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Court to Hear Challenge to President Trump's Travel Ban; Congressional Republicans Talk about Repealing and Replacing Obamacare; Interview with Congressman Sean Duffy; Interview with former Congresswoman Jane Harman. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired February 7, 2017 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Protests will get blown out of the water, and yet an attack or a foiled attack does not get coverage.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is madness and it's offensive. Even if there's a parallel universe, there is still reality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, welcome to your NEW DAY.
Up first, the Trump administration faces its first major legal test today. In just hours a federal appeals court will hear arguments on the president's controversial travel ban. The Justice Department says national security is at risk if that ban is not reinstated.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You have two states suing the president saying the executive order is unconstitutional. You have amicus briefs, supportive briefs from a dozen attorneys general from different states as well. The president is countering the law by going after the media, now claiming falsely that we are under- reporting terror attacks.
We are now in day 19 of the Trump presidency. Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House. This is new, Joe. Usually people say to people like you and me the presidents why do you cover these terror things so much? Now we are hearing the opposite, and from the president.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And it's not true when you look at the record going back many, many months, Chris. But the direct question, the immediate question, the overarching question, if you will, in that hearing later today is whether the president's travel ban will be reinstated until the substantive issues get decided. That three-judge panel is going to take a look at it and decide the immediate fate of the travel ban.
JOHNS: Three federal judges from the ninth circuit court of appeals will hear arguments from the Justice Department and from attorneys general from Washington state and Minnesota. These two states argue that the Trump administration has failed to show the country would be irreparably harmed by the suspension of the ban.
BOB FERGUSON, WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am in this for the long haul. I believe strongly and my legal team believes strongly the executive order is unlawful and unconstitutional.
JOHNS: The president continuing to stoke fears, tweeting "The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is very real. Courts must act fast." The Justice Department urging the appeals court to quickly reinstate the president's ban, maintaining the executive order is a lawful exercise of the president's authority.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He has broad discretion to do what's in the nation's best interest to protect our people, and we feel very confident.
JOHNS: The president using the legal battle over his travel ban to admonish the, quote, " dishonest media for under reporting terror attacks."
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike out homeland as they did on 9/11. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.
JOHNS: Hours later the White House releasing a list of 78 attacks they claim the media ignored, but many of them were, in fact, heavily covered by CNN and other media organizations. During the visit to U.S. Central Command on Monday the president once again touting his election victory.
TRUMP: We had a wonderful election, didn't we? I saw those numbers. You like me and I like you.
JOHNS: And in an interview with FOX News Mr. Trump opens up about his relationship with former president Obama.
TRUMP: I don't know if he'll admit this, but he likes me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you --
TRUMP: I like him. Because I can feel it. That's what I do in life. It's called, like, I understand.
JOHNS: Reflecting on the heated campaign and that historic moment, the two men rode together to the U.S. capitol.
TRUMP: We said horrible things about each other, and then we hop into the car and we drive down Pennsylvania Avenue together and we don't even talk about it. Politics is amazing.
JOHNS: So what is the president going to say or do next is anybody's guess, of course. We will have an opportunity to see him in front of the cameras three times today, including the first meeting around 9:30 eastern time with the National Sheriff's Association, including a number of people who have supported President Trump's policies. Chris?
CUOMO: All right, Joe, appreciate it. President Donald Trump now says the replacement of Obamacare may not happen until next year, but Republicans are beginning to grumble about the repealing part of this process. CNN senior Congressional correspondent Manu Raju live from Capitol Hill with more. What are you hearing?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Chris. The top goal of course of the Republicans for years has been to repeal and replace Obamacare, but what we know is that the party is not united on the policy or the timeframe. There are some Senate Republicans who believe this is going to take some time given the rules of their chamber, and could slip into next year. Some House Republicans believe they should move very, very quickly, and Donald Trump has sent conflicting messages to Capitol Hill, including in a weekend interview with FOX News saying that perhaps this could slip into next year. I spoke to one Senate conservative, Ted Cruz, a former Donald Trump rival about the talk of this slipping into next year, and this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[08:05:07] SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The president has said he is committed to repealing Obamacare. Republicans of both houses have said we are committed to repealing Obamacare, and I look forward to delivering on that.
RAJU: Do you want to do it this year? Do you expect to be done this year?
RAJU: Would you be concerned if this timeframe slips into 2018?
CRUZ: I think we need to move as expeditiously as possible. This was a promise made to the American people and we need to deliver on that promise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: The challenge for moving quickly again is that there is no unity on a plan, and there's not going to be one plan. Republicans are talking about trying to replace the law piece by piece legislatively and also trying to do things on an administrative side when and if Tom Price eventually gets confirmed as the Health and Human Services secretary. But Alisyn, if this gets delayed into next year, they you bring midterm campaign politics into it, it gets a lot harder to cast very difficult votes. And liberals and the left planning to storm these town hall meetings the way the Tea Party did back in 2009. So you can see how complicated it gets the longer it waits Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Understood, Many. Thank you very much for that reporting.
Joining us now is Republican Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. Good morning, Congressman.
REP. SEAN DUFFY (R), WISCONSIN: Good morning, Alisyn, thanks for having me on.
CAMEROTA: Great to have you. Why is Mr. Trump saying the press doesn't cover terror attacks enough?
DUFFY: First, I think you are playing right into his hand. We're having a conversation right now about a broader conversation on a pause on allowing individuals to come in from seven countries that are riddled with terrorists. In that broader conversation you are now airing on your network the greatest hits over the last couple of years of terror attacks that have taken place not just in America but in Europe.
So the conversation on terrorism as it comes through you and other networks, Americans at the forefront of their mind is how dangerous terror is in their communities and why this pause might be important, why we take a special look at who is coming in to make sure they want to be part of the American dream, they want to be peaceful, and they don't want to do innocent Americans harm.
CAMEROTA: You make such a good point, Congressman. So in other words, we are taking the bait.
DUFFY: You are, well done. You are driving the conversation.
CAMEROTA: Thank you.
DUFFY: And reminding everybody.
CAMEROTA: So in other words, this was put out by the president as a red herring to try and scare Americans?
DUFFY: Well, not to scare, to remind. I don't know that for sure. I am sending out that proposition, because you do cover terror attacks. They are gruesome, they're horrible, and the American people need to know. But as you these, and they're not greatest hits. They are horrible hits from what has happened to terrorism, it does again remind America what is at stake here. And when you say on your network or others that there is no cause for concern, that we don't need to adequately vet folks coming in from these seven countries that are known hotbeds for terrorism, I think most Americans go, well hold on a second --
CAMEROTA: Hold on, hold on, who is saying we don't need to adequately vet people coming in from other countries? Who is saying that?
DUFFY: To adequately vet, and Mr. Trump would say, and this is a main theme of his campaign, that we need to adequately vet people who are coming into the country.
CAMEROTA: Just one second. Refugees spend two years being vetted. They are vetted by a host of agencies from the U.N. to the Department of Homeland Security. They have by biometric fingerprinting. They have interviews. So what part isn't being adequately vetted?
DUFFY: So two years. What is your concerned then to say, let's take a 90-day pause? Let's pause for 90 days and let the new administration actually analyze the vetting system and make sure that the people coming in are here to live the American dream. And by the way it's this president's responsibility, its this congress's responsibility to make sure we keep our people safe.
CAMEROTA: And what part of that vetting are we not doing right right now?
DUFFY: This is for the administration to determine. That's why they want to take a pause and say let's fully revamp and look at how we are vetting folks. And again, there's the conversation about is it a ban or is it a pause. If you look at the executive order, it's a 90 day to 120 day pause to analyze whether we are doing this correctly. It's not a lifetime ban. It's not a 10 year ban. It's 90 days to 120 days. This is simply, commonsense stuff.
CAMEROTA: Not for Syrian refugees.
DUFFY: Right. And until in Syria they figure out this conflict in the civil war and this hotbed for terrorism, we're going to have a longer term ban in Syria, you're. The six other countries --
CAMEROTA: Yes, but arguably the refugees in Syria, the women and children there who we see from all of our reporting, luckily we have CNN correspondents who are brave enough to go there and report that they are under siege and being killed and on the front lines, so why can't they come in?
DUFFY: I think the longer term ban -- I am speculating on the administration, they may think you need a longer time period to adequately vet the folks in Syria because you don't have a government, you don't have a paper trail. It takes far longer to actually make sure the people you are bringing are people who, again, are true refugees.
[08:10:15] We've heard from the terrorists themselves that they are going to try to infiltrate our refugee program, and that's going to come from the epicenter of is which is in Syria. So we should have a little greater pause about those who come in from these countries. I want to be very clear with you, Alisyn. I have a warm heart and open hands to those true refugees that are out there living in hell in these countries, as you mention, women and children --
CAMEROTA: So how does banning them indefinitely help them?
DUFFY: I don't know that it will end up being indefinitely. I think it's going to end up being longer to the 90 to 120 days, but I think the administration is recognizing that it's going to take a little longer time to figure out how do we make sure we are bringing in the right folks from Syria and not getting infiltrated from ISIS. Again, I think it's just more than that 120 day threshold. CAMEROTA: Congressman, look, what I hear you saying is that Americans
should be worried, Americans should be very worried about terrorism around the globe. Now, you know that more Americans are killed by lightning strikes every year than by terrorism, so how much do you want Americans to worry about terrorism here?
DUFFY: I would just tell you, if you go to the gay nightclub in Orlando and talk about what this means to that community, and you want to compare that terror attack to lightning, Alisyn, or you want to go to Boston for the bombing and talk to those in Boston who were bombed by radical Islamic terrorists, and say you want to compare that to lightning, I challenge you to have that conversation.
CAMEROTA: We did go there. Let me be clear --
DUFFY: Lightning may be random, but this is purposeful, it's death, and if the government could prevent lightning, you know what, from killing people, we would. But if we can prevent terror attacks, and we can, we should.
CAMEROTA: Congressman, I did go to the Pulse Nightclub. I did spend days there. I did spend days there. I did interview dozens of people who were friends of those killed and people who were inside who were still struggling with the emotional scars of that.
DUFFY: And they would not want you to compare that to lightning, Alisyn. They are two very different -- did you go to Nice. Did you go to Belgium or to Paris?
CAMEROTA: I did. I did, congressman. I went to all of those places. And let me tell you what you told me. They did not want people to feel more divided. They wanted love after that. They felt that love was the answer. These are quotes I am telling you. They felt the only way to bring people together was through love, not by pointing to people about who are the enemy. And so don't you, as a leader, need to explain to people whether or not the fear is valid.
DUFFY: Alisyn, I'm a lover. But Alisyn, listen to me. In that nightclub and at the Boston bombing and in Nice before that truck mowed down 80 something people, love didn't quell the hearts of these radical people. Love couldn't do that. And so we have to look and say what is motivating these folks who are taking up arms and trucks and knives and killing innocents.
And so, again, what is wrong with a pause? We are having a pause for 90 days. Why is that so radical? Why is that so extreme that we can't say, Mr. Trump, you talked about this on the campaign. You are going to take 90-120-day pause. Good on you, Mr. Trump. If you want to analyze the vetting system that has taken place for two years, we will give you another 90 days. That's not extreme. That's not radical. If you can prevent another Boston or San Bernardino or Orlando, you're the new president, I am going to give you that space to do that. Why can't we as a country come together and as networks come together and give the guy a break. Let him protect us. Give him a shot. CAMEROTA: Congressman, why isn't the president talking about the
white terrorists who mowed down six Muslims who were praying at their mosque?
DUFFY: I don't know. But I would tell you, there's a difference -- again, death and murder on both sides is wrong, but if you want to take the dozens of scenarios where ISIS inspired attacks have taken innocents, and you give one example of what happened in Canada, I'm going to condemn them all. But again, you don't have a group like ISIS or Al Qaeda that is inspiring people around the world to take up arms and kill innocents. That was a one off. That was a one off, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Hold on a second, congressman. You don't think there are white extremists? You don't remember Oklahoma City? You don't think this guy who was involved in the mosque shootings said that he was inspired by things that he read online?
DUFFY: So you give me two examples, right? And in recent time we would talk about the one example. And there are radicals all over the world and here in America that will take up arms and do bad things.
[08:15:02] But if you want to compare this one person in the last ten years that you can give an example of, Oklahoma was, what, 20 years, Oklahoma City bombing, that's different than this whole movement that has taken place through ISIS, and inspired attacks. Are you going to compare the one attack up in Canada to all the death and destruction and Europe --
CAMEROTA: How about Charleston, Congressman? He was an extremist. He was a white extremist?
DUFFY: Yes, he was. OK?
CAMEROTA: How about that? That doesn't matter?
DUFFY: No, it does matter. It does matter. Look at the good things that came from it. Nikki Haley took down the Confederate flag, that was great.
But you want to say I can give you a couple of examples. There's no constant threat that goes through these attacks. And you have radical Islamic terrorists and ISIS that are driving the attacks, and if you want to compare those two, maybe you can throw another one --
CAMEROTA: You can.
DUFFY: Look at Gabby Giffords. The Marxist, who took her life, a leftist guy, and now you see violence and terror in the streets all across America, burning and beating people with Donald Trump hats. The violence you have to look in, you're trying to use examples on the right. So, where do you, the left --
CAMEROTA: Congressman, just to be clear -- DUFFY: The left has to say violence is wrong, whether they look, love
and peace, as you brought up in San Bernardino, why don't we look Berkeley?
DUFFY: Thank you.
People get beat up for wearing a Donald Trump hat, "Make America great again" hat, again, or they get kicked, and stores get vandalized and they burn and they beat, and where does the left and CNN and MSNBC stand up and say this is wrong? If we're going to have peace in our hearts --
CAMEROTA: Yes, it's wrong when Muslims are attacks as well, and when swastikas are spray-painted on buildings. We've been talking about --
DUFFY: Alisyn, come on.
CAMEROTA: Why do you think when it's a white terrorists, it's an isolated incident?
DUFFY: What I am saying is you have a cell, a heart, a beat of ISIS that's inspiring people around the world. Do you deny that? And that's going to Europe and coming to America, whether it's lone wolves.
So what is the heartbeat of the attack that you referenced in the mosque? Or what happened in Charleston?
CAMEROTA: Extremism. Hatred. White supremacy.
DUFFY: Can we vet that? How should we vet that to keep ourselves safe? I will join you in that effort, what do you do?
CAMEROTA: Do you not think it was white supremacy? This is what the shooter said it was.
DUFFY: Yes, it's horrible. So, what should we do? I mean, I'll join you, what do we do on the white supremacy front to make sure we don't have another attack like Charleston? I am with you on that, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Speak out about it, and crack down on it, and talk about it as extreme violence much as we about --
DUFFY: Yes, yes.
CAMEROTA: -- terrorism that you call radical Islamic terrorism.
DUFFY: So let's crack down on ISIS. Let's crack down to the seven terror countries that are riddled with terrorists and give Donald Trump 90 days to 120 days, give him a pause to make sure he can keep us safe. Because you know what? If we could have vetted that guy who went into the mosque in Canada or the guy that went into a church in Charleston and kept them from those deaths, wouldn't we do that? Wouldn't we take that step together? So, if we try to prevent those attacks in America from two examples you gave me, why couldn't we, if we can protect America from people who might come in to do us harm, why wouldn't we do that? The argument is the same on both sides.
CAMEROTA: Yes, the only problem with your argument is there is that no terror attack that a refugee -- no deadly terror attack that a refugee has been responsible for, and --
DUFFY: There has been in Europe and many in Europe.
CAMEROTA: Right. But not yet --
DUFFY: And this, but again, this is a pause, Alisyn. So, why not take a pause? Why not learn from Europe and say we can take a pause, and we can review, we can analyze and then we can bring those people in who are truly victims, and want to come in and need a refugee status and need a new home. I am with you on that front.
CAMEROTA: OK, Congressman Sean Duffy, thank you very much for the debate. Nice to talk to you as always.
DUFFY: Have a good one.
CAMEROTA: We have a quick programming note for everyone. Be sure to join us tonight, Senators Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz will have their own debate. This one about the future of Obamacare.
CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate this special town hall. It is tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.
CUOMO: All right. We do have breaking news. It is about terrorism or at least perceived terrorism from Afghanistan. Twenty people dead following an explosion outside the Supreme Court building in Kabul. Officials say 48 more were injured in the apparent suicide bombing.
CAMEROTA: OK. We're also learning new details about the military raid in Yemen last month. A senior U.S. military official tells CNN that they were targeting Qassim al-Rimi. He was the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula U.S. Central Command disputes the official's claim, saying there was no intelligence suggesting that al-Rimi was there, but the al Qaeda leader released an audio message after the raid taunting President Trump.
CUOMO: Terror, death, murder, is that all that's going on in the world?
[08:20:03] No, we got this as well. Former President Obama, you know what he's doing? Vacationing in the British Virgin Islands, accepting Sir Richard Branson's tropical physical challenge. What does that mean? Take a look.
The challenge's objective: who could stand up the longest after Obama learned how to kite surf? And Branson tackled surfing on a foil board. The winner? Barack Hussein Obama. He kite surfed 300 feet, doubling Branson's distance. CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh. First of all, I feel like he's rubbing in his vacation, I feel like he's rubbing in his vacation, like, OK, you guys all take it from here.
CUOMO: Knowing the man, I guess there's part of him that is dying inside that he is not part of these types of epic challenges to what America is. But --
CAMEROTA: It doesn't look like he's dying inside?
CUOMO: Because he's holding on for fear of his life. Have you ever been on one of those? I've been on one of those.
CAMEROTA: I'm not a windsurfer, which is bad enough.
CUOMO: I've been on one of those. You are holding on. You are focusing on nothing else.
President Trump now seeming to cast doubt on Russia's role in the fighting going on in Ukraine. Why is he defending Putin? We will speak to a former member of the House Intelligence Committee about this, next.
CUOMO: President Donald Trump speaking about the conflict in Ukraine and Russia's potential role there. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: You talked to Putin last week. You had a busy week last week.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I got a busy week. Busy week and a half.
O'REILLY: But within 24 hours of you on the phone with the Russian leader, the pro-Russian forces step up the violence in Ukraine.
[08:25:08] TRUMP: Yes.
O'REILLY: Did you take that as an insult?
TRUMP: No, I didn't because we don't really know exactly what that is. Are they pro-forces? We don't know. Are they uncontrollable? Are they uncontrolled? That happens also.
We're going to find out. I would be surprised. But we'll see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Joining us now is former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman. She's now president and CEO of the Wilson Center.
This is right in your bailiwick, the understanding of the world. The president just tweeting, defending Russia right again, "I don't
know Putin, have no deals in Russia, the haters are going crazy, yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, number one in terror, no problem."
This is an extension of the pattern of sheltering Russia from what the president deems undue scrutiny.
What is your take on what Russia's role, how real it is and what's going on in Ukraine?
JANE HARMAN, DIRECTOR, PRESIDENT & CEO, WILSON CENTER: I was in Ukraine with Madeleine Albright and others during the election, and there was no question that Russian forces -- little green men, were destabilizing the Donbass, the eastern part of Ukraine.
There also has no question that Russia has annexed Crimea, which was not -- historically, yes, but not recently part of Russia.
So, Russia is meddling in Ukraine, there's absolute evidence. There's also evidence that Russia shot down the airliner that's flying --
HARMAN: Yes, flying over --
CUOMO: We went to Ukraine to cover that, thinking that was bad enough, and CNN was among the only to have anchors and stuff on the ground the way we did, and it turned into an ongoing civil war.
There was no secret that Russia was motivating it. They set up a puppet fake prime minister of the region of Donetsk. There was a known Russian intel agent running the operation, nobody disputed it. But now, it seems our president is.
What's your take?
HARMAN: Well, let's talk about deals. He says there's some moral equivalency to making a deal with Russia and a deal with Iran. The deal with Iran that six countries, including China and Russia made and the U.S. was to curb its bad behavior, to contain its nuclear capacity for 15 to 25 years and perhaps forever.
It wasn't a deal to -- it was a transaction and not a transformation, and Iran is still behaving badly through proxies --
CUOMO: That's why it's so easy to criticize.
HARMAN: Well, but --
CUOMO: Iran is a bad actor. It keeps being a bad actor. Now, you gave it a billion-plus dollars to help fueling it being a bad actor. It was a bad deal.
HARMAN: Well, my view was it was a good deal for the deal that it was. We should probably do more against Iran to curb its bad behavior in the region, and I think the Congress and the Trump administration will agree with that.
By the way, Trump should enable Congress to work with him rather than make it an enemy, and there are Democrats in Congress who would work with him on this.
But back to Russia -- talking to Russia is fine at all levels. That's a good idea, we did it in the Cold War. The deal we should make with Russia if we ever make a deal is, first, to curb its bad behavior. Its incursion into Ukraine, its hacking and propaganda of elections.
And let's understand, Germany and France are having big elections this year and there's every reason to expect that this kind of hacking and propaganda will occur there, and their right wing candidates running there and the existence of the E.U. and, frankly, of the European alliance is at stake there. So, I think we all have something in common.
CUOMO: Trump's adviser came on yesterday, Sebastian Gorka, said it is fake news and bias to take the president saying what about us, you think we are so innocent? What about we did, what we do in response to an interviewer asking him about why he doesn't call out Putin essentially and condemn him for being a killer?
HARMAN: Well, I think there is no moral equivalence whatsoever, zero, and the good news is that many members of Trump's cabinet and his vice president are speaking out about Russia's bad behavior.
I get the idea that he thinks he can make deals with foreign leaders. I don't have a problem with that. But there's a word that doesn't apply in real estate, and that's called linkage. You have to understand, this person, this leader against that leader, and what they're doing.
Putin blasted Trump the other day because of his criticism of Iran. Russia is working with Iran, let's understand that, in Syria, on behalf of a war criminal leader of that country because Russia fears ISIS.
CUOMO: So, what's your defense of the ban against this criticism? I am afraid Muslims, extreme Islamists, whatever you want to call them, they are trying to kill me, and you and Alisyn can list all the white groups you want in these cases that happen, I know that ISIS is out there, they want to get me and the fact they haven't shouldn't make you so comfortable to not make sure that I'm safe and stop them from coming in as long as we possibly can.
HARMAN: Well, I want to be safe and I want President Trump and his administration to keep me safe.