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STATE OF THE UNION
Putin and Trump Talk; Interview With Ohio Senator Rob Portman; Interview With New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; President Trump's Travel Ban Creates Chaos; U.S. To Prioritize Christian Refugees. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired January 29, 2017 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A very different America.
TAPPER: Dramatic new moves at the stroke of President Trump's pen.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are 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.
TAPPER: As the president bans people temporarily from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S. and suspends the entire refugee program.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: No hate, no fear! Refugees are welcome here!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will fight this anyplace, anywhere.
TAPPER: With travelers trapped at airports amid confusion over the new rules, how will the nation and the world react?
And working the phones. President Trump talks to Putin.
TRUMP: I hope we have a fantastic relationship. That is possible. And it is also possible that we won't.
TAPPER: What was said? The very latest details.
Plus, promises kept.
TRUMP: We will build a great wall.
AUDIENCE: Build that wall!
TAPPER: From beginning the process of building the border wall to ending sanctuary cities, President Trump is making moves to make good on his campaign pledges. What's next on his rapid-fire to-do list?
And the best political minds will be here with insights on President Trump's first full week in office.
I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is a bit chaotic.
With little to no apparent consultation with key allies, many key agencies and experts, President Trump issued an executive order, throwing immigration and refugee policy into something of a state of confusion. The order would suspend for four months American refugee policy, suspend indefinitely any admission of Syrian refugees, and suspend for two months admission into the U.S. of any citizen from seven majority Muslim countries deemed national security concern, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria.
The order threw the nation's airports into a state of uncertainty, with many officials unclear of how to execute, what to do with those already in transit. What about green card holders?
Hours ago, a late-night court decision granted an emergency reprieve, allowing citizens of the affected countries who are in transit with valid visas to remain in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security says it will comply with judicial orders while continuing -- quote -- "to enforce all of the president's executive orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people."
The statement adds -- quote -- "No foreign national in a foreign land has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States" -- unquote.
Protesters swarmed major airports yesterday, demanding an end to the travel ban. And more protests are planned across the country today. As of last night, the government says 109 travelers had been denied entry and another 173 were told not to board aircraft coming to the U.S.
The emergency court stay means those already in the U.S. can remain for now, but some are still detained at airports.
We invited the Trump White House to offer us a guest who could provide some clarity and explanation of what the president just did, especially given so much confusion even within its own government by those who are supposed to carry out this order. The Trump White House declined our invitation.
So, let's turn to our chief security national correspondent, Jim Sciutto.
Jim, the executive order was signed at 4:42 on Friday. It took effect immediately. Who was consulted on this before that?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, not the principal agencies responsible for protecting the homeland from terror threats. We know that General -- retired General John Kelly, the Department of Homeland Security secretary, he received the final details only on Friday. Same true for the career staff. The National Counterterrorism Center also not consulted in the decision-making process on this, which, one, raises questions.
And we've seen the problems already about implementation. If you don't have the actual officers out there and agencies responsible for taking people into the country knowing the details, that has led to some of the problems we have seen at airports home and abroad.
But it also raises questions about the rationale. If the two primary agencies responsible for protecting the homeland from terror threats weren't part of the decision-making process, what exactly was the rationale behind this move?
TAPPER: Now, Jim, I have some reporting this morning.
Sources are telling me 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 the hysterical voices on television. That's how he put it.
The sources also told me that Miller discussed a preliminary idea being kicked around in the U.S. government right now. And that would be to ask foreign visitors to the U.S. to provide the names of Web sites and social media sites that they visit and to provide all the contracts on their cell phones.
And if the foreign visitor refuses to turn that over, they would be denied entry. Again, this is a preliminary idea being discussed by the White House and the Trump administration.
Does the U.S. government even have the manpower to do something like that?
SCIUTTO: Well, certainly not at the airports.
You could imagine showing up at airport and having to give up your phone. I mean, just even practically, how would you go through all the social media Web sites, et cetera?
Now, in the visa application process, it's possible you could allocate the manpower necessary to do that. And, to be clear, there are legitimate questions. You will remember, one of the San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik, the wife of Rizwan Farook, she had had some postings of jihadist messages, et cetera, which were missed in her own visa process.
So, that is something that many in the counterterror community have raised questions about, how can we do this better?
Now, if you are going to do it for absolutely everybody without any sense of prioritizing, it is unclear today that you have the people necessary to do that.
TAPPER: And quickly, if you could, another executive order, President Trump rejiggered the National Security Council, putting Steve Bannon, the former publisher of Breitbart, on the National Security Council.
Is it odd to have such a partisan political figure on the National Security County?
SCIUTTO: Certainly unprecedented.
This started -- this principals meeting started back in George H.W. Bush administration. And since then, you have always had the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, you have had at the time the CIA director, since replaced by the director of national intelligence, in there. In the current iteration of this, they will come in when necessary, but not as regular members.
But I should also note that you're putting in someone who is not Senate-confirmed, Bannon, the adviser, and taking out two people, the Joint -- the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of national intelligence, who are Senate-confirmed.
Again, it raises questions about whose voices are going to be heard most prominently for the key national security decisions of this country.
TAPPER: Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.
Let's talk more about this with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.
Senator, thanks so much for being here. We always appreciate it.
SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: Thanks very much.
TAPPER: I want to start with the executive order that President Trump signed into law on Friday.
Three of your fellow Republican senators now, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, came out and said that the order goes too far.
Let me show you the statement from Senator Sasse, which reads in part, "While not technically a Muslim ban, this order is too broad."
Do you agree?
PORTMAN: I agree with both of those aspects. One, it is not a ban.
However, I think it was not properly vetted. So, you have an extreme vetting proposal that didn't get the vetting it should have had. , And as the result, in the implementation, we've seen some problems.
TAPPER: And what do you think should be done now?
PORTMAN: Well, look, I think we just slow down. And there was a discussion earlier about hysterical voices on both
sides of this. Let's make two points. One, our country is not as safe as it should be. I'm on the Homeland Security Committee. We've had plenty of testimony in the last couple of years about the fact that there's not adequate screening, particularly on our visa waiver programs.
And so I do think we need to tighten things up. And I think there's a general consensus about that. Congress passed legislation to do so at the end of 2015. But, second, we've got to do it in a way that is consistent with our values and consistent with our national security.
And we are this beacon of hope and opportunity for the rest of the world. That's our self-image. It's also an important part of our foreign policy. So, we have got to do it in a way that makes sense. And we have a Cleveland Clinic doctor, for instance, who was turned away last night, apparently. That's not the way to do it.
TAPPER: Yes, let's talk about that Cleveland Clinic doctor, because she -- we have her picture up there.
Her name is Suha Abushamma. She holds a passport from Sudan. She was going to the Cleveland Clinic. She was forced to leave, even though she holds an H-1B visa for workers in specialty occupations.
Did sending that Ohio doctor out of the country, did keeping her from coming to the United States, did it make the United States safer?
PORTMAN: No, no, because she's been properly vetted.
But there are other examples of it. Jim just mentioned one, the San Bernardino killer, of course. She did come here on a visa. It was a fiancee visa. We found out in the Homeland Security Committee later that, in fact, she had been on Web sites talking about her jihadist views. And yet somehow that was had not been picked up.
So, there are ways for us to ensure that the screening is better. But we have to be sure that it is targeted. In fact, part of the problem is, we don't have the resources to do that kind of broad vetting. We need more resources at the department.
We also need to know who is coming into the country and who leaves. And the notion that we don't have an exit-entry program and good data on visa orders who are here is really surprising to my constituents. So, there are things that we can and should do.
TAPPER: Do you think the ban on -- or the temporary ban for four months on people from these seven countries coming into the United States is consistent with American values?
Because I know you spoke against -- pardon me -- the Muslim ban when President Trump voiced it in 2015-'16. A lot of people think that this is just a smaller version of a Muslim ban, finding seven Muslim majority countries. By the way, none of the 9/11 hijackers came from any of these seven countries. You know you have tens of thousands of Somali refugees and immigrants
in Columbus, Ohio, who are literally crying this weekend because they are not able to bring over their loved ones who are terrified of being killed by terrorists in Somalia.
Is this consistent with American values?
PORTMAN: Again, this needs to be based on the facts.
And my understanding, the executive order does not list all those countries. It lists, I think, Syria and Iraq, but the presumption is, those would be the countries included because those were the countries that Jeh Johnson included previously, based on the legislation I talked about with regard to visa waivers and the visa program.
So, I do think you have got to go to these countries and say, are you going to provide us the information we need on these people coming into our country? And, if they will, then you allow that to happen. If they don't, then I do think you need to have tighter screenings.
So, I think that is the idea here is to have better requirements. But it needs to be something that we work on together also. Congress has played a role here. Obviously, the executive branch agencies have been involved with this. And so, again, this was an extreme vetting program that was not properly vetted.
TAPPER: But I guess just the last thing -- and then I know I do want to move on to some other issues -- is, what are you going to tell the Somali women who are trying to get their children to the United States who have just been told nobody from Somalia can come into this country for four years -- for four months?
This could literally be a matter -- I mean, I don't want to be hysterical, but this literally could be a matter of life and death for these refugees.
Well, look, I think, again, we need to figure out what the executive order actually says. And my understanding is, it doesn't cover all those countries specifically. But the...
TAPPER: No, it refers to -- no, it mentions -- you're right. It mentions Syria and Iraq.
TAPPER: And then it refers to congressional legislation that covers the other five that I mentioned, including Somalia.
PORTMAN: Yes. Again, I think the previous homeland security secretary had named those countries because of a lack of information and the fact that either ISIS or al Qaeda was present in those countries.
TAPPER: But that -- but ending the visa...
TAPPER: But, Senator, you know this. Ending the visa waiver program for those countries is not the same as ending admission of anybody from those countries.
And, again, it is a temporary ban, as I understand it. In my view, we ought to all take a deep breath and come up with something that makes sense for our national security and, again, for this notion that America has always been a welcoming home for refugees and immigrants.
In fact, we are more welcoming than any country in the world, and we should continue to do so.
TAPPER: So, you want to undo what President Trump just did, or you want him to...
PORTMAN: I think we need to -- I think we need to -- at this point, there are -- there's a stay in effect. Two judges now have issued stays, as I understand it. I think that is appropriate.
And let's allow those people who have come here legally to this country to get out of detention, allow them to go to the Cleveland Clinic, for instance, as this doctor was banned from doing so. And let's take a look at this entire situation.
TAPPER: So, you think the Senate, the Congress needs to take a look at this and get involved in it?
PORTMAN: Yes, I mean, we ought to be part of this. We have been working on this. And, again, we passed legislation in this regard.
We also had bipartisan legislation in January 2016 that didn't pass the Senate. It did pass the House with big numbers that went a little further in terms of some of these procedures. So, I think we ought to work together on it.
TAPPER: OK. So, you want the stay to stay?
PORTMAN: I'm OK with the stay. And I think we ought to -- we ought to -- we ought to also improve our national security by improving the screening process of these people coming into our country. And we can do both.
TAPPER: Let's talk -- let's turn to another matter of national security, one I know that you're very eager to talk about, and that has to do with Russia.
President Trump spoke by phone with Vladimir Putin yesterday. There's obviously this question about whether or not President Trump is going to lift sanctions on Russia. You oppose that. Will you go to the mat? Will you reimpose them legislatively?
PORTMAN: I'm a co-sponsor of legislation to do just that. So, it's proactive legislation to say, let's ensure these are codified, in other words, not something that a president could change, because...
TAPPER: Put them into law?
PORTMAN: Put them into law, codified, because Russia has clearly violated international law. Their dangerous acts, including taking of Crimea, and what they're doing even today on the eastern border of Ukraine, are the reason for these sanctions.
To relieve these sanctions without getting at that underlying cause would be a huge mistake, by the way, a huge mistake for American foreign policy, too, setting a precedent that, when sanctions are put in place, they can be relieved perhaps for other reasons.
So, I would strongly urge the administration not to move forward with removing those sanctions, until the reasons those sanctions were put in place are resolved.
TAPPER: And, as you know, on Friday, when British Prime Minister Theresa May was here in the United States, she said what you just said. Those sanctions can't be lifted until Russia resolves what they have done in Ukraine, not to mention other things they've done in other places...
PORTMAN: Yes, Crimea.
TAPPER: ... in Georgia, Syria, Crimea, et cetera.
Well, I'm counting Crimea as Ukraine.
TAPPER: But -- but President Trump seems to be more ambivalent and have a more open mind about it.
Obviously, every president comes to office thinking, we're going to have a better relationship with Russia. George W. Bush did it. Barack Obama did it.
But this seems to be something else, because he has never even said one critical word of Vladimir Putin as a candidate or as a president. Do you have any insight as to why that is?
PORTMAN: Well, look, I just saw his statement earlier on your program where he said, I hope to have a better relationship with Russia. It would be in our national interests. That may happen. It may not happen.
I think that's about the right attitude.
I mean, look, we all would like to see a better relationship with a country that has this arsenal of nuclear weapons and has so much influence around the world. And we do have common enemies, including ISIS, that we should be working on together.
But the fact is, Russia continues to take actions, whether it's on the eastern border of Ukraine, or whether it's Crimea, or what they have done in Syria, or other things in terms of human rights, that are not consistent with our national security.
And we need to stand up, and we need to ensure that we are not sending the wrong message to our allies and to our adversaries.
TAPPER: So, you already have this legislation. And you're going to put it forward.
What if President Trump -- what if it passes the House and the Senate, and then President Trump vetoes it? Will you push for an override of the veto?
PORTMAN: Yes, of course. If it is legislation that I agree with, of course I would.
And I think there's a good chance we could have this legislation be bipartisan in the Senate. Our co-sponsorship is equally divided between Republicans and Democrats. I think there's a general sense in the House and the Senate that we need to ensure that a clear message is sent.
This is not imposing new sanctions, by the way, as much as ensuring that the existing sanctions stay in place.
TAPPER: Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, it's always good to see. Thank you for being here and being on.
PORTMAN: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Appreciate it.
Coming up next: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio calls President Trump's immigration ban shameful. He orders his top officials to help the detainees.
Mayor de Blasio joining me next live.
Thanks for joining us.
TAPPER: Welcome back.
While protests were under way yesterday at nearly every international airport in the United States, President Trump appeared in the Oval Office to herald how smoothly his hastily executed travel ban was going.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's not a Muslim ban, but we are thoroughly 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 are 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.
Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: An emergency stay issued by a judge late last night prevents authorities from deporting travelers who had already arrived in the United States with valid visas. But it is still unclear how many people are currently detained and where exactly they will go.
I'm joined now by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat.
Mr. Mayor, thanks so much for being here.
I know you oppose Donald Trump's new executive orders on immigration and refugee policy. I want to ask you about the implementation of those executive actions.
It seems like it was fairly chaotic at JFK and other airports. Was there any guidance given by the Trump administration about this new policy to people like you or your -- the people who run your airports and how it was to be carried out?
BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: No, Jake, there was no guidance.
And, obviously, there was not even clear guidance to federal officials around the country. And that's why there is so much confusion here.
But let's be clear. President Trump's executive order is simply un- American. It is suggesting that people's civil liberties can be taken away, even if they are green card holders, even if they're permanent residents on the pathway to citizenship.
I have read this executive order. It makes no distinction if someone has a green card and is already recognized on the pathway to citizenship. It makes no distinction if you have served in the U.S. military previously. You still can be detained.
In this country, the notion of detention without due process, without probable cause or a charge against you violates our constitutional norms. So, I look -- think today a lot of Republicans and independents are looking at this with a great deal of concern. Anyone who considers themselves a libertarian should be deeply
concerned to see our government detaining people for no apparent reason and denying them their rights.
And, look, this is a city with 800,000 people who are permanent residents of the United States of America. This sends a horrible message to them that, for no reason whatsoever, they could be detained or even sent back to their home country, even though they are now part of the life of the United States.
TAPPER: Mr. Mayor, how many people are still being detained right now at New York City airports? Do you know?
DE BLASIO: Jake, we are trying to get a clear picture of that.
There certainly do still appear to be people detained. Even though Judge Donnelly's action, her decision last night was quite clear that the action by the president was stayed and people should not be detained, we're still not clear that the Trump administration has honored that decision by a federal judge.
TAPPER: Now, there have been times in the nation's history when detainees or refugees -- I'm sorry, not detainees -- when refugees or immigration -- immigrants from a specific country were put on hold, were suspended. Barack Obama did it with Iraqis for six months. Jimmy Carter did it with Iranians during that hostage crisis.
How is this different?
DE BLASIO: I don't know the details of those orders, but I can tell you this much.
You have got seven nations that are included with no criteria whatsoever. Again, someone may be already a permanent resident of the United States. They may have served in our military. It doesn't matter. According to this executive order, they could be detained and they could be sent back for no reason, no clear, specific reason.
And, on top of that, look at the point in this executive order on religion. This is -- should be chilling to anyone in America who cares about religious liberty. There is an exception made, a potential for the exception made for anyone who is not Muslim.
There are no exceptions allowed for someone who is Muslim. That goes against our constitutional values as well. If the executive order said, here are a list of things that might be considered exceptions, and we will weigh those, great.
But the only category where it allows for people to be considered for entry is if they are non-Muslim.
TAPPER: Well, to be clear, what the executive order says is, it provides for prioritization if people of a religious minority in these countries. And, obviously, they are majority Muslim countries.
But, theoretically -- we don't know how it's going to be implemented -- theoretically, that could be a -- a Sufi Muslim could be considered a religious minority, a Shia Muslim could be considered a religious minority, no?
DE BLASIO: Well, Jake, I understand that point, but I would be careful on that.
And the notion that there is not a pattern of exception for individuals, that the only indication suggests, bluntly, non-Muslims, should be very, very worrisome here.
Look, a lot of people are worried this is the first step towards a Muslim registry, which, again, would be un-American and unacceptable. If this was consistent, I think, with past practice, and said, here are a list of people we're obviously going to look at for exceptions, medical professionals and folks who work for major corporations who are coming here to do work and people who have served in our military, that would be one thing.
But the indication here is, it certainly leans against people coming from the Muslim majority in those nations, does not allow any clear indication of someone who is a law-abiding Muslim coming here for a good reason to have the right to entry.
That is -- again, anyone who cares about civil liberties -- and this is a statement -- this is absolutely a bipartisan statement, because I know there are a lot of Republicans and independents who care deeply about our Constitution and our civil liberties -- they should be very worried right now.
And I'm impressed and appreciative that three Republican senators have stepped up. I think a lot more Republicans should be speaking out right now.
TAPPER: Also part of President Trump's new national order on immigration policy, let's turn to New York's status as a sanctuary city, because President Trump signed a different executive order this week saying that he would halt funding to municipalities across the country that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials and enforce federal immigration law.
You threatened to sue in response to the order. I guess the question is, if your lawsuit fails, would New York City be willing to give up tens of millions of dollars in federal funding in order to maintain its status as a sanctuary city?
DE BLASIO: A couple of quick points.
The sanctuary city definition has been often misunderstood. It's simple. The number one reason we have a different approach to immigrants in this city -- we have half-a-million people here who are undocumented. And our police department has felt for decades that it must have a working relationship with those folks.
And if they feel that, by talking to a police officer, it could lead to the information being shared with the federal government and deportation, people are not going to work with police.
This is a policy that goes back to Rudy Giuliani and Ed Koch, 20, 30 years back. We believe it's the best way to keep our city safe. We're the safest big city in America. And we've been working with our immigrant communities to make ourselves safe.
We also believe the executive order is very vague and filled with contradiction and legally challengeable. So, Jake, rule one, we're going at this. If there is an attempt to implement -- and, of course, there's not been an attempt to implement yet -- we will go to court to have it stayed, just like this more recent executive order was stayed.
The specific funding that would be cut -- here's the irony, Jake -- the specific funding that would be cut would be from Homeland Security and Justice. That's for the NYPD to fight terrorism. So, what President Trump is saying is, he's going to take away anti-terrorism dollars from New York City, the number one terror target in America, while alienating our police from our immigrant communities and making us less safe overall.
We're not going to stand for that.
TAPPER: Under a new sanctuary city law that you approved in October 2014, the city of New York shields from the feds undocumented immigrants who commit what are deemed to be lesser offenses. But they include drunk driving and grand larceny.
Why shouldn't the city of New York comply with federal law in this area? If you're are a drunk driver and you're an undocumented immigrant, why should there be a place for you in this country?
DE BLASIO: Jake, there are 170 offenses in that law that are listed as serious and violent crimes that lead to automatic cooperation between the city of New York and our federal partners.
So, any serious and violent crime, we're going to work with them. Someone commits a minor offense, for example, right now, if you didn't have clear definitions like we have -- let's say someone had a small amount of marijuana -- let's say someone went through a stop sign -- they could be deported for that, and their family could be torn apart.
And you could have children left behind where the breadwinner in the family is sent back home to a home country. That's not good for anyone.
So, we differentiate. Anyone who is violent, anyone who is a serious threat to society, we agree we will work with the federal partners and they get deported. But we are not going to see, with a half-a-million undocumented people here -- this would be true for 11 to 12 million undocumented folks in this country, the vast majority of whom are law- abiding -- we are not going to see families torn apart over a very minor offense.
TAPPER: But is grand larceny or drunk driving a very minor offense?
DE BLASIO: Drunk driving that does not lead to any other negative outcome, I could define as that.
But look at the list of 170 offenses, anything involving a weapon, anything involving violence. Those are areas where we are absolutely cooperating.
And that, I think, could be a good model, Jake, for how we proceed as a nation. Anyone who does a serious crime, I agree they shouldn't be here. But the vast majority of people don't commit any crime. And some, like so much of our population do, some small offense, that is not a reason to tear apart a family. That's not going to do any good.
And, listen, if -- again, think about this -- 11 to 12 million Americans, if they start feeling like they cannot talk to a police officer, cannot say if they have been a victim of a crime, they can't go to a police officer to tell them they witnessed a crime, they can't talk to people at a public hospital or a school, for fear of deportation, that is going to be corrosive in communities all across the country.
It's actually going to make us less safe day to day in our communities. That's why it is taking us in the wrong direction.
TAPPER: All right, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, thank you for coming on the show, as always, sir. Appreciate it.
DE BLASIO: You're welcome, Jake.
TAPPER: Coming up: More protests are planned at airports around the country today. Will Donald Trump's ban hold up under public and legal pressure?
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Mr. Trump, let me start with you. Last night you told CNN -- quote -- "Islam hates us." Did you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims?
TRUMP: I mean a lot of them. I mean a lot of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was Donald Trump last March giving his views on Islam and Muslims while the executive order issued Friday bans citizens from seven majority Muslim countries for 90 days. Trump insisted yesterday it's not a Muslim ban but -- quote -- "extreme vetting."
Lots to discuss with our panel, we have with us today CNN political commentator Ana Navarro; Jan Brewer, the former Republican governor of Arizona; Farah Pandith, former Bush and Obama State Department official; and CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers. Farah, let me start with you. Your job for George W. Bush and then for Barack Obama was to help explain the Muslim world to the White House and help to explain the United States to the Muslim world. What do you think of the events of the past weekend?
FARAH PANDITH, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: So, Jake, we can all agree that we must keep America safe. And we want President Trump to be successful in defeating ISIS and related organizations.
But the executive order has a premise of 9/11. And by that rationale, it doesn't make any sense. The strategy is flawed. And it doesn't have any intellectual rigor.
We have to get to the actual meat of the issue, which is ideas matter. Their ideas have no borders and you can't build an idea wall.
You can't ban all the countries in the world in which the bad ideas are sprouting. So when you look at what is actually taking place, and we think about what this is going to do, it really takes away from the goal that he has set out for himself. It doesn't have the rationale that we need it to.
And it is very important to understand that both in the Bush administration and in the Obama administration we understood that the power to stop recruitment came from civil society. You can't setup an us versus them. We need to have Muslims around the world working with us to stop recruitment. And the way to do that is to engage them.
If you don't have trust with the government, you can't engage them, you can't galvanize the movement that we need. And I'm afraid what has happened here is that it has stoked the idea of an us and them. It has given power to the extremists and it will not get us where we need to go.
I think the measure of success and seriousness of the Trump doctrine on terrorism really will be how serious they are with regard to Saudi Arabia where these ideas have actually been sprouting for decades. So as we think through what they're doing and why they are doing it, the rationale doesn't make sense. It is flawed. And we have to really be thinking about the long-term impact.
Our actions make a difference. Our words make a difference. And the bottom line is we need to have partners that can work with us to stop recruitment.
TAPPER: Ana Navarro, are you surprised that so few Republicans who came out against the -- quote -- unquote -- "Muslim ban" a year ago are saying anything about this is -- this is not a Muslim ban but it is a ban on people from seven majority Muslim countries, are you surprised that so many Republican officials are being so quiet?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think people are exhausted. I think a lot of Republicans are exhausted. The flurry of activity this week has been really a dizzying pace. It's so hard to keep up.
And so many of them have been speaking out consistently this week against the charge that there were 3 million illegal voters, against the tariffs against Mexico, against the idea of the wall, against not investigating Russia for hacking.
So I think it is such a -- you know, steady rain of things that they have to confront Trump on that it has been kind of emotionally exhausting week. I have friends telling me, I disagree with this. It is an un-American executive order. But I can't survive politically if I am confronting the man every day.
But this is one where as exhausted as they may be, Republicans need to appeal to their sense of consciousness, to their principles to what is right and wrong to American values, and they need to speak up.
The Republican Party I grew up in as a Republican Party of family unity. What we saw yesterday were families being torn apart. What we saw yesterday was violations of the constitution.
We don't treat different people different ways. We don't impose a religious test. And the folks may want to tell us, this is not a Muslim ban. I'll tell you who thinks it's a Muslim ban, Muslims think it's a Muslim ban. Those who want a Muslim ban like little boy Flynn and David Duke, the former KKK leader, are celebrating it as a Muslim ban. And those of us who don't want a Muslim ban see it as such.
TAPPER: Governor, what is your take?
JAN BREWER (R), FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: Well, that was a lot to take in, Ana. You know, it was a lot.
TAPPER: There were a lot of opinions. But what do you think?
BREWER: I believe that President Trump is doing exactly what he campaigned on. He was elected president. And now he's delivering the good.
People in America want to be secure and safe. And with the ban, I think that it is perfectly fine to put it on a pause and do the complete vetting. And we have got to address the issue of also of all the overstayed visas.
You know, last year alone in 2015 there were 500,000 overstayed visas. And one percent were investigated. And this continues on and on and on. We know that Americans want to be safe. And our allegiance first and foremost ought to be to our citizens.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Our citizens look like the entire world, though.
BREWER (ph): Absolutely they do.
SELLERS: And I do have to agree with Governor Brewer on one point that Donald Trump is keeping his campaign promises. TAPPER: Yes.
SELLERS: But the problem with that is that he is breaking the promises to our constitution, to our founding fathers and to our partners around the world.
Ana said it clearly, I mean -- I saw Senator Portman squirm and talk about semantics of whether or not it is a Muslim ban or not, but the fact is there are a lot of people in this country who feel persecuted by that. Even more importantly, it's a religious test in there. Because it says that if you are a religious minority in a Muslim majority country that you somehow get precedence.
So I think what we started down yesterday was more than a slippery slope. I mean, today -- I mean, I feel like I'm a Muslim. Today I feel like I'm a refugee because Dr. King said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And I think that is what you're seeing around the country. That is why people are so --
NAVARRO: Well, I'm going to say -- I was actually -- I was actually...
NAVARRO: ... a refugee and I was actually a (INAUDIBLE) legal (ph) resident. And I think this last week is also very important for this one reason.
For many years now Republicans attacked President Obama legitimately so against taking action through executive order, against not working with Congress. Particularly on issues like immigration.
NAVARRO: And this week is important because it is precedent setting, because it is setting a tone. And I think Republicans in Congress need to speak up so that they are not run over by this Trump administration. And so that the Trump administration actually works with people who know what they are doing as opposed to people in the White House who have zero idea. They are either heartless or incompetent or both.
TAPPER: OK, everybody, hold it right there. We're going to come right back and hold that thought.
President Trump was quick to say that his executive order is not a Muslim ban, but the president also says he wants to give Christian refugees priority. What is in the policy? That's next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BRODY, HOST, THE BRODY FILE: As it relates to persecuted Christians, do you -- do you see them as kind of a priority here?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
BRODY: You do?
TRUMP: Yes, they have been horribly treated. You know, if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible, very, very, at least very, very tough to get into the United States.
If you were a Muslim, you could come in. But if you were Christian, it was almost impossible. And the reason that was so unfair is that the -- everybody was persecute in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody. But more so the Christians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That was President Trump talking to Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody. Just a quick fact-check, not broken down by Syria, but in terms of general refugees admitted to the United States according to Pew, Muslim refugees, 38,901; Christian refugees, 37,521. So not impossible to get in.
I'm back with our roundtable. Governor Brewer, you were taking issue with some of the things said by some of the other panelists.
BREWER: Well, in regards to a Muslim ban, you know, if that was true, then he would have banned all the people coming in from all the other countries, Turkey, Indonesia. He has not done that.
I believe that the administration probably had high intelligence reports that these countries that he has named are -- there's a danger there. And he promised the people of America, the United States, that he was going to keep us safe.
SELLERS: So why not -- so why not -- why not name a single country where one of the 9/11 hijackers came from. Why not name UAE or Saudi Arabia? Or why not name Russia where the --- where the Boston bombers came from?
Can we explain -- can we explain --
BREWER: ... Bakari?
SELLERS: Because --
BREWER: The bottom line is is that they chose these countries based, I would assume, on intelligence.
PANDITH: Governor, that's assuming that on January 19th that there was one kind of intelligence, and on January 20th there was another kind of intelligence. That is assuming that President Obama didn't want to keep America safe. And that in fact he didn't have the kind of wisdom to be able to put certain countries on that list.
America is made up of the most diverse group of Muslims anywhere in the world. And they represent every country on the planet. But the rationale of this executive order, you would have to put every country in the world on that list.
What every security expert knows is that the greatest threat that we have right now is what's happening inside of the homeland. And we have ISIS cells in every single state. What we ought to be doing and what the president can do to succeed in defeating ISIS is to look inward to raise up civil society that can push back and not allow radicalization from happening.
This is not coming from outside of our country along an idea -- you know, wall over here, it's coming from an exploritative motion for young people on the issue of identity. And we have to be very vigilant in understanding what we have learned over the years.
NAVARRO: Part of the reason that did not happen is because those security experts and those experts were not consulted. It should be worrisome to everybody including my party that the Department of Homeland Security was not consulted. That General John Kelly, a man who has served this country, a four-star general, a marine, a patriot, did not learn about this order until hours before he was supposed to start implementing. His department was supposed to start implementing. That that department expressed concern about being implemented on legal permanent residence and he got overridden by people in the White House who are not national security experts, though some of them may now be in the -- you know, in the National Security Council principals meeting.
It should be worrisome. We should establish the inter-agency working groups. There are reasons to have experts like Farah and like others at the Department of State...
NAVARRO: ... at Department of Homeland Security who are going to have to be implementing this. This should not be done by folks with no experience and nothing but campaign promises to fulfill in the White House.
BREWER: I (INAUDIBLE) the American people of the United States they want our country to --
NAVARRO: Everybody --
SELLERS: Everybody does. PANDITH: Everybody does.
BREWER: And he has surrounded himself -- President Trump has surrounded himself with very, very intelligent cabinet members. And intelligent White House infiltrators --
NAVARRO: But he's not letting -- but he's not letting them (INAUDIBLE), Jan.
BREWER: You don't know that.
NAVARRO: Did you read the report --
BREWER: I have read -- I have read about the executive order less than 24 hours before it was signed.
SELLERS: If I can chime in quickly, because you started down the path of this Christian preference, and as a Christian, I think that this is deeply concerning because this is not what our country was built upon.
I mean, this is -- and I may get in trouble for saying this, but I believe this to be the antithesis to Christianity. I mean, the fact of the matter is we are a country that is built upon vast religions. We are a country that is built on -- you know, beautiful people of all races, of all shades. And the fact that we are now -- give us just some not all? I mean, it's amazing that people are now just pro-some lives when just this week everybody was pro-life and now we're just pro-some lives.
TAPPER: All right.
BREWER: We accept more refugees, we accept more people -- visas coming in and traveling in our country than almost any other country. We are. And we understand that is what we are based on.
TAPPER: I don't think that is accurate.
SELLERS: I would actually --
BREWER: It is correct.
NAVARRO: I will tell you, the Obama administration owns its inaction on what happened in Syria.
TAPPER: We have to go.
NAVARRO: And the Republicans will own this if we don't speak up.
TAPPER: All right. Thanks one and all for being here. Appreciate it.
During a whirlwind first week President Trump found time to decorate the White House what he has added to the Oval Office is the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion." Coming up next.
TAPPER: President Trump is enjoying the trappings of the White House such as the Oval Office and the Lincoln bedroom. But some presidents didn't love the world's most famous home. It's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion."
TAPPER (voice-over): President Ronald Reagan described living in the White House as being like a bird living in a gilded cage.
President Bill Clinton also had a creative way of summarizing life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I always say I don't know whether it's finest public housing in America or the crown jewel of the prison system.
TAPPER: But one weekend President Trump seems pretty comfy in his new digs.
TRUMP: This is the Oval Office. This is truly one of the great spaces.
TAPPER: It is a building alive with the ghosts of presidents past.
TRUMP: I actually put some pictures up that I thought would be great. Some of the paintings I thought would be really appropriate. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson -- who a lot of people they compare the campaign of Trump.
TAPPER: President Nixon took interactions with these portraits one step further according to Woodward and Bernstein in their book "The Final Days." They write that he talked to the portraits. It was memorialized in the Oliver Stone film, "Nixon."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When they look at you, they see what they want to be. Now look at me, see what they are.
TAPPER: Not every president followed Nixon's lead.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (ph): No, I've never talked to a portrait. I'm afraid they might talk back to me.
TAPPER: So what might these presidents of years past say to their newest club member.
RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
TAPPER: Wisdom from the ages. Hope you're enjoying your new house Mr. President.
TAPPER: Thanks for watching.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" is next.