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Delta: Nationwide Ground Stop Over Computer Problems; Trump Defends Executive Order As Protests Spread; Ex-Breitbard Chief Bannon Put on Security Council; Canada To Give Stranded Travelers Temporary Residency; Detainees Released From Dallas Airport; Preibus on Travel Ban: We "Apologize For Nothing Here". Aired 9-10p ET
Aired January 29, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:00] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Brianna Keilar in Washington.
We have breaking news for you. One of the country's largest airlines is not flying right now. A full ground stop was announced by Delta Air Lines just a short time ago. No, Delta airplanes are leaving the ground until the company solves what it calls automation issues.
CNN's Polo Sandoval is at Delta's hub in Atlanta right now. That, of course, is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. And also with me is Mary Schiavo. She is our aviation analyst and former Inspector General at the U.S. Transportation Department.
Polo, tell us how many flights are affected and how many people are affected?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. That number is tough to tell at this point, Brianna. I can tell you that about two hours ago while we were sitting here at the airport, the voice over the P.A. system announced that the Delta system is down and that no planes were getting in or out at the moment. So as a result, this is what we've seen here, Brianna, just people, just a sea of people, folks that are just literally watching and waiting to see what the future holds in store for them, what happens to their travel plans. These are folks that had planned to be leaving Atlanta tonight, but as a result they are waiting to be able to speak to agents here to find out what happened.
So this is what the airline is saying that that issue that you mentioned, it's a result, the FAA, implemented a ground stop for Delta Air Lines. So as a result, planes weren't moving. I've spoken to several people, I've been messaging with several people who are out on the tarmac, their planes, as soon as they were wheels down here at Atlanta. They're still sitting on the tarmac.
So as a result if you look at this, Brianna, you see the crowds here in the ticketing area, but then you look at the baggage claim area here in Atlanta Hartsfield and you can see, it's actually quite empty. And that's really rare on a Sunday. I've flown in and out of this airport countless times and usually on a Sunday night, this place is packed with some of those last minute flights that are coming in from other parts of the country, of course other parts of the world.
So again, Delta Air Line is right now asking for patience as they try to find out just how soon their system will be back up and running, then they can turn to the FAA and request that that ground stop be lifted. Brianna?
KEILAR: All right. Polo, thank you.
Mary, how bad does this have to be, this problem? I mean we're -- this looks like a nightmare there on the ground. And that's just in Atlanta. So, how bad does it have to be for Delta or any airline to issue a ground stop?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it has to be pretty bad because we also have to remember that in this day and age, almost everything that an airline done -- does is by a computer. And it's not just the ticketing and the baggage operations, it's also communication with the Federal Aviation Administration, with air traffic control, with movement at the airport. And as our airlines and air traffic control system have gone to a full computerized operation, that means any glitch in their computer, computer gets a cold and the system gets the flu. And that's how it goes. And Delta had this happened to them last August too. They cancelled 2000 flights and I think it costs about 150 million bucks.
KEILAR: Oh my goodness. OK. So what do they need to do in order to get things operational again and what are we looking at? What are the delays and just the slowdowns and the back-ups going to be?
SCHIAVO: Well, almost every major carrier has had an outage within the past year or two, American, United, Southwest, British Airways. And what happens in each one of those cases, Delta had one, and they had too in many cases kind of do what we all have to do to our computers, they had to reboot and then they have to sync them. They have to sync them together because if they've gone to emergency backup, then when they bring the system back up online, they have to make sure that everything is operating in real time because of the crucial safety concerns of running an airline and communicating with air traffic control with Federal Aviation Administration.
So, last time it happened to Delta, it took two days to work all the kinks out of the system. They cancelled 1000 flights the first day and 1000 flights the second day. But then they were back up and running. So that's not a good news for the passengers if it looks like it might be a two-day or more glitch. You know, for some of the airlines, it's taken longer to clear out.
KEILAR: All right. Well, we will keep an eye on it. It sounds like this could be very serious. Mary Schiavo, we do appreciate your time.
And we have some more breaking news. President Trump defending his controversial travel ban, even as attorney's general from 16 states slam it as "unconstitutional, un-American, and unlawful". Protesters gathering in cities across the United States from New York to Boston, Los Angeles, and beyond. All in response to the order that effectively bans 218 million people from seven Muslim majority states -- Muslim majority nations.
Now a U.S. Citizen from Yemen says that his brother's wife and seven children were detained at an airport in Pittsburgh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMAL SALEH, U.S. CITIZEN FROM YEMEN: They placed him in isolation in a small room and treated them as criminals or as people who may have committed a crime. They were six years old and a seven years old. It's a terrorist just because they came from Yemen, then I think where is the humanity?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[21:05:07] KEILAR: Now the President issuing a statement that defends the ban. It says, "We will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion. This is about terror and keeping our country safe."
And now another sign of how surprising this travel ban was for some in Congress. Sources tell CNN, a Republican Congressional Aide blasting the White House over how it alerted Capitol Hill about the travel ban. The aid telling CNN lawmakers in both the House and Senate on the relevant committees are "pretty pissed" about how this went down. Based on earlier drafts, most lawmakers and their aides were anticipating a much milder version of this executive order.
The aide said, the reaction was, "We see the final E.O. and say, holy, and I will say that as just an expletive, what did they do?" He also said, "Our leadership was basically in the dark."
I want to talk about these protests now. We have live team coverage across the country. CNN's Rosa Flores is at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Dan Simon is at LAX for us.
Rosa, to you first. What are you hearing from the crowd there? And this has been going on for hours now at this point.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has, Brianna. And as you take a look around, you'll see that this crowd is actually also growing. There are a lot of people here outside the international terminal. This is actually the arrival's lane, but it has been blocked off to accommodate all of these protesters.
Now from talking to them, I can tell you that they are very passionate about being out here. They say that they are here because they are passionate about speaking out for immigrants who perhaps can't speak for themselves because they are being detained at airports or because they are too afraid to speak out. I actually spoke to some of those immigrants who did not want to speak on camera, Brianna, but they were very emotional because they were held here at O'Hare for a few hours. They were questioned. They were asked many questions.
I didn't want to go into what those questions were but I did ask one of them, one specific gentleman who is coming in from Syria about his cellphone and about his social media, about his Twitter because as you know, we have been hearing that those are some of the questions they're being asked. And he did confirm that they took down his cell number and did ask him about his Twitter feed, about his social media sites. He was very emotional, very moved and just left after.
Now, one of the other things is that they tell us that, you know, they hear from American politicians all the time that people who want to come to this country need to get in line. They need to get to the back of the line. When it comes to refugees, Brianna, of course, they have been on the back of the line. And as we've been reporting, refugees go through very strict vetting process.
And so for them, for the thousands of refugees who are scheduled to come into the United States in the coming months and now with this active ban, they have been at the back of the line, but now, they're not being allowed to enter the United States. And so that's why we're seeing a lot of people here who are speaking out for the refugees and the immigrants from those seven countries who are banned with the executive order. Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Rosa Flores in Chicago. Thank you.
And now to Los Angeles. There is a loud gathering of protesters at LAX and CNN's Dan Simon is there. What have people been saying to you there, Dan?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, hi, Brianna. According to an immigration lawyer who is monitoring the situation at LAX, there are still some people who are detained. But that is something we have not been able to confirm with federal authorities. But you can see there are still a number of protesters here. This represents really a small slither of those who were here earlier today. But as you can see, the crowd remains pretty strong and they are still voicing their displeasure over this executive order.
We should tell you that Los Angeles has a very large Iranian-American community. So it's no surprise that you did see the volume of people here show up at LAX. But as you look around, you see people of all walks of life, all ethnicities, trying to get their message out. And as you can see, by the number of people still here as the sun has gone down, they plan to stay for quite a while. And we're already hearing about some momentum and some efforts to organize another rally tomorrow. Brianna?
KEILAR: So you're hearing that there's going to be something for tomorrow. How are people communicating? Is this -- are they just doing this on social media or do you expect the same people to come back tomorrow?
[21:10:06] SIMON: Well, obviously tomorrow being a workday, we're not quite sure what that will look like, but this is something that took shape really quickly over the weekend. Yesterday, it was just a spontaneous crowd that gained momentum as the images were broadcast over social media and through television. Today was much more organized. But now, they say they want to keep this protest alive. So we're hearing about people wanting to congregate tomorrow and I'm sure those plans will take shape in the overnight hours, Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Dan Simon at LAX, thank you.
And coming up, America's neighbor to the north is sending a message to people stranded by President Trump's travel ban. What Canada is telling those who might be turned away by the U.S. when we return. You are live in the CNN Newsroom.
KEILAR: America's northern neighbor is rolling out the welcome mat to those left stranded by President Trump' immigration ban. Canada's immigration minister is now offering temporary resident permits to refugees and foreign nationals impacted by the ban.
I want to go live now to CNN's Paula Newton. She is in Ottawa. And tell us more about this, Paula, because this is certainly a statement coming from Canada.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a statement, perhaps more subtle and symbolic than really substantive, the government wanted us to know that look so far, they don't know anyone in the situation. What kind of situation that they come to Canada for temporary residency? That's people who find themselves stranded because of the ban. And they wouldn't really elaborate more than that, only to say they would continue to work with their counterparts and see who fit within that category.
A busy day today in Canada, well, in terms of people trying to work with the White House to try and figure out the ban. What's so interesting here, Brianna, is the man who made this decision is the immigration minister here. Mr. Hussen is Somali born himself. He came here as a teenager.
[21:15:00] For a while, the government was just trying to figure out whether or not that applied to him, this ban, in terms that he could not travel to the United States. The government clarified that. And what we got was a bit of a back story about the White House going back and forth with the Canadian government, which I'm sure they've doing with many other governments to say look, if you're a dual Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you will be vetted as usual at the airport but you will be allowed to enter the United States. Quite a crazy day.
KEILAR: So you said that this is sort of subtle and maybe symbolic. How has the criticism, if any, been of President Trump? Has it been pretty low key? Are they being careful not to outright criticize him?
NEWTON: I wouldn't describe it as low key and yet you hit the nail on your head right there. They continue to try and underscore the Canadian policy without condemning the actual ban.
Again, the minister has been from Somalia himself was asked directly the question, why not just condemn the ban? It goes against Canadian values. And here's what he said, "Every country has the right to determine their practices. I can only tell you that we will continue on our long-standing tradition of being open to those who seek sanctuary and also to view immigration as a great, great way to boost our economic growth and the prosperity of all Canadians."
I'll give him a buy on the great, great, Brianna. I don't think he meant that as any kind of a humorous, you know, adjective there. But basically taking the stand and saying, "Look, Canada remains open to people who have been persecuted. We will offer sanctuary, but absolutely not wanting to get involved in the controversy over this ban." The kind of controversy that you've been covering all day.
KEILAR: All right. Paula Newton, thank you for that report.
And while we've seen massive protests across the U.S., the travel ban is likely popular among many Americans. We're going to talk about that and the backlash next. You're live in the CNN newsroom.
[21:20:37] KEILAR: That was the scene at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport earlier tonight as a number of detained travelers were released. They were welcomed by hundreds of demonstrators who had gathered to Protests Donald Trump's immigration ban, affecting some 218 million people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
And despite images like those being repeated in cities all across the country, CNN's own Jake Tapper learned that White House policy director Stephen Miller told government officials yesterday that the American people are firmly behind this executive order and not to be distracted by what he calls the hysterical voices on T.V. Trump's Chief of Staff also refusing to apologize for any confusion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It wasn't chaos. I mean the fact of the matter is 325,000 people from foreign countries came into the United States yesterday, and 109 people were detained for further questioning. Most of those people were moved out. We've got a couple dozen more that remain. And I would suspect as long as they're not awful people, that they will move through before another half a day today. And perhaps some of these people should be detained further. And if there are folks that shouldn't be in this country, they're going to be detained. And so, apologize for nothing here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Let's talk this over now with our panel. We have CNN Political Commentator and Former Reagan White House Political Director Jeffrey Lord and Wajahat Ali, Muslim-American playwright and "New York Times" contributor.
So, Wajahat Ali, could Trump's team be right here, that despite the protests we're seeing, there are probably a large number of Americans who support this travel ban? I think we've seen some research that shows there is a large contention of Americans who are right on board with this. WAJAHAT ALI, CONTRIBUTOR, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, let's not talk about alternative facts but in reality, Donald Trump lost the majority vote. There weren't 3 million undocumented individuals who voted for him illegally. So the majority of Americans are against Donald Trump and his vision for America. He has the lowest favorability rating of any incoming president in modern history.
And if you are to look outside and look at these beautiful crowds, spontaneously, these men and women left the comfort of their homes, left their families, left their weekends to hold up signs welcoming immigrants, visitors, and refugees to this country. They are embracing the legacy of America, what makes us so great. These are people with different religions, different national origins, different ethnicities, in Chicago, in Boston, SFO, JFK, and Dallas. You can look at that right now, it's beautiful.
I tell all my Muslim friends who've been watching this election cycle, my family abroad. They say, "Is America really like this? Do they hate us? Do they hate Muslims? Do they call Mexicans rapists and criminals? Are they this hateful?" And I told them all today, I said, "Turn on the T.V. and go to social media, and look at hashtag Dallas, hashtag JFK. That's America. That's the majority, this multicultural coalition of the willing that is embracing our beautiful legacy of being a sanctuary for people who are looking for some economic betterment or for some religious freedoms. This is a country of immigrants."
And one last thing I'll say, happy birthday to my mother. She -- it's her birthday today. She is a Pakistani Muslim immigrant who has been in this country for 40 years. She makes amazing biryani in a saree (ph) while watching the Golden State Warriors and while cursing at Donald Trump's hateful Muslim ban in Urdu and English. And immigrants like her, and children of immigrants like me and refugees have made this country great for centuries. We'll keep making this country great. We're not going away. You can't stop us. We're too resourceful, we're too smart, we're too talented, we're too loving, and we're going to win.
KEILAR: All right, Jeffrey, I want you to respond to that because --
JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Can I answer that?
KEILAR: Yes, please.
LORD: Well, first of all, my 97-year-old mother is in the other room and she would bang me over the knuckles if I didn't wish his mother happy birthday.
ALI: Thank you, sir. I appreciate that.
LORD: And this is where we agree. This is America. This country is 100 percent descended from immigrants. There is no one in America who's not a descendant of an immigrant. So nobody is trying to keep immigrants out because we're the descendants of immigrants. ALI: Except Donald Trump.
LORD: All you're trying to do -- all the president is trying to do here is protect those of us who are inside the United States of America from being killed by people outside of the United States of America who wish to kill not just Americans but Canadians and French and English and Spanish and on and on and on and on the list goes. That's all.
[21:25:03] ALI: But, Jeffrey, wouldn't you agree -- yes, sir, go ahead.
LORD: These are on inside and they've got it exactly right. We should not make too much about all these television pictures. I remember in the Reagan ear when there were 1 million people in Central Park protesting Ronald Reagan's cold war policies. He won reelection the following year with 49 states. So just because you've got all these people there doesn't necessarily mean all the American people agree with you.
ALI: So, you could just show how Donald Trump is so culturally tone deaf. Number one, he signs this executive order on National Holocaust Remembrance Day and he didn't mention Jewish people. Which by the way if you're following social media, neo-Nazis have been praising him. That just shows there's something that Nazis seem to love him
And number two, today while all -- while so many Americans were out, he was watching "Finding Dory." And he's probably so tone deaf that he doesn't realize that's a movie about a fish that's desperately trying to find its family after being separated. And that's what's happening right now. That innocent people are being separated from their families like that Iraqi translator who helped U.S. forces in Iraq. He was detained at JFK. His crime, his national origin. Or like I said in the last segment, the seven-month pregnant Iranian woman who actually works for Genentech was detained in SFO. How does this make us safe? It doesn't. It's hateful.
LORD: It makes us safe.
ALI: It's divisive.
LORD: It makes us safe.
KEILAR: Jeffrey -- can I ask you, Jeffrey because, you know, we heard Kellyanne Conway say, these -- whatever, dozens of people who have been detained that it's a small price to pay for safety. And yet, I imagine that even people who really want -- and I imagine you do, but you correct me if I'm wrong, these are not good images for Donald Trump. Even if he is doing something that he promised and that people support, he's really motivating so many people against him. It seems like --
LORD: Well, this is where --
KEILAR: -- this is not how in retrospect a lot of people even backing Donald Trump would have wanted this to go down because it doesn't really serve him.
LORD: Again, respectfully, I'd say, in my lifetime where television has become a major force, other American presidents have faced this kind of situation where there -- I mean, not to put you quite a point on it, but in 1970, I was protesting the shootings at Kent State when Richard Nixon was president. They shut down colleges all over the country. In a sense, it backfired and it helped President Nixon as did the later things I was talking about --
ALI: And then later resigned, Jeffrey. He later resigned.
LORD: Well yeah, but not --
ALI: Just saying, I'm just putting it out there. Just putting it out there.
LORD: Yeah, I know, I know. But, no, he was reelected after all those demonstrations. So that's my point is that you got to be very careful and Stephen miller has got it exactly right here. All of these television images can portray a situation. I know that -- I know -- I mean this is the nature of television. I don't -- you know, I understand that, but other presidents have seen this and then the end results are not the same because --
KEILAR: But Jeffrey, have they seen these 10 days into their administrations?
LORD: Oh, Brianna, I'll make a bet with you, a small bet with you, e.i. a cup of coffee that we're going to see this through all four or eight years of the Trump administration. Absolutely, we're going to see this.
ALI: Brianna, an entire gender marched against Donald Trump the day after he was inaugurated. An entire gender. Three point two million people, the largest marches in American history, marched against him, and he has dropped eight points in one week. And he has the lowest favorability rating.
KEILAR: Wait, Wajahat, I don't know if you can say that was an -- I mean I am not trying to diminish how large and unexpectedly large the marches were, the women's march, but certainly these were women who were to a certain side of the political spectrum who did not support Donald Trump? I mean --
ALI: Come on, this is march.
KEILAR: Don't you have to admit --
ALI: This is the majority.
KEILAR: -- that there a lot of people and even if it's not a majority, it's close to it, who are really supporting this move.
ALI: So Brianna, you're right, there are Americans, 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump, and the recipe he used to get elected is nothing new. It's a Molotov cocktail of anger, fear mongering, racism, and hate, and used against the most marginalized minorities.
LORD: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
ALI: Mexicans, women, African-Americans, and Muslims. And he appealed to nationalism and economic uncertainty. And that has worked as a recipe not just in America, Brianna, but through other nations. So people think he will make America great again by being tough. If he was tough, I triple dog dare Donald Trump live on CNN, if you want to be tough on national security, spend one tweet, 140 characters criticizing Vladimir Putin who illegally interfered our elections allegedly to help you, Donald Trump, and who allegedly has compromising information on you.
[21:30:00] If he was tough on that national security, he would go after Saudi Arabia, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi and yet he does business with them. And if he went against Saudi Arabia and put them on that ban list like I said time, lot of Republicans would lose a lot of money because they're lobbyists for that country. This is just fear mongering, it's fear mongering.
KEILAR: Final word to you, Jeffrey.
LORD: Final thought, well, I mean I don't want to veer off into this Molotov cocktail phrase, but the Molotov cocktail he describes, it is the classic recipe of racism plus progressivism to get progressive agenda through, that's a whole another subject. This is not Donald Trump, it is the exact opposite.
KEILAR: OK. Let's stay on topic here. Let's stay on topic here. We're looking at pictures of --
LORD: Yes, exactly that's my point. That is my point. That is my point, the travel ban is something that clearly a lot of Americans support, they don't to want see anymore mass murderers at Christmas parties, they don't to want see Boston marathon situations. They don't to want see anymore of this in this country. Not one more American --
KEILAR: But, Jeffrey, those folks wouldn't have been caught --
LORD: -- which is why we need gun control.
HOST: This executive order would not have stopped.
LORD: ISIS is going -- ISIS is going out of its way to infiltrate refugee groups with their fighters. And in fact President Obama banned Iraqi refugees for six months precisely because Iraqi refugee taken into this country and settled in bowling green turned out to be a bomber, and the FBI ...
ALI: Zero refugees. Zero refugees have committed terrorist acts against Americans as well. zero..
HOST: Gentlemen, I'm going to have to leave it there. I'm going to have to leave it there.
LORD: All right. Thank you so much, Brianna.
KEILAR: Jeffrey Lord and Wajahat Ali --
LORD: Happy birthday to your mom.
KEILAR: A goodnight to you, gentlemen.
ALI: Thank you, Jeffrey, for wishing my mom happy birthday.
KEILAR: Yes, and happy birthday to your mother, of course --
ALI: Thank you so much.
KEILAR: -- from all of us here.
ALI: I appreciate that.
KEILAR: Still to come, Steve Bannon formerly of Breitbart News now part of the National Security Council. While the president's military advisors get a diminished role, I'm going to be talking with our military analysts, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling about how this impacts U.S. safety. You are live in the CNN Newsroom.
[21:35:46] KEILAR: Updating our top story now, the Department of Homeland Security says no one is being held in an airport or other detention facility from the initial group affected by the travel ban executive order.
The DHS says everyone has either been released into the U.S. or put on a plane back to their home country, amid all the protests and chaos following President Trump's sweeping refugee ban. There's this, his reshuffling of the National Security Council. Donald Trump gave his Chief Strategist Steve Bannon formerly of Breitbart News a seat on the NSC while downgrading the role played his military chiefs.
I want to bring in CNN Military Analyst, retired General Mark Hertling. You're watching all of this develop, what's your reaction to these changes?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Brianna, the first thing I better say is happy birthday to Waja Ali mother as well.
HERTLING: My first reaction is the National Security Council dates back to 1947. It has changed multiple times based on each president's personality and what they've wanted to do with it. There are only five statutory members, Brianna, and that's the sec dep, sec state, the president, the vice president, and the director of the Department of Energy. So the rest of the members can go in and out based on whether the president wants to make this an inclusive body or an exclusive one.
From all indicators in looking at the last five or six of these councils, they have changed very little over the last couple of administrations, and it looks like Mr. Trump has taken literally cut and paste job from Bush 43 by pulling in some and putting out some. The one that most concerns me or the two actually that most concern me, are both the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of National Intelligence, not being ones who will be at every meeting. Although the NSP as which was issued by the Trump administration said they would be invited in when necessary.
I think they better be in there most of the time given the indicators of security across the globe and how even domestic policy issue affects things that have to do with intelligence and security.
KEILAR: So what happens if they're not there? I mean, when you're thinking of a situation that would concern you, what would that be?
HERTLING: Well, a couple of things. Well, it could be anything. It has to do with the state of the military that the chairman could give, budget advice if you're talking about giving budget to one program, it's going to take it from others and sometimes that's the military, how you use the military.
It's -- the chairman is the advisor to the president, the vice president, and the sec dep as well as the national security advisors on all things military. He has his pulse on the military operation. The same thing with the DNI, he knows in intelligence better than anybody in that room.
They not only can give advice in the room, but they can take it back to their headquarters, the discussions that occur inside the oval office and say, "Here's what's going on, let's get ahead of this, let's start some planning. And let's direct our resources into different directions." If they're not in the room, I mean, it's like attending a meeting in a corporation, Brianna. Sometimes you get the words, sometimes they forget to tell you, and that could have tragic effect when you're talking about national security.
KEILAR: I want to talk to you about the travel ban that we're seeing. We're seeing all the protests right now, these are live pictures coming from Seattle. What about this idea, and we've seen this even play out today, a lot of times -- and this is just a number of say Iraqi interpreters or other Iraqis who have been very helpful to the U.S. military and you've worked with a number of them from your days in Iraq. They could get caught up in this where they're not granted access to come in. What do you think needs to be done?
HERTLING: Well, in this case, Brianna, these whole couple of last days have troubled me greatly. And whenever I have these kind of problems and great military mentor once told me, I better look to Aristotle and think about logic, reason and passion. From a logic perspective, this ban has given everything to our enemies and taken a lot from our friends.
[21:39:58] I've heard from multiple of my Iraqi friends, general officers and colonels who were in the fight in Mosul right now, we stay in contact. And they have said, "What's going on with the United States? We're fighting ISIS just like you are, why would your president ban Iraqis from coming in?" There has been discussion in the Iraqi government about banning U.S. citizens to include journalists and supporters to Iraq based on a tit for tat.
So ISIS is reacting. There have been multiple indicators that they are already cheering this move. Even though I heard Mr. 0:00:27.8 say earlier that there's no indicator that this happen. Trust me, this is equivalent to what happened with the Abu Ghraib scandal. They are launching on this and saying, "This is the greatest thing going".
OK. That's the logic piece. You just take a look at it from a military planning perspective. Then there's the belief piece. I mean, if we truly believe what's at the base of the statue of liberty about giving our tire, our poor, our huddled masses going to be free and coming into the United States, this is counterproductive to our beliefs. So from a belief standpoint, it's not very good.
Now, I'm going to get into the emotions because you ask about my Iraqi friends. There have been multiple Iraqi interpreters that I have written letters for to the state department to help get into the country. One of them is living in Detroit, Michigan. We still have conversations. He has a family there. He has a seven-year-old child who he wants to go to West Point some day and be a soldier just like all the soldiers that got him out of Iraq.
And for every one case that Jeffrey Lord can give you about bad things that happen, I would bet our immigrants from most of these Arab nations, I could give you a thousand cases where good things are happening because that's what immigrants do. And that's the emotional piece, I've got to be careful of that because I am your military analyst, but that's how I feel about it.
KEILAR: That's right. Well, general, we certainly appreciate -- it was pretty logical the way you broke it down in three different parts. So we're going to give you that. General Hertling, always great to spend time and chat with you, thank you for coming on.
HERTLING: Always a pleasure, Brianna, thank you.
KEILAR: And still to come, President Donald Trump's latest executive order sending shock waves through refugee communities here on U.S. soil. Our Randi Kaye met one Vermont family who just arrived from Syria, and now they fear that they'll be sent back. We'll have their story straight ahead. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.
[21:45:54] KEILAR: With just a few quick strokes of the pen, President Donald Trump has banned more than 218 million people from entering the united states. They're from seven Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and Africa, but the group perhaps most at risk, families fleeing the humanitarian crisis in war torn Syria.
CNN's Randi Kaye traveled to Vermont to meet one such family who fear that they may be sent home just days after their year's long journey to reach America.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One week, that's how long this Syrian family has been in the United States. They arrived just two days before Donald Trump was inaugurated. Hazar Mansour was a French teacher, her husband was Hassam Alhallak an accountant. They fled from Damascus to Turkey with their children to escape the violence. After two years of background checks, they finally made it to Vermont.
HAZAR ZUHEIR MANSOUR, SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translator): We were worried about ourselves, worried about our children. We came here. We want to live in peace. It's better than living in the war situation we were in.
KAYE: They are the first of about 25 Syrian and Iraqi families expected to arrive in Rutland, Vermont by September, about 100 refugees in all. Rutland's mayor invited them to settle in his city around the same time then candidate Donald Trump vowed, if elected, he'd stop the flow of refugees into the U.S. and deport the ones already here.
MAYOR CHRISTOPHER LOURAS, RUTLAND CITY, VERMONT: This is just playing the right thing to do from a compassionate and humanitarian perspective.
KAYE: But that's not the only reason the mayor is welcoming the refugees to his city. He's hoping they'll help revitalize it. The city of Rutland has suffered a major population loss, making it hard for big companies here to fill jobs. The mayor is hoping that Syrian refugees will not only add to the population, but also to the work force. The unemployment rate here is about 3 percent. Dangerously low, says the mayor.
LOURAS: We've got dozens scores of employers in this community saying they've got hundreds of job openings they just can't fill.
KAYE: But now, his whole plan to revive Rutland could be in jeopardy, pending an executive order from President Donald Trump.
LOURAS: I think all of us have some fears about that. I think his concerns are misplaced. The security measures are in place for refugees, especially coming from Syria, will not put this community at risk. That's a fact.
KAYE: This couple is hosting the Syrian family until their apartment is ready.
Do you wish that President Trump could meet the couple and the family that you're going to have in your home? MAUREEN SCHILLINGER, HOSTING SYRIAN FAMILY: I wish that anyone who
thinks that it is a bad idea for them to come could just even take a little snapshot. They're wonderful people. They're not coming here to harm us. They're coming here to escape harm.
KAYE: Tim Cook, a doctor in town, says he doesn't want refugees settling in his city, not because he thinks they're dangerous, but because he thinks they'll end up costing tax payers money.
So are you saying the mayor and whoever decided that the refugees should come here got it wrong?
DR. TIM COOK, AGAINST REFUGEES IN VERMONT: Yes, unequivocally.
KAYE: He says he fully supports President Trump's opposition to taking in refugees.
COOL: I think we've done enough as a country. I'm tapped out. And this nation is tapped out. We need to fix our own problems first. And then we can, you know, reconfigure and see if we can rescue the rest of the world.
Kaye: This family says they're not worried about President Trump's plan, they feel safe and secure in Vermont already.
HASSAM ALHALLAK, SYRIAN REFUGEE: I like Vermont and the people of Vermont.
KAYE: The people.
KAYE: They're very nice.
ALHALLAK: Very nice, yes, yes.
KAYE: You might have to learn to ski.
ALHALLAK: I like skiing.
MANSOUR: A new sport.
ALHALLAK: A new sport.
KAYE: A new sport, exactly.
One week, they hope it's only the beginning of their new life in the United States. Randi Kaye, CNN, Rutland, Vermont.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
[21:50:00] KEILAR: The growing opposition to President Trump's temporary travel ban from seven majority Muslim nations has dominated the air waves this weekend. And we've focussed our cameras on the demonstrations at international airports all across the country. The American Civil Liberties Union says it received 290,000 online donations this weekend. That totals about $19.4 million. That is about four or five times what they would normally get in a year just to put that in context, but what about the Trump supporters who like what the president calls extreme vetting?
CNN's Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter joining me now. And, Brian, you spoke with an ACLU spokesman tonight, what did you learn?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The group is counting up his donation. They will top the 20 million mark up, probably tomorrow, making an announcement. But for now, as you said, $19.4 million, many times what they normally make on online donations for out an entire year.
What this represent is that, this has been a galvanizing moment for groups like the ACLU, many Americans who don't know what to do, maybe can't attend one of the protests choosing instead to donate money they say, about 290,000 online donations overall.
KEILAR: You're looking at the coverage of this, because this is something that the White House has really taken issue with, they don't feel like it's fair. What is your assessment as you look at the coverage?
STELTER: Certainly, the pictures tell the story, and the messages on the signs really tell the story. One of the colleagues, Ron Brownstein, pointed out that many of the signs at the protests he was seeing in L.A. were personal. Actually directed at Steve Bannon, blaming Trump's chief strategist for these moves over the weekend, many other signs, some of them humorous, some of them very serious. Not all of them directly addressing the travel ban, but many of them very pointed about this. And much of this really focussing on Trump in one way or another.
We know the president is an avid cable news consumer, surely he had seen this, this weekend. Maybe even heard some of it from outside of the White House on Sunday. And I'm struck, Brianna, that this is not just in big cities. You know, we're looking at Seattle here, not surprising you can get a big crowd in Seattle for anti-trump protest.
But look at Boise, Idaho today. The Idaho statesman reporting hundreds of protesters there, the Kansas City Star, reporting hundreds of protesters in Kansas City and I was just watching a live stream from Las Vegas, from McCarran International. You know, that's some of what's going on here. Digital media allows people to tell their own stories from the protests. In a way that wasn't even true eight years ago when the tea party was born and was not as true as it is today when the Occupy Movement was born a number of years ago.
It was because everyone now has their cell phones. They're able to live broadcast at these protests and of course, in some cases, attract their friends to come join them.
KEILAR: So two straight weekends now of protests over Donald Trump or his policies, and there's this question about whether this is just a moment or this is a movement. I wonder what you think, Brian, or if just too soon to tell because we think back to other movements, right, we think about Occupy Wall Street, we think about the tea party, I think about how occupy wall street ultimately -- even though for weeks and weeks and there were people really occupying public spaces, it fizzled.
STELTER: Right. It fizzled, but I saw remnants of it this weekend. For example, in Boston, Elizabeth Warren, the senator, getting up at a protest in Boston using an idea called the people's mike, something popularized by Occupy in order to speak to the crowd and the crowd would repeat what she would say. That's called the people mic. And that was probably an Occupy. We're also seeing some of the same protesters at these events of course.
You're right, though, Occupy, the physical encampments did fizzle after a number of weeks. This is a different kind of movement. And I'm curious to see what this look likes weeks and months from now. I think it's notable, you know, women's march happened surprisingly large crowds. And then there was the question of whether this is just a one day one off. I think now we can say it's more than that because of what's happened pretty quickly this weekend, but it's going to remain and open question. What happens in February, March, April.
We know there are other movements, other protests planned. They're organizing efforts on Facebook for those. We will see how big those become and, of course, what Donald Trump says about it. If he is watching us as I expect he has been watching this weekend, I'm curious to see if we will see a bar of tweet about this in the morning.
KEILAR: Research actually shows, you know, there are many, many Americans who believe in certainly a proposal similar to like what Donald Trump has put forward in this executive order. Does seeing this demonstration of people who are against it give us a false idea of where the country fully is on this issue?
STELTER: I have to admit, I am a little concerned about that. You know, I was speaking to a guest on my program "Reliable Sources" about this earlier today. These top editors in newsrooms were expressing the concern that, yes, we need to cover what the protesters are saying. That's an important part of the story. But we also have to go and find the people who support Trump's ban, support Trump's efforts. You've been interviewing some of them here on the program this evening.
[21:55:07] But in some case, especially GOP congressman, they're not interested in going in front of the cameras today to talk about this. Even though they privately support it and they know their constituents support this as well. Certainly the opponents are louder this weekend.
You know, I spoke with one Iraqi man who used to work for the Los Angeles Times in Baghdad. He basically kept the bureau online all weekend. He said, I'm not -- excuse me, about 10 years ago. He said to me, "You know, my father couldn't get into the U.S. this weekend. I'm not so concerned about that inconvenience. I'm concerned about next week, next year." Right now, clearly ground of the opponents more vocal than the supporters of this.
KEILAR: All right. Brian Stelter, thank you so much for that.
Next on CNN, it is "ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN". Thank you so much for joining us for CNN's special live coverage of the nationwide protests to the president's travel ban. For updates any time, just log on to cnn.com. I'm Brianna Keilar and I hope you have a wonderful week.