Rep. Adam Schiff: Imminent Threat in Brussels 'Is Still Very Real and Very Present'

Rep. Michael McCaul and Rep. Adam Schiff are interviewed on "This Week."
5:31 | 11/29/15

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Transcript for Rep. Adam Schiff: Imminent Threat in Brussels 'Is Still Very Real and Very Present'
security committee. And Adam Schiff. Top democrat on the house intelligence committee. I want to start with you, chairman Mccaul, I want to go back to this planned parenthood shooting. Planned parenthood is calling it domestic terrorism. And saying, em dreamists are feeding that environment. Do you agree? It's a tragedy. We're seeing too many of these shootings, it seems like every week, I think it's a mental health crisis. I don't think it would fall under quite the definition of domestic terrorism, although I'll leave that to the justice department to make that determination. But, I do think we have to address mental health and I think we also need to enforce existing law which requires, if you have been adjudicated mentally deficient that you have to put on the list so that you can't purchase a firearm. And what we found, when I met with the New York police department, so many of these cases never made it into the system and I think that needs to be fixed. And do you think that will help, congressman Schiff, that list, how do you draw the line on mental problems? I think this is a big issue. Martha, nothing we have done has worked. Essentially, we have have done nothing. The background checks are not universal, so even people who are mentally ill would be barred if they buy it off the back of a truck or they buy it at a gun show. If they can still have access to very powerful weapons, they're still going to be able to kill a lot of people, we have to do something other than this routine, now phantomime of condolence every time we have a mass shooting. I want to move to Paris and the mass shooting there. They have somewhat lifted the imminent threat in Brussels, I was there, you feel very safe when the city is lockdown, but they can't continue that, what do you know now of the imminent threat of Brussels, in that area? I think the imminent threat is still very real and very present. There are a lot of people who are unaccounted for who pose a threat to both Belgium and France. Until Europe makes the decision to share information to create a unified watch list, much like we have in this country, they either have to do that or they stop the free flow of people across their borders and within their borders, or it's not a question of if only when. Chairman Mccaul, what lessons have we learned from the attacks in Paris? Well, there are several. The Paris attack, foreign fighters traveling to the region coming back, so we have 5,000 europeans with western passports that have traveled to the region, many of them have come back. We have hundreds of Americans and many of them have come back to the United States. I do think the threat is far greater in Europe because of the Numbers. There are far more foreign fighters traveling in and out of Europe to Iraq and Syria. My committee issued a bipartisan task force report, they're implementing the recommendations and the legislation to help tighten up security gaps both internationally and domestic. As Adam talked about, the ease of travel, they don't check their citizens' watch lists. I think a lot of that will change in the wake of the Paris attacks. What about here in the homeland? Chairman Mccaul, what really do you have to do? You can't protect all of these soft targets? It's very difficult and we don't want these foreign fighters coming into the united States from visa-waiver countries. We've had in the homeland, we have had 18 plots stopped that were Isis related. We have arrested 70 Isis followers. We have a thousand investigation in all 50 states. One thing congress can do, we have an appropriations bill coming up in about two weeks and I think the FBI and components of homeland security will need an increase in funding to help this combat this threat we see right in the home land. Is that the answer, congressman Schiff? Well, we certainly have resource challenges. But we're fortunate that we don't have anywhere near of foreign fighters to track that Europe does. At the same time, two areas that we can beef up our own security is at our airports. Way too often when we test the tsa, they don't meet the tests. And that was one of the things that I was going to bring down, shooting down the -- the explosion aboard that we blame on Isis, that is pretty incredible, and we haven't talked about that a lot. It is incredible. And if you look at the device that Isis claims they used, no larger than the size of a soda can. Do you believe that's accurate? I believe a device that small can bring down an aircraft. We have to tighten up our defenses. While some have put a lot of focus on the refugees, by and large the refugees haven't been the problem, the real vulnerability here is people with european passports that can travel without a Visa to the United States. We'll have to address that issue. Thank you very much for joining us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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