Washington, D.C. – Chairwoman Elise Stefanik joined The Morgan Ortagus Show on Sirius XM Patriot to discuss why Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin must resign over his lack of transparency, the House’s investigation into antisemitism at higher ed institutions, the impeachment proceedings against Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and much more.

Listen to her full interview here. 

View highlights from her interview below. 


On Secretary Austin’s Lack of Transparency: 

“Well, I still think we're getting answers about what happened, Morgan, and I will tell you. I know you know this from your senior, national security positions. I know this as a member of Congress and particularly, a senior member on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. It is truly unthinkable and really shocking that the Secretary of Defense was undergoing major medical treatment, was out of contact, and did not notify the President, the National Security Council, the White House, and even the Deputy Secretary at the Pentagon, who was on vacation, was unaware. This creates a very concerning lack of continuity of government. And I'll tell you as you look around the world today, we are facing so many threats. And in my district, I represent the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, the most deployed division in the U.S. Army since 9/11. Currently, we have over 1,000 soldiers deployed in the Middle East. So to think that as American servicemembers are being targeted by Iranian-backed terrorists and by Iran that we have the Secretary of Defense who is essentially AWOL and out of contact, that is unacceptable. I've called for his resignation. And the White House, you have seen, has put out very concerning rhetoric and statements from the podium. They've asked every Cabinet Secretary to put forth very specific plans when it comes to communicating with the White House, continuity of government. And it's why the House Armed Services Committee is conducting a formal inquiry into the lack of transparency. But I'm sure, Morgan, you find it shocking, just given your senior level experience in the Trump Administration in the national security space. This is unthinkable.”


On Claudine Gay’s Resignation and the House Investigations into Antisemitism At Harvard and Other Higher Ed Institutions: 

“Well, you know me well, Morgan, because I was shocked, and I was really astonished in real time. And I’ve been in a lot of Congressional hearings over the past decade, and I’ve never heard more morally bankrupt testimony than at that hearing. And there is a reason that it is now the most viewed Congressional testimony in history of the United States Congress with over one billion views in just a week. It’s now multiple billions, and that’s because of the pathetic answers from those three “elite” university presidents. Just to take your listeners into the room, that was the last question of the hearing. Previously in the hearing, I had asked the Harvard President questions. I was not getting direct answers. And I thought to myself, I asked the most junior member of our committee, a new freshman: ‘If you have extra time, can you yield it to me because I want to ask one final, moral question?’ And I tried to ask it in a way, Morgan, that would force and elicit a ‘Yes’ answer which is why I asked, very straightforward, “Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate your university’s code of conduct on bullying and harassment?’ And I started with MIT thinking MIT is a technical school, they’re not as liberal in many ways or, sort of, they haven’t embraced this woke policy that Harvard and Penn. I was expecting MIT to say, ‘Yes it does violate our university’s code of conduct.’ And to my astonishment, all three university presidents said, ‘It depends on the context’. And you heard Penn even go a step further and say, and ‘It’s dependent upon the conduct’. You see my response to each of them in addition to the shock. I said, ‘It does not depend on the context, and this is absolutely unacceptable.’ And that's why I've called for their resignations. What you cannot see in the video, but it's important for your listeners and really, for everyone around the world to know this is, we have Jewish students from each of those schools who attended the hearing, and I could see them from where I was seated at the top of the dais, but they were not in a video shot. I could see how absolutely shaken and just so pained they were by these pathetic answers, these morally bankrupt answers of the presidents of the universities that they themselves attend. So this obviously set off an earthquake in higher education that has been long overdue. And our investigation is going to be robust. It's already ongoing. You know, after the hearing, it led to the forced resignation of the Penn President and then later after about a month, the Harvard President, and certainly the MIT President should also resign as well. But there is a lot more work to do from my perspective. This is when the work really begins. And that means looking at these universities when it comes to their failed records. We put out document requests regarding their failure to address the rise of antisemitism on college campuses, the DEI offices’ failure to stand up for and protect Jewish students. DEI offices, which are, by definition, antisemitic. The foreign funding piece which is very important to look at. And then of course, the U.S. taxpayer dollar funds. Billions of dollars of US taxpayer funds go to these higher ed institutions. We need to have oversight and address this, so a lot of work ahead. I'm engaged in this every single day.”  

On The Rise of Antisemitism In The Democrat Party: 

“Well, you know, unfortunately, Morgan, we know that antisemitism is a historic challenge. But it's really bubbling over in the surface, and certainly in my lifetime, I've never seen what we're seeing today, whether it's on college campuses, whether it's in the halls of Congress, frankly, with this rise of antisemitism within the Democrat Party, from members of The Squad. And, you know, it should not be difficult to take a vote to condemn antisemitism in Congress, and yet, over 100 Democrats voted against that resolution condemning antisemitism. I think the Biden Administration needs to be much more strong when it comes to their support of Israel and call out those in the Democrat Party who are contributing to this rise in antisemitism. And they have refused to do that. For example, they should have pushed hard to make sure every Democrat voted for that resolution to condemn antisemitism. And you saw, as I said, over 100 Democrats did not. And I will tell you, while the White House Press Secretary condemned the university presidents, we did not hear from the President of the United States himself, Joe Biden, and he is a former professor at Penn, and he should have spoken out. Instead, what we saw, for example, some prominent Democrat leaders like Barack Obama was pleading with Harvard University to keep the president, who, now former president, who put that, you know, historically morally bankrupt testimony into the record. So there's so much work that needs to be done in the national security space, I will tell you, we are absolutely committed to making sure that our most precious ally, Israel has the resources and support they need. And I've been proud to do that on the House Armed Services Committee and proud to do that on the Education Committee as well. But there's so much work to do. I will also tell you, I've introduced legislation that was signed into law, the Never Again Holocaust Education Act, which is for K-12 schools to make sure that there's federal grant monies available for teaching the historic lessons of the Holocaust because never again is now. And we need to, obviously, do so much more work in educating our young people especially.”

On Joe Biden’s Failed, Far Left Open Border Policies: 

“The border crisis, I will tell you, is the number one issue, that and inflation, those are the number one issues that I hear from in my district, and the border crisis, every state is a border state. We say that because we mean it and New York, we've just seen the catastrophe that Biden's failed border policies have caused. In New York, you even have Democrat mayors like Eric Adams, there in New York City, speaking out so loudly critical of Joe Biden's Presidency. And the sad irony there, Morgan, is that same Democrat Mayor also advocated for sanctuary city policies and sanctuary state policies in New York which have, you know, led to this border crisis. The fact that this week you had students dismissed and moved towards online learning to allow the school to house 2,000 illegal immigrants, it is fundamentally unAmerican. It is unbelievable. We know the significant learning loss that results from students when they're not able to be in the classroom. And actually, it's very important to point out House Republicans passed a bill to not allow illegals to be housed in our schools. And you know what, Chuck Schumer refused to take up that bill in the Senate. But we passed that bill barring that in the House, and we're very proud to have gotten that done. We passed that months ago. And it's not just the crisis from the Southern Border, Morgan, I represent a large swath of the U.S. Canadian Border in New York State. And we've seen a nearly 800% increase in illegal crossings on the U.S. Canadian Border in the sector that I represent, including individuals who are on the terror watchlist coming not just across our Southern Border, but our Northern Border as well. We passed the Secure The Border Act, House Republicans did, and unfortunately, not a single Democrat voted for it. But we know the policies that work. Those are President Trump's border policies. And that was the most secure border in my lifetime, and we need to return to those policies. So this is an issue that's not going away for Democrats. They see this in the polling. 84% of New Yorkers, for example, think the border is a crisis, and New York is traditionally a blue state. So a lot of those people answering yes, it's a crisis, are registered Democrats. We will secure the border when we win back the Senate and win back the White House, but House Republicans have done our job.”

On House Republicans Holding Mayorkas and the Biden Administration Accountable: 

“It will have an effect. We have a responsibility in our oversight capacity to hold these administrations and departments accountable when they're failing to do their job. In Secretary Mayorkas’ case, he is failing to execute the law. He is testifying under oath that our border is secure. The failed policies of Joe Biden that are being executed by Secretary Mayorkas as the Homeland Security Secretary have literally led to the deaths of Americans in the fentanyl overdoses. If you look, that's the leading cause of death of young American adults aged 18 to 35 in this country, and yet you have Secretary Myorkas saying that the border is secure. Americans are smart. They see through that, but it's our job to hold the secretaries and departments accountable. And we're doing that.”