Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Second Iraqi Detainee at JFG Has Been Released; ACLU in Court This Hour, Challenging Travel Ban; Lawyers: "Dozens and Dozens" Detained At JFK Airport; ACLU Seeking Nationwide Stay against Travel Ban; Somali-Americans React to Travel Ban; Does Trump's Travel Ban Make U.S. Less Safe? Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 28, 2017 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:00:14] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. This is a special live edition of "Cnn Newsroom". I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. So glad you're with us. We begin tonight with breaking news. Lawyers saying dozens and dozens of travelers are being detained right now at New York's JFK Airport, this as a result of president Trump's controversial executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States. This hour the American civil liberties union is in federal court seeking a nationwide stay that would block the deportation of all people stranded in the U.S. under this ban in those airport.

Now, protests at the same time are breaking out at the nation's airports including in New York, Chicago, Denver and Washington. Two governors, both democrats slamming Trump's ban, watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, hey, hey, ho, ho.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, hey, hey, ho, ho.

JAY INSLEE, (D) GOVERNOR OF WASHINGTON: We have a family here today who I just met, a citizen of the United States. The Donald Trump administration allowed her husband to get on a plane in Vienna waiting to get in the arms of his wife, but didn't let him go the six feet across this gate to embrace his wife. What type of cruel attitude based on demagoguery and fear does that to people?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, (D) GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: I was informed by sources that we have a family here who has been detained. I have instructed my attorney general to look at all avenues that we have here in Virginia, all legal remedies that we have to help these individuals who are stuck at our airport here in Virginia. So our message for the people here today, this is not the United States of America that we know. We are not going to tolerate it. We're not going to stand back. We here in Virginia are open and welcoming to everybody. And we want --.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: Meantime, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of two Iraqis detained earlier today at JFK Airport despite holding valid visas to come into this country. One of them was already released. The other is expected to be released this hour. The travel ban targets Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen. It does not include the four countries, though, where the 9/11 hijackers came from, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. Let's get straight to Rachel Crane. She's live for us tonight at JFK Airport. First, how much have the protests grown there tonight, Rachel?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, this protest has completely taken over terminal 4 at this point. You even have people pouring out of a garage here. I would say, there's easily 1000 people, they're now on both sides of the street. We're also seeing that now some people are in fact blocking traffic. But it has been very peaceful here. Until we're now seeing these people blocking traffic, but we've seen infants here, we've seen little puppies. We've seen many people with homemade signs. We've even seen people bringing projectors, projecting onto the side of buildings saying let the refugees in.

It's been really remarkable to see just how quickly this crowd has grown. But now this is at terminal 4, where we know that earlier today, 12 people were being detained. We know that one of them earlier, an Iraqi man was released. We're hearing that the second Iraqi man involved in the lawsuit that was filed today will be released as you pointed out this hour.

Also at terminal 1, they're not far from here, just -- you just take the air train which has now been restricted to only people who are ticketed passengers and airport employees. That's to control the crowd. That as you can see has been growing substantially behind me. But over at terminal 1, Poppy, there are also many people that have been detained. We've heard about seven or eight people who have been detained, one of which a 68-year-old woman. Her son was there very worried about her health because she's diabetic. Unclear if she has her medications.

We also spoke to one young gentleman whose wife was detained. She had an f-2 visa. She was due to come meet him here today at 8:00 a.m.. She was detained and now she's being sent back on a plane to Iran this night -- tonight at 11:00 p.m.. Take a listen to what he had to say about the ordeal.

MOHAMED ZANDIAN, HUSBAND OF DETAINED WOMAN: She called me through the phone that it was not hers and told me that she will be deported, and while she was crying. I don't think I will stay in the U.S. anymore because of this kind of treatments. I don't have any clear vision about the future.

[20:05:01] About the treatments to the Iranian and other nationalities, so I don't feel safe anymore to stay here in the U.S..

CRANE: Poppy, politics aside, it's really quite difficult to hear about families being torn apart. And now we can also confirm to you that the second Iraqi man has in fact been released. Poppy. HARLOW: All right, Rachel Crane, great reporting all night there from JFK. Thank you so much. Meantime today, president Trump signed three more executive actions. He also spoke with a number of world leaders over the phone. Our White House correspondent Athena Jones at that report tonight from Washington.

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, a very busy Saturday for president Trump. He spent most of the day on the phone with foreign leaders, starting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who he invited here to the White House for a meeting on February 10th. He also spoke with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia's president Vladimir Putin, France's President Francois Hollande and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Now, Vice President Pence joined the president for that chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House describes that call as positive, they say at last at about an hour. They discussed a range of subjects including mutual cooperation in defeating ISIS and working together to achieve more peace throughout the world including in Syria. The White House says the call is a significant start toward improving the relationship between the United States and Russia that is in need of repair. The Kremlin also described the call as positive and business-like.

The president also took several more executive actions today, signing a memorandum that would overhaul the structure of the National Security Council. That move, the White House says in it's intended to adapt the structure of the council to better face the threats facing the U.S.. He also signed an executive order implementing a five-year ban on lobbying for administration officials and a lifetime ban on any officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. But one official here did acknowledge that it might be difficult to enforce those bans. Certainly long after the Trump administration has ended.

Finally, the president signed a memorandum calling on the Joint Chiefs of Staff to present to him within 30 days a plan to defeat ISIS. And as for that travel ban, the White House and the criticism surrounding the travel ban, officials here say that the moves are necessary because the current vetting process is, "Woefully inadequate to serve the national security interests of the United States." Now, president Trump talked about this move during the signing of those executive orders. Here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's not a Muslim ban, but we are totally prepared. It's working out very nicely. You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It's working out very nicely. And we're going to have a very, very strict ban and we're going to have extreme vetting which we should have had in this country for many years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: The president's comments coming despite the confusion at airports around the world affected by these latest moves. And of course, the detentions in airports here in the U.S., back to you.

HARLOW: Athena Jones at the White House. Thank you so much. Reaction has been swift to president Trump's executive order that bans over 130 million people from those seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Several legal challenges have already been filed.

George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley joins me from Washington. Thank you for coming on the program. And let me begin with this. We know at this moment the ACLU is in a U.S. district court in Brooklyn tonight seeking a nationwide stay, trying to block this. What are the chances that you that think they'll be successful?

JONATHAN TURLEY, PROFESSOR OF LAW, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Well, it's very, very difficult to prevail on a stay of that kind. You have to show a likelihood of prevailing on the merits. The court precedent actually supports president Trump. I don't like this rule. I don't support it. I think it's a real mistake. I -- But whether it is unlawful, whether it's unconstitutional is a different question. The courts have historically granted presidents into a great deal of deference.

This country has excluded people in the past on these types of orders. It is often been directed towards, for example, Asians and Chinese individuals. These were terrible periods during our country. But those actions were not found to be unconstitutional. Even president Obama argued to the court just last year that executive power over immigration are decisions that don't belong in the courts, and that, he had sweeping authority in this area.

So president Trump is building on that precedent, and I think he has an upper hand. I do not think that the courts will treat this as a Muslim ban. They can't treat it that way because there are many Muslim countries that are not covered. And a court's not going to read into this even if many people believe that's the motivation of religious discriminatory purpose.

[20:10:08] HARLOW: You have cited the 1952 immigration and nationality act when you consider the legality of this. Let me read part of that to our viewers, "Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. He may, by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary suspend all the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate." Is this the legal basis for Trump's executive order?

TURLEY: It is a big part of it. But even before that law was passed, presidents exercised this type of authority. The president's authority at the borders is at its zenith. And while one can certainly disagree with this order on its merits and what it means about our values as a country, the precedent has largely supported the president. Even Jimmy Carter used this authority to deport thousands of Iranian students during his administration. HARLOW: Where do you expect this to go? There are many voters that I've talked to who's wanted to see something like this. They liked hearing, extreme vetting from candidate Trump that's why they made him president Trump. And yet you see the outcry on some American streets across the, you know, in cities across the country tonight. How do you expect this will play out legally?

TURLEY: Well, the passions are running very, very high. I've never seen the country so torn apart and it's very troubling. Legally, the courts are going to view this in a more clinical fashion and certainly not with the same passions. They're going to look at whether a president's view of what the national security demands can be overridden by a single federal judge. The answer to that historically has been no, that they give great deference to the president's authority in this regard even though great questions, legitimate questions have been raised about whether this is effective.

And so, I believe that he has the advantage going into the courts and the ALCUs going to have a tough time with this. Now, having said that, this is in fact a decision made by a president, but we don't have a single branch government. Congress can be heard on this subject. What you just quoted from my blog is something passed by congress. Congress gave the president that authority. So here is both the legislative authority plus the pre-existing executive authority from Article 2.

HARLOW: Jonathan Turley, fascinating conversation and important one tonight. Thank you for being with me.

TURLEY: Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Ahead this hour, much more of course on our top story. We will take you live to Iraq, where the hopes of many refugee families are now indefinitely on hold. We're live in the "CNN Newsroom".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: Welcome back. As we look at these live pictures of protests outside of New York's JFK Airport and Dulles Airport in Washington, this is happening at airports across the country including Denver and Chicago as well. This all over president Trump's new travel ban affecting immigration from seven Muslim majority countries. The ban means millions of people are not allowed to come to this country. And it leaves in limbo thousands of others, their status as refugees up in the air.

Tonight, our Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon is live for us in Erbil, Iraq where it is just past 4:00 in the morning. You're speaking with people there of these families. Some of them families hoping, praying to travel to America. What do they do now?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They don't know what to do Poppy, and that's what makes this all the more difficult. And so, many of them are just utterly heartbroken especially one woman who we spoke to give in what she and her husband went through. Dallal and her husband, Yazidis, were in Sinjar when ISIS stormed to the area on a killing and kidnapping rampage. They barely escaped. They barely escaped. For them, that was the end of any notion that they could build a future in Iraq. Dallal is not her real name, but she is afraid that by speaking out she might ruin whatever chance remains to reach the United States. Despite it being the land of free speech.

DALLAL, YAZIDI REFUGEE: My dream was to go to America because it's the strongest country in the world. We feel that it's safe, it's the safest country. It has the strongest human rights.

TRUMP: And this is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entity.

DAMON: But with one signature that vision of America shattered. Dallal says, her husband worked as a translator for the U.S. military for years and applied for asylum under the special immigrant visa program. It was granted, and he arrived in America last summer. On Saturday, Dallal was on her way to finally reunite with him.

DALLAL: I was about to get on the plane and they called my name. I went and they said, "You can't board, you can't travel." I was shocked. I cried, why? Why me?

DAMON: Dallal was given this document from homeland security at the airport that basically tells her how she can put in an inquiry and figure out why she was denied boarding, although that's pretty clear at this stage, what isn't clear is when she can apply again and what she's supposed to do next, so she and all the others are basically right now in a state of limbo.

She is hardly on her own. The temporary travel ban on seven Muslim majority nations to the U.S. and the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees has left countless people reeling, wondering how it is that the new leader of the so-called free world can have so little compassion for their suffering.

DALLAL: My brain isn't working. I'm in shocked. If I think of something, I start to cry.

[20:20:00] I'm not crying because I am weak, but because I had small dreams. And I thought if I went to America, they would benefit from my small dreams. And I could make them come true there and I could be safe.

DAMON: What's your message right now to president Trump?

DALLAL: My message is that we don't hate president Trump, we don't hate anyone. We love the American people. Have mercy. We don't have mercy in our country.

DAMON: But mercy, even for those that have suffered the most, does not seem to be on Trump's America first agenda.

And Poppy, this isn't just impacting those who want to travel to the United States as refugees and start rebuilding their lives. It's also impacting students, professionals, people that just want to visit their family members. They too are not allowed to travel at this stage.

HARLOW: And Arwa, I'd assume you're hearing so many of these stories from the people there in Iraq. Some of them people who helped serve this nation, some of them serving as translators for the U.S. army. We heard of one that was detained at JFK today who did that. What are the other stories you're hearing from Iraqis on the ground?

DAMON: There are dozens of people that according to airport officials were not able to board their planes departing from Erbil to try to go to the United States. A lot of them, as we have been reporting, were going because they want to start rebuilding their lives, because they already were very heavily vetted going through an upwards of two-year process to even get this far.

They have not been able to travel. Then, I was also talking to an Iraqi friend of mine who was already in the United States, Poppy. And he was talking about how worried he was because he felt that this attitude towards Muslims, this growing sense of fear that was potentially being created was going to harm him and other Muslims and other immigrants in the United States, making it even more difficult for them to try to integrate.

And then of course there are the very real concerns that this attitude, this isolationist attitude plays straight into the ISIS narrative that is trying to continuously convince and impress upon Muslims, this notion that the west and America is against all Muslims. And of course this executive order does play straight into that.

HARLOW: Arwa Damon live for us tonight in Erbil, Iraq. Thank you so much for that reporting Arwa. It's incredibly important.

Meantime, the president says that this order is designed to prevent terrorist attacks by foreign nationals. But many intelligence experts warn that the travel ban could make the U.S. more vulnerable to such attacks.

Let's bring in CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kimberly Dozier. And Kimberly, I want to get to that in a moment, but I do understand that you're hearing quite a lot tonight from Arab diplomats. What are they telling you?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Arab and Mideast diplomats who were caught by surprise by this, they didn't know of any details. They didn't know it was coming. Now, you have to think that is what president Trump intended. He thinks very carefully about how things are going to play out on the world stage. And in comments today, he talked about how you could see it on the T.V., what was happening at all the airports.

His White House wanted to send a message out that they were getting serious about extreme vetting, but what Arab diplomats that I'm talking to heard was that members of the coalition in the fight against ISIS can't be trusted enough to be told that this is coming. HARLOW: When you look at whether or not this makes the United States more vulnerable, that is an argument that some are using including -- I mean that's what Iran is saying. And take that for what you want. They are saying this emboldens extremists and their supporters. But what are you hearing from intelligence officials about whether they buy that? Do they believe this, you know, isolationism emboldens those who want to do harm to our country?

DOZIER: I've talked to a few former senior intelligence officials, who are very concerned about the way this has been carried out. That it has been a gift to the opposition, a gift to recruiting. And also some members of the U.S. military who fear that when they go into a dangerous area and ask the locals to help them out to risk their lives on behalf of the U.S. Military or U.S. Intelligence that they've seen this play out on their television screens. They're not going to want to take that step, to take that risk on their behalf.

HARLOW: Kimberly, also today the president signed three additional executive orders and one of those was a directive to his generals to bring forth a plan to defeat ISIS to the president within the next 30 days. What's your assessment of that?

[20:25:01] DOZIER: Well, the surprising thing is in the run-up to this because we all knew this was coming. I was talking to both different military and intelligence officials asking, OK, what are you going to do that's new?

HARLOW: Yeah.

DOZIER: And I kind of got shrugs because they said, "Look, general Steve Townsend on the ground in Baghdad in charge of coalition forces there assesses every week, every day." Is he doing enough? Does he need more?

HARLOW: Right.

DOZIER: Iraqi officials I spoke to also said, "Look, at this point, this is about as many U.S. troops as we can bear in our country."

HARLOW: Right.

DOZIER: And that was before this ban or temporary refugee suspension was announced.

HARLOW: Yeah. Yeah, and short of sending in, you know, a massive number of ground troops, right. I mean, that would be the change from the past administration, for example, into Syria. Kimberly Dozier, thank you so much. We do have to leave it there. Thank you.

Straight ahead, the president's executive order on these refugees and immigrants from these seven countries coming into the United States getting plenty of criticism from democratic governors tonight.

Next, the governor of Washington State who compared this ban to Japanese Internment will join me live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARLOW: All right. Let's go back to JFK Airport live here in New York city. Look at how those protests have grown there tonight throughout the hours, this of course in response to the president's travel ban and two Iraqi men detained earlier today at JFK, despite having valid visas to come into the United States.

[20:30:10] CNN's Rachel Crane is with us again. Again, Rachel, what are you learning about the second Iraqi man who was detained?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, we learned that the second Iraqi man that was detained has now at this point been released. Nearly 24 hours after he was first taken in to be interrogated. Now, there has been a protest that has been happening here all day long, but it has grown substantially. I mean, there's probably 1,000 people that are over there and people bringing homemade signs. You can see behind me people with homemade signs. But also people bringing projectors, projecting on the side of buildings. We can see right there it says "resist" on the side of the parking structure. Also, people pouring out of the parking lot. All of these protesters, they have been peaceful throughout the evening. But they are now blocking traffic. I don't know if you can see behind me, but there's a long line of cars that are trying to get through, they're not able to get through because these protesters are now in the middle of the street.

Now, they are demanding and that the detainees across the country at airports be released. They're also demanding that Donald Trump reverse this executive order and this ban of immigration. That you can see behind me, people incredibly passionate about this cause here. And by the way, I just say it has been pretty, pretty cold today but that has not stopped people --

HARLOW: Yeah.

CRANE: -- coming by the hundreds here to protest and make their voices heard, Poppy.

HARLOW: Rachel Crane, thank you so much for the reporting all through the night.

Meantime, the president's executive order specifically prohibits people from coming from these seven countries, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Iran and Somalia. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has seen firsthand some of the problems that he says this travel ban is causing. He joins me on the phone. Thank you for being with me, sir.

GOV. JAY INSLEE, (D) WASHINGTON: You bet. Thanks for caring about this.

HARLOW: I think all of America does. We're trying to see sort of what the repercussions are. I've talked to a lot of Trump voters over the past few months who wanted to see something like this. And then we just saw in the last report at JFK those that do not want to see it, that are protesting it. You called the White House a few hours ago about the ban. Can you tell me about that conversation? INSLEE: Well, it was brief. I just talked to our governmental liaison person and basically told him that the chaos and cruelty of this executive order is being experienced firsthand in my state, at Seattle International Airport. And when I say cruelty, I mean cruelty. These are people that the administration allowed to get on an airplane, said it was OK to come. I met a woman whose husband was got on an airplane from Vienna to come to be with her, which was approved, and then, you know, six feet from being able to be in her embrace sent him into confinement and sent him somewhere else and they won't even tell the family where they sent him. So they put him on an airplane, they won't even tell the family where he went.

These people are -- the people who are subject to this might be software engineers. They might be doctors who've gone somewhere and now want to get home. And they're prohibited from getting home. It is extremely inhumane. It is cruel. And it is unconstitutional. And by the way, its clear discrimination based on religion. Look, this, the fact that we have a president who's discriminated against a religious group is just unbelievable.

HARLOW: So the president for his part said earlier today this is not a Muslim ban. And a constitutional attorney I just spoke with said to me, look, he personally doesn't like this but he believes that the Trump administration has a lot of legal ground to stand on because the courts really give the president a lot of, you know, discretion when it comes to immigration law. I mean, president Obama used part of the law to try to argue that he could make these, you know, executive orders on immigration himself.

INSLEE: Well, two things. One, it is unconstitutional to base federal decisions based on religion, and this executive order clearly does that. Not only does it -- it's just a masqueraded ban for Muslims. It picks seven Muslim-dominated countries and that's the only countries it took. And then in the order also said that Muslims are at the bottom of the barrel, that people who happen to be Christian were going to get the ability to come in when Muslims do not.

Look, this is a thinly disguised effort. We know the predilections of this president. He said he wanted a ban on Muslims. He has a ban that essentially will allow Christians in and Muslims not. And what people need to understand about this ban is it's not just refugees. It's businesspeople.

HARLOW: Yeah.

[20:35:05] INSLEE: Look, I have people at Microsoft who now want to go do business in Europe. They can't leave America because they can't get back in.

HARLOW: Well, and we know that Satya Nadel, the CEO of Microsoft, has put out a statement in the last 24 hours, you know, opposing this as well. But just to your point about this is a ban on Muslims, this is a veiled sort of religious discriminatory move, that the Trump administration would point to the fact that Turkey is not included, a Muslim-majority democracy. Saudi Arabia is not included, Indonesia, where the most Muslims in the world live is not included. You say to that.

INSLEE: Well, it doesn't change the fact that I have an American citizen who I met today at Seattle International Airport whose husband left Vienna, was given approval to do so, and they stopped him after flying across the Atlantic. That's just inhumane. And this is just fear operating in our country. Right now, I'm getting on the ferry boat to go to Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge Island was the first place where Japanese-American citizens were interned in World War II because our country succumbed to fear. We should not allow that happening again.

We're seeing fear in action. It is going to damage our economy. It will damage our security. We've had 750,000 refugees come into our country from these areas since 9/11 with no fatal terrorist attacks. This is going to hurt our ability to do business around the world. And it's clearly a violation of the most fundamental concepts of religious liberty. And by the way, if you will look at the order, you will see that it basically says it's going to give priority to one religion over another use this --

HARLOW: It gives priority to -- right I keep. No, I have the language. I've read the entire thing. It gives priority to provided the religion of the individual is a minority religion. So Christians, for example. I take your point.

INSLEE: Right, right.

HARLOW: Let me ask you, Governor, one final question and that is legally speaking, the ACLU for example is in court -- federal court in Brooklyn this hour challenging this. What legal challenges should we expect to see from the state of Washington on this?

INSLEE: So I just got off the phone with our attorney general, who is tonight doing the briefing necessary to move forward. If we have standing to do this, we will challenge this in court. We're reviewing our options. This should not stand. Religious intolerance is foreign to our country. And all elected officials I think and all religions have a stake in this controversy. At the airport tonight in Seattle, there was a group of a Jewish families and Hebrew children who recognized the threats to the fundamental values of this country by this action. They were standing there in support of a different religion. The refugee settlement group here is located in Washington State. That this is a Christian organization. They are outraged by this because they understand we are all in threat when we lose track of who we are as a country. So I hope that the president will reconsider this at some point. If not we need the Congress to step in. Everybody's got to work together if we're going to maintain our liberties in this country.

HARLOW: Governor Jay Inslee, I so appreciate you joining me tonight --

INSLEE: Thank you.

HARLOW: -- the one only. It's a very busy night for you there in your home state. Thank you very much. We have much more ahead live here for us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:42:11] HARLOW: You're looking at live pictures of protests tonight outside of JFK Airport. This as new legal filings show dozens and dozens of people are being held inside of New York's JFK Airport, detained under President Trump's executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States. This hour attorneys from the ACLU are in federal court in Brooklyn asking for a nationwide stay on this travel ban.

These protests -- not just here in New York. They are across the country, Denver, Washington, Chicago, and more. These are the seven countries singled out in the travel ban, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. Let's debate it. Jeffrey Lord is back with me, CNN political commentator and a former adviser of President Reagan and Anushay Hossein, a Muslim-American journalist and editor in chief of anushespoint.com. Thank you both for being here tonight.

Jeffrey let me begin with you.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello Poppy again.

HARLOW: Good to have you here. Let me begin with you. Let's just look at the totality of who is banned when we talk about the specifically Syrian refugees given the civil war. Take a look at this. These are two well-known disturbing images, one of Aylan Kurdi, that young toddler who died washed up on the Turkish beach after his family fled Syria and on the other side of your screen is Omar Dakneesh. His family's home in Aleppo was bombed. He lost family members. There he sits bloodied in an ambulance. These are victims of the civil war in Syria. These are victims who will not be allowed in this country. Do you believe that these children could terrorize the United States?

LORD: Poppy, this is excellent question. I want to hold up to you a headline from the "New York Times" in 2012, October -- I'm sorry, September 10th of 2012. And the headline is, "The Deafness Before the Storm". The Bush White House was deaf to 9/11 warnings. And what this article says is that George W. Bush was completely negligent, that he was warned repeatedly that there could be attacks on the United States by Al-Qaeda, he didn't pay attention to them, he was negligent and thousands of people died as a result.

Now, I just want to say President Trump is a profile in courage on this. Because if -- let's just go back to --

HARLOW: Jeffrey Lord, it wasn't --

LORD: No, no. Poppy, Poppy.

HARLOW: Jeffrey Lord, it was not my question to you. That's not my question to you.

LORD: Yes, it was, Poppy. You're asking me about these people. I am saying what about -- HARLOW: I'm asking you about the children.

LORD: I know Poppy. And if George W. Bush had instituted the measures that Donald Trump is instituting now, 9/11, A, would never have happened

and according to the critic. And B, you would have had all these complaints from people exactly as you're complaining now, that they're being kept out of the United States and this is terrible, et cetera. In other words, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

[20:45:01] And I can't tell you how much I respect President Trump for doing this because --

HARLOW: So on your argument -- on your argument -- on your argument Jeffrey Lord, two points that I'd like your response to. One, if that is the argument you're making, then why does this ban not include any of the four countries where the 9/11 hijackers came from? Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, and Egypt.

LORD: Again, Poppy let me I ask?

HARLOW: And let me ask you the other part of that question. The other key part of all of this is why is it that you cannot point to nor the Trump administration can point to a single terror attack carried out by a Syrian refugee in the United States?

LORD: Poppy, Poppy, the world is a very small place. People who came into France from -- in a mass of Syrian refugees did in fact kill 130 French people. French man I mean --

HARLOW: And Jeffrey Lord -- Jeffery Lord they did not go through the two-year vetting process. They did not go through the two-year vetting process that Syrian refugees go through in the United States. So you cannot compare the two.

LORD: Poppy, this system is a mess. It is a mess. As you pointed out in an earlier segment, someone from Pakistan who came in through -- who have, what a Saudi visa, came into this country on a K-1 Fiance Visa and killed 14 people. Poppy, you should not have to go to a Christmas party --

HARLOW: I guess what, Jeffrey Lord. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia aren't included in this ban either.

LORD: OK. OK.

HARLOW: Anushay, your take. President Trump has said -- hold on. I've got to get Anushay in here. President Trump has said this is not a Muslim ban, in no way, shape or form is it. And i should note this doesn't include other Muslim majority nations like Turkey, like Saudi Arabia, like Indonesia. What's your reaction?

ANUSHAY HOSSEIN, JOURNALIST: My reaction, Poppy, is that I wish I could describe to you the fear and the anxiety of being an American- Muslim right now. This ban is completely illegal. It's unconstitutional. And as you pointed out, the main countries where the terrorist attacks have been carried out in the U.S. such as Pakistan, such as Saudi Arabia are not even on this list. This ban achieves nothing but fear. It feeds nothing but islamophobia. It's tearing apart U.S. families as we speak. And as someone who has been through the U.S. immigration system, let me tell you, it's not a cakewalk. You are vetted for months, even years just to get a tourist visa. I went from a student visa to an H1B to a green card to now I'm a U.S. citizen. And it takes years. I cannot imagine what these people are going through being turned away, having their visas deemed null and void at the border. This is not what America is about, and it's a boon to ISIS.

LORD: So in other words --

HARLOW: Let me read you -- hold on Jeffrey. I want you to respond to this Republican U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee issued this statement tonight which reads in part, "While not technically a Muslim ban, this order is too broad. If we send a signal to the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as Jihadi, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion."

LORD: Well, Poppy.

HARLOW: Your response to that from your fellow republican, Senator Ben Sasse.

LORD: Yeah. Right, right. Who was never a Trump supporter to begin with. Let me just say Rudy Giuliani, when he was the U.S. attorney, went after the Mafia. He was Italian. They were Italian. He wasn't looking for Jewish guys in Montana. He was looking at the Italian- American community. If you're prosecuting the IRA, you go into -- in America you go into Irish-American communities in America.

I mean, there is nothing unusual about this. I mean, the U.S. government has gone after Protestants, Jews, Muslims when they thought they were in violation -- or could be in violation of several policy.

HARLOW: The U.S. also interned -- Jeffrey Lord, the U.S. also interned Japanese-Americans, yeah, 120,000 of them. Was that right?

LORD: Good point. Of course not. Poppy, that was racist and illegal and unconstitutional.

HARLOW: This is racist and illegal and unconstitutional, Jeffrey.

LORD: What?

HARLOW: This ban is just the same. This ban -- this Muslim ban is just as racist, just as unconstitutional.

LORD: So let me see if I understand this. So in other words, you think that George W. Bush should have instituted this kind of ban before 9/11 to prevent it?

HARLOW: No, I don't. I'm against this ban period. It's illegal and un-American, Jeffrey. We have to leave it there --

LORD: All right. So we should just sit back, be attacked, and let 3,000 people be killed.

HARLOW: Again, the 9/11 hijackers came from four countries that are not included in this ban. I will have you both back. I'd like you to join me tomorrow night because I'm out of time tonight. We'll be right back.

LORD: Thank you, Poppy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:53:13] HARLOW: One of the seven countries in President Trump's executive order banning travel to the United States is Somalia. More immigrants from Somalia, refugees, live in Minnesota than anywhere else in the world. Earlier tonight I spoke with Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar. She's the only Somali-American elected to state legislature, any level of government that high. I got her reaction to the President's travel ban.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: I first want to get your reaction to Somalia being included in President Trump's executive order banning this travel and what it means for your constituents.

REP. ILHAN OMAR, MINNESOTA STATE HOUSE: I think I'm a little disheartened and disappointed to see Somalia included as you said, I am a refugee from Somalia. I am also half Yemeni. So both countries are included in this Muslim ban. And, you know, it's really disappointing to see our country fighting against its own ideals of, you know, being a country that is supposed to be welcoming to everyone.

It is important for us to remember that extremism and terrorism doesn't have a nation. It doesn't have a religion. And it is also really important for us to point out that, you know, some of the perpetrators of 9/11, the countries that they come from are not included in this bans.

HARLOW: None of them.

OMAR: So what we are doing now is we're exploiting -- yeah. We are exploiting the ignorance of some parts of our communities. And the fears they have of a faith that they don't understand and neighbors they haven't taken a chance to learn the struggles and the processes they have gone through to get here.

[20:55:04] It is also important for us to remember that many of the people that are -- many of the countries that are included in this ban are countries that have been going through a civil war.

Some countries that are fighting and have successfully been able to tumble a dictatorship. And we have aided and abetted them in the guise of trying to further democracy in the world. For us now to turn our backs on them and for us to say it is OK for us to get you in the mess that we have gotten you in. But now we are not going to welcome you and we are not going to help you get the opportunities that our forefathers have gotten in the United States. It's a shame and I am saddened by that. Many of our community members here in Minnesota regardless of what background they have are saddened by the turn of events that we are witnessing here in our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: You can see our full interview online, on my Facebook page, on Twitter, I also asked for her reaction to the fact that Somali- American Immigrants in her community have been the target of radicalization and what she had to say to people who have so many concerns about that. You can see that all online.

Coming up next for us here on CNN "The Eighties" and tomorrow on "Newday Sunday" much more coverage tomorrow of the protests at airports across the country as we continue to follow the breaking news on the president's travel ban.

I'm Poppy Harlow and you are -- thank you for being live with us tonight. I'll see you back tomorrow evening at 5:00. Have a good evening.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)