September 15, 2019

Exclusive: ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ Co-Host Pete Hegseth on ‘Battle in The Holy City’ Special

Photo courtesy of Fox News

Pete Hegseth is arguably best known as a co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend,” which airs on Saturdays and Sundays from 3-7 a.m. But Hegseth has also been the host of his own program on Fox Nation entitled “Ace Of Spades: The Hunt For Saddam Hussein,” which has featured interviews with soldiers, military leaders and intelligence officers who tell the story of how American soldiers tracked down and captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Hegseth – the author of the highly-acclaimed 2016 Simon & Schuster title “In The Arena” – is also a U.S. Army veteran, holding two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hegseth, a Princeton University graduate, is the host of Fox Nation’s new special “Battle In The Holy City.” Released on April 11, “Battle In The Holy City” saw Hegseth travel to Israel with rare access that places cameras have never gone before. He also interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while in Israel, in addition to speaking with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Rabbi Ken Spiro and the City Of David Foundation’s Doron Spielman.

Highlights from my interview with Pete Hegseth are below.

Darren Paltrowitz: How did the opportunity to go to Israel for this special come about? Was it in the works for a long time? 

Pete Hegseth: Israel—and Jerusalem specifically—have become a very special place to me. After making multiple trips there in the past few years, it became clear that a larger story needed to be told. This is a passion project for me, and I was honored to undertake it.

DP: So you had been to Israel before filming this special? 

PH: Yes, multiple times. Five or six times in the past four to five years. 

DP: Was there a highlight for you as part of this trip? 

PH: Going to the Temple Mount — the site of the two previous Jewish Holy Temples. And overall, seeing the holiest sites in person with special access. There are so many dynamics in the Holy City, and we wanted to bring them to life.

Watch clips of Pete Hegseth here.

DP: Is there anything amazing about the trip that you didn’t get to include within the special itself? 

PH: This special is mostly about the old city of Jerusalem. There are so many other topics we could cover, and I hope to do more specials like this. Specifically, I would have like to have gone inside the Dome of the Rock; but as a non-Muslim, we were not permitted.  

DP: Having spent time with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly, is there anything you think people have wrong about him?

PH: He is a straight-forward guy, who carries himself with a great deal of gravitas. He wears the weight of Israel on his shoulders, and you can tell he loves his country.

DP: What else are you working on at the moment? 

PH: Hopefully more specials on the story of Israel and the many threats the Jewish people face in the region and around the world. From Judea and Samaria, to Gaza, to the Golan Heights, to the scourge of Holocaust denial, there is so much more to tell.

DP: When not busy with reporting, where does your free time usually go? 

PH: I don’t have much free time, but I like to spent it with family and playing sports with the kids. 

DP: Finally, Pete, any last words for the kids?

PH: Learn history! Learn about Western Civilization. Learn the Bible. Without understanding history, it’s easy to be deceived in the present. I think this documentary contributes to that ethos as well.