00:22:42] Hey, thanks for having me on the show. It was good to see you over the weekend as well. You gave a great speech.
TODD: [00:22:47] Well, thank you. I appreciate that. It was a great crowd and always good to see so many conservatives from all over America just willing to, you know, just to take a stand. And no, they’re not in this fight by themselves. So, Congressman, I want to jump right into this very disturbing information about the military, specifically the Navy. You’re a Navy veteran. What are the concerns you have based on the reports you’re hearing out of the Navy?
BANKS: [00:23:14] Well, first of all, thanks for giving us attention, because Senator Tom Cotton, Representative Dan Crenshaw from Texas, Mike Gallagher from Wisconsin and myself participated in the development of this report. We were joined by a number of civilian retired military leaders, different people involved with think tanks in Washington, D.C. We well, we went out we we interviewed anonymously a number of active duty Navy officers and enlisted personnel and a number of retired officers as well to take a look at the posture of the United States Navy. The big takeaway is this. The Navy is a lot more concerned and focused on diversity training today than they are on defeating the greatest adversary, a threat that we face as a nation and as the Chinese Communist Party is the Navy’s gone woak. They haven’t modernized and focused on what they are there to do in the first place. And that’s our big take away. I mean, so many interviews that we conducted with with with quotes like this one retired senior enlisted leader in the United States Navy said, quote, I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training. I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training, end quote. And another active duty lieutenant said in our report, quote, Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers that will survive a fight with the Chinese Navy, end quote. We heard that over and over and over again is deeply concerning.
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TODD: [00:24:48] I mean, this is startling. I think back to, you know, the aftermath of Pearl Harbor when there were grave concerns that we would not have the personnel or the ability to stop the Japanese from from launching an attack on the on the west coast of this country. And now here you are telling me so many years later that we could be in a situation where the Navy is not prepared to step up and fight should that happen?
BANKS: [00:25:16] Yeah, that’s exactly the case. I mean, there is one word game. Many of the war game scenarios are played out the last few years. Show us losing to China, almost all of them that I’m aware of. But a RAND Corporation study actually use this language. I won’t use the word that they use. But he said the U.S. gets their butt handed to it. They use a different word in a war with China in every single war game scenarios so that it just goes to show you the highest experts when it comes to those who study our Navy and our military versus China’s Navy show that we’re on the losing end. And this isn’t at the end of the day, this is a statement on the highest leadership in the United States Navy. Our report shows that our leadership is focused on everything except defeating communist China and that that’s what’s deeply troubling. You might you might have seen an exchange that I had with the CNO, the top admiral in the United States Navy, a few weeks ago in the Armed Services Committee. He put out a reading list and told every sailor in the United States Navy to read a book called How to Be an Anti-racist by an author named Ibrahim Kennedy, who preaches a dangerous anti-American ideology of critical race theory that teaches our sailors that America is evil and racist. And he said a number of things that are beyond belief and incendiary, like Amy, Tony Barrett is a is a white colonizer, he said, because he adopted a couple of black children. He also said the AIDS virus was created by white people to kill black people. This is a book and in his book he says egregious things about. Everyone in America, including institutions like the Navy, are racist. Todd, how do you go out and ask our sailors to put on a uniform and not just a mission that recruit young men and women to serve in our Navy and raise the right hand, take an oath of office like I did, knowing that you could potentially pay the ultimate sacrifice in service to your country when at the same time you’re telling our sailors and our our our military, our our soldiers and airmen and Marines that America is not is evil and not worth fighting for. It’s not sustainable. It doesn’t make sense. And it’s an egregious example of the lack of leadership that we have in our at the top levels of our military today. You know,
TODD: [00:27:33] Congressman, we saw during the Obama administration this radicalization of our military, and especially when it came to those hot button culture war issues, that President Trump undid a lot of that damage. Now it looks like we’re just right back to square one again.
BANKS: [00:27:53] I would argue even worse than the Obama years, because the Biden administration, Joe Biden, ran as a harmless, centrist, moderate Democrat, he’s governing every bit like Bernie Sanders or the radical socialists who have taken over the Democrat Party today. And they say at their core, they hate our military to begin with. They view our military as a social experiment when it’s not. And that’s why the the report that we publish is Senator Cotton Reps, Crenshaw, Gallagher and myself. That exposes where we are today at a very dangerous place. I hope this is a wake up call for America, for our military, for our policymakers on Capitol Hill to do something about it.
TODD: [00:28:38] And Congressman, I want to make sure our audience understands this is not an indictment on the rank and file. We’re talking about what’s happening at the Pentagon.
BANKS: [00:28:48] That’s that’s exactly right. And this is a Senate debate of the leadership at the highest ranks of our military all the way up to the commander in chief for turning our military into a social experiment rather than a war fighting the war fighting apparatus, an institution that is meant to be if we don’t do something about it. And now we’re going to face a grave consequences in the near future.
TODD: [00:29:08] Congressman, God forbid there’s some sort of a conflict, let’s say, tomorrow. Do you do you have confidence that the U.S. Navy under the Biden administration would be able to defeat the enemy?
BANKS: [00:29:19] I don’t have that confidence. And that’s that’s a sad statement for me to make. As someone who wore the uniform, as someone who served, someone who served and loved loves the United States Navy, you know, and this is the difference between Trump and Biden. I mean, Donald Trump understood the Reagan era fundamental principle of our military of peace through strength, I would argue, just as much as Ronald Reagan did. And he adopted a peace through strength, foreign policy. He rebuilt our military after it was decimated and torn apart by by the Obama administration. Now we have now we have a president and commander in chief who our adversaries do not fear that Russia doesn’t fear a Joe Biden. He knows that he can continue the onslaught of cyber attacks on America’s businesses, on our on our institutions, because there will be no consequences. And China China views Joe Biden and the weakness that emanates from his administration in the same way that that’s why that’s why you see China already moving ships in an aggressive posture against Taiwan, one of our great allies in that region, because they don’t fear the retaliation that would come from a Biden administration, like they would fear the Trump administration just six months ago. I mean,
TODD: [00:30:36] you think back to that standoff. If you remember back during the final year of the the Obama administration, when you had the Iranians holding our Navy sailors and those those appalling videos and photographs, it just harkened back to even the 1970s when the Americans were taken hostage.
BANKS: [00:30:57] That’s exactly right. Iran is exactly the maybe the best example they can come up with, the Obama administration drew red lines. They they they didn’t they didn’t follow through on their on their threats to go after Iran for their provocations or the activities on behalf of their proxy groups. Donald Trump did. Donald Trump held them accountable. He took out he took out the biggest terrorists in the world stage. And Sulimani and our adversaries were watching and paying attention to those activities. They don’t they don’t fear Joe Biden in the same way.
TODD: [00:31:30] Well, Congressman, I have to tell you, I am stunned to hear this about the Navy. I had just based on our years of reporting, we knew the Air Force had has been full blown woak. I didn’t realize it was that bad in the Navy as well. And my question to you, and this will be our final question, where do we go from here? You’re compiling this information. How do we get this fixed and fixed quickly?
BANKS: [00:31:52] Well, again, this is a wake up call and I serve on the Armed Services Committee, unfortunately, in the House we’re in the minority and the majority party is very much fully willing to allow our military to go work and face the consequences that come with it. So I can only hope that the American people rise up in the mid-term election next year, say enough is enough. We’re not going to allow this dangerous anti-American ideology is being taught in our schools to possibly be pushed out on our troops where it doesn’t work, that it’s a very dangerous path that we’re taking. If we teach our troops that America is evil, racist and not worth fighting and dying for, when that’s exactly what we ask our our men and women in uniform to do.
TODD: [00:32:33] Amazing. Well, Congressman, you have a full platform here, and we want to be able to expose these things you guys are finding out about. We’ve got to get the word out and anything we can do to help you. Just let us know.