Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Businesses Speak Out Against Travel Ban; Ford Objects to Trump Travel Ban Order; U.S. Travel Ban Takes Its Toll on the Markets; Companies Tell Workers on H-1B Visas Not to Leave; Trump to Scrap Two Regulations for Every One Added; State Dept. Diplomats May Oppose Trump Order; Trump Defends Travel Ban;
Aired January 30, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Down day on Wall Street, as trading comes to a close. The Dow Jones well off the lows of the session, but
still down triple digit losses more than 120 points. The bell is ringing, and yes, sir, come on. I think we just call that a firm gavel, as trading
is over on Monday, the 30th of January.
Tonight, a seething outcry from corporate America. Top executives are denouncing Trump's travel ban. You'll hear the chief executive of Ford on
Silicon Valley in defense of its foreign-born workers. Also on the show.
And so long, Dow 20,000. Look at the number here and you'll see, Dow 20,000, well, Dow has gone. I'm Richard Quest, live in New York, where, of
course, I mean business.
Good evening from Wall Street to Main Street to Silicon Valley. America's top companies are speaking out against President Trump's temporary travel
ban. Now, if you look and see exactly how it's all fathomed out, it has been the most remarkable series of statements from some of the biggest
names in corporate America.
The tech firms were the first out of the bag, and they were the loudest. After all, many of their workers are immigrants, and they are affected by,
of course, the visas and the visa restrictions.
But it wasn't only tech. Tech led the way. Banks joined in, Goldman Sachs with a searing statement from Lloyd Blankfein. Morgan Stanley also came
out. Consumer brands joined in as well. You had Ford and you'll hear from the CEO. GE, Jeffrey Immelt made a statement. And Starbucks announced its
intention to have 10,000 refugees for its stores around the world.
Overall, quite remarkable, the range, the breadth, the depth. For instance, back to Goldman Sachs, in a voice mail to employees, the chief
exec, Lloyd Blankfein, pointed to his company's business principles.
Now, Blankfein said, "For us to be successful, our men and women must reflect the diversities of the communities and cultures in which we
operate. Being diverse is not optional. It is what we must be. Now is a fitting time to reflect on those words and the principles that underlie
Goldman Sachs is one of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones industrials, 20 of the Dow was lower at the end of the day. What the forces, the forces
moving the market were those of uncertainty. It's far too soon to say whether the Trump bump has gone, but at least 8 of the 30, at least 8 of
the 30, the ones in green have responded to the travel ban so far. So, it's quite an interesting thing. I'm not sure we can extrapolate too much
about it. But those in green, those that rose, are the companies, or at least most of them, that actually criticized. Goldman Sachs, Apple, Tim
Cook spoke late last week. Microsoft has already put out a statement. Microsoft Has Said it is prepared to give evidence to congress for the
Washington Attorney General. Also, of course, GE, Jeffrey Immelt.
Now, Ford says it doesn't support the travel ban, or, indeed, any policy that goes against companies' values. Ford's chief executive sits on
President Trump's business council. As chief exec, Mark Fields spoke exclusively to Poppy Harlow a short time ago. The CEO said he still
believes in the president's agenda.
MARK FIELDS, CEO FORD MOTOR COMPANY: Well, the core to our values as a company is respecting all people. And the policies throughout our company
really report an inclusive and also a very diverse workforce. And when we see policies that are counter to our values, we don't support them. In
this case, we don't support the president's policy. There are a number of other policies that the president has, which we do support. But in this
case, we do not support this one.
[16:05:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two weeks ago, you told me, on this network, that ford's decision to cancel plans to build a plant in
Mexico and instead create 700,000 U.S. jobs in Michigan was a, quote, vote of confidence in the president and in his agenda. Do you have any less
confidence in the president and his agenda now given this travel ban?
FIELDS: We still have a lot of confidence in the president and his policies, particularly around the economy. You know, the --
HARLOW: But this doesn't make you question -- question anything?
FIELDS: Well, overall, when you look at it from an economic perspective, he's focusing on the economy. We wants to make sure that the economy is
vital. His first couple of meetings were of manufacturers, and also with the auto companies. From that standpoint, I'm very hopeful. In this case,
in this particular policy, obviously, wants to secure the country. He wants to have more security in the country. As he's going about it, it's
just against our values a as a company, and we're going to live by the values of our country.
HARLOW: And I should note so people out there understand, that Dearborn, Michigan, where Ford is headquartered, that you call home, is home to one
of the biggest Arab-American populations in the country. A third of the residents there are Arab-Americans. How much does this have to do with
your statement and you coming out vocally and publicly?
FIELDS: Well, first and foremost, it comes to, as a company, we have to live by our values. And to your point, in our hometown, there's a large
population, many of our employees. But, you know, we're going all the way back to Henry Ford. He was all about giving people upward mobility and
giving them opportunities. That's what we stand for as a company. And that's why we're coming out with this statement around this particular
policy. And it also, you know, is in our hometown, where there's a big population.
HARLOW: So what would henry ford have said about this?
FIELDS: I think Henry Ford would be applauding as a company, we are going out with candor, we're going out with respect at the same time, and putting
our views out there in a very straightforward and honest way.
HARLOW: Let me read you part of the statement that you and Bill Ford put out together, the chairman, to all of your employees. "Respect for all
people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we're proud of the rich diversity of our company here, at home, and around the world. That's why
we do not support this policy or any other that goes against the values as a company."
What will Ford do in response? You put out a statement, you're coming on CNN with me. What will you do as a response?
FIELDS: As a response, we're going to run our business. First and foremost, one of our top priorities is the well-being of our employees.
None of the employees are directly affected by this, but indirectly, with families and things of that nature, we want to make sure they have the
support of us, et cetera. But also at the same time, we're going to continue to run a successful, global automotive maker around the world.
HARLOW: Will you accept a meeting at the White House with the President while this ban is in place?
FIELDS: I think it's been very encouraging. I've had a couple of meetings with the President and I've been impressed with his ability to listen and
to learn in these meetings. And in our next meeting, just like we did last week, we will be open and honest, state our view, and provide some input
and move on.
HARLOW: So you will meet with him, but will you tell him you think this is a bad idea?
FIELDS: We will always be straight forward. And as a company and we'll continue to do that. We were straight forward last week, when he asked us
for his opinion on how to drive growth, economic growth and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. And again, we'll do it with candor, but also do it,
Poppy, with respect.
QUEST: Mark Fields of Ford. Now, for companies, it's all a balancing act, delicate one. To avoid angering customers, and the White House, many, of
course, customers, will have supported the president and will support this policy. And some businesses are already facing a backlash. Joining me
now, Mark Murphy, the chief executive of Leadership IQ. Well, before we deal with the backlash, let's deal with the sentiment. I think you would
have to agree, it is extraordinary that chief executives of the ilk of Ford, GE, United, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, are coming out so publicly and
basically disagreeing with the administration and the President.
MARK MURPHY, CEO, LEADERSHIP IQ: Well, yes. And one of the things, and you heard this from both Goldman and heard this from Forbes, is that these
companies have been using their values to recruit. They've been using their values as a way of creating an emotional bond with their customers.
And so, now, when the values that have helped to grow their organizations are under attack, they, frankly, have very little choice but to stand up
and say, yes, you know what, this is absolutely in conflict with who we are, the bond we built with our customers, with our employees, and they
almost have no choice but to say something.
[16:10:00] QUEST: Right, but we've saw, for example, ditch Uber, hashtag, delete Uber, which, because of the way they behaved or the way they
allegedly behaved, over the weekend, on Friday. We've seen a backlash at Starbucks. I mean, which is -- which should be -- which is driving the
CEOs. At what point, will they start to say, hang on a second, we've got to be a bit careful here. Many of our customers will support the policy?
MURPHY: Well, I think one of the biggest predictors is the extent to which the companies have built their brand and build their businesses on an
emotional, psychological connection with their customers. If there's a business that says, listen, buy our stuff, because we've got low prices,
and that's it. We don't have a lot of emotional connection with you, they're not going to make the same strength of statement as somebody like
Starbucks who said, listen, we make coffee, but we're much more than that, we're an experience, we're a psychological connection, and because of that,
they're the ones who are really only obligated --
QUEST: Does it really make a difference? Because for the -- for a Jeffrey Immelt to say, or a Lloyd Blankfein, to say, where not that many of his
employees are directly affected, they are walking a very, very narrow tightrope.
MURPHY: They are. And it's interesting, if you take a look at the particulars of their statements, Apple's statement, Microsoft's statements
are less intense, they're less absolute than Starbucks' statement was. And I think that owes a lot to the risks and the rewards of making a statement
like this. For a Starbucks, they're a consumer brand. But for somebody like GE, Jeff Immelt, they're going to be a little more circumspect in how
they speak about it.
QUEST: So how significant is it, what they then do there hereafter? Fine, you put your statement out. But as Poppy Harlow was saying to Mark Fields,
what are you going to do about it? This President does not see like he's going to shy, just because of a few well-chosen criticisms from CEOs.
MURPHY: True, I think there's some exceptions where he might. But to your point, when I think look at the Starbucks statement, Howard Schultz'
statement, that we're going to hire 10,000 people, I think it's critically important that they actually take some steps. So, when google and
Microsoft say, we're going to provide services, where Airbnb says, we're going to provide housing for people impacted by this, actually having
concrete actions that back this up is going to be critical.
And one of the ways that will play out in the long-term is these organizations' ability to recruit. Remember, this is a long game for these
CEOs. So, when they are looking at their talent pool, it is their employees are going to look and say, all right, the public statement, what
you put out on Twitter, that's fine. But I want to know what it is you did to help the people here. Did you house us? Give us legal services? And
it's small dollars, but it will go a long way if these companies step up and do that.
QUEST: Sir, good to see you. We'll need your expertise in the future as this goes on. Thank you!
MURPHY: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: Now, Wall Street volatility spiked. It's the single biggest daily loss since the election. Actually, since October, if you want to be
finicky about it. At up with point, the Dow Jones was off more than 200 points. It rallied toward the close, but was still down 122 points below
20,000. All right, 20,000 is a number, but it gained it and now it's lost it. Twenty-four of the 30 in the Dow lost ground over the course of the
The broader S&P also fell as well. All three indices, though, are still 6 percent up to the good since election day.
Ron Kirk is a former U.S. trade representative. He joins me from Dallas. Ambassador, good to -- I knew we would need you back. I didn't expect to
see you quite so quickly. How -- look, obviously, you have a different political point of view from that which we are seeing at the moment, from a
different political party. But what's your worry here? At the end of the day, this policy will be popular. It is short-term. And in some respects,
it's not a million miles from that which had been seen previously.
RON KIRK, FORMER U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: Well, Richard, thanks for having me back. I always look forward to being with you. And I really
don't relish coming on, because we're dealing with another firestorm created this administration. And I do want to make one point. You know,
forget political parties. You could argue, and I know there are those that would make the case that President Obama took a similar action and now it's
just different political parties. I think what disturbs me and so many people about this, a lot of the backlash we've seen on this policy isn't
around the broader principle that the first responsibility of government is to keep us safe. And that we shouldn't have a very rigorous policy over
who enters this country to make sure they aren't going to do us harm.
[16:15:00] But the fact that this obviously was cobbled together very quickly, and then from what I can tell, Richard, my own experience, in the
previous administration, not through -- put through the sort of rigorous examination and comment by leaders of the at that, it was just put out in
such a rushed fashion, that it led to this chaos, and some extraordinary disruptions of people's lives and it didn't need to be that way. Had they
taken time to do this right, they probably would have dealt with some of the issues the courts have found problematic, and it could have many place
by a 90-day calm in period, much the way President Obama did without all the rancor you're seeing.
QUEST: But ambassador, that's a question of execution versus the issue of the policy itself. What we're hearing from chief executives, and I think
some of your clients are probably telling you, as well, is that actually, the policy itself is against the values of which much of corporate America
now stands for.
KIRK: As it is drafted out, I want to be clear, on that point. And it was the President's own words. It was president Trump's own words that gave
rise to this. This was clearly drafted with an attempt to be a ban on Muslin immigration and to favor, you know, in their language, Christians
from certain countries, which goes against the grains of everything most of us believe as Americans. And you obviously spent a lot of time addressing
that on the segment before. And that's just wrong. And no matter how the administration tries to come back and clean that up, Americans do support
the President and will support the President when he takes actions to keep us safe. But we won't do so at the risk of abandoning the very core
principles that make this country what it is.
QUEST: And on that point, sir, what -- how important now is it for corporate America to back up its words with actions. And I'm wondering
what they would ever do anyway, if this administration is hell bent on this policy.
KIRK: You know, you've had a number of guests on. I'm going to let corporate America speak for themselves, but I would say for the most part,
I've been very proud, first of all, as a lawyer, one of the comments I made after the November election was that if there was ever a time for lawyers
to step up and do what we do best, and that's function as our role as freedom's trustees, now's the time to do that.
So, one, I have to tell you, you know, with all the bashing we take, I've never been proud of my profession the way we responded to aid those
families all around the country.
But secondly, I think corporate America is going to have to do what you heard them say. There are going to be cases where they agree with the
administration, where they think it's to their economic benefit, where it's helping to grow the economy and create jobs. But if it's going to come as
a guise and a cover to put in place policy that goes against our core values, they are going to have to be equally forceful in speaking up
QUEST: Good to have you --
KIRK: And I think they will.
QUEST: Good to have you, sir, as a lawyer, as a distinguished member of the last administration, good to have you anyway, sir. Always good to have
you. Thank you.
KIRK: Richard, always good to be with you. Look forward to seeing you again.
QUEST: You will be.
Now, the titans of Silicon Valley forged in part by immigrants' hands and a progressive U.S. visa program. Now those same kinds are speaking out
against them and taking action to help those who have been affected. We'll talk about this after the break. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
[16:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Welcome back to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. So, to the West Coast of the United States and Silicon Valley, which isn't just paying lip service when
it comes to Donald Trump's travel ban. We're seeing actual concrete action. So, Airbnb launched a support page and has offered free housing to
those people who are affected.
The ride sharing company Lyft has donated a million dollars to the ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union. Google has started a $4 million crisis
fund. Speaking to me earlier on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS and on Quest Express, the Recode co-founder, Kara Swisher, said, the Trump administration can't
ignore the tech industry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARA SWISHER, CO-FOUNDER, RECODE: I guess if you want to discount the most important industry in the United States and in the globe and all the
biggest countries in the world, I guess you could discount them. If you're not interested in creating jobs and working for the future. If that's your
goal, to not create jobs, then absolutely, ignore the tech industry. It seems somewhat short-sighted to do that and be punitive and -- I don't even
want to say punitive. It's beyond punitive. It's ridiculous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: At the center to have the debate is called the H-1B visa. Many of you will be familiar with them. The H-1B allows highly skilled foreign
workers to come to the United States and fill in the gaps in the American workforce. Around two-thirds of H-1Bs go to computer-related occupations,
helping Silicon Valley to thrive. The next lot goes to engineering, administrative, education and so on. So, it's not surprising that the
likes of Apple and Google are advising employees in H-1Bs not to leave the country, because the H-1B is not the same, of course, as a green card, it's
just a visa, a high-quality visa that grants some immigrant possibilities.
It's also a limited number of H-1Bs are given out every year. And when they're gone, they're gone. Samuel Burke is our business and technology
correspondent. Samuel, how much of the comments coming from Silicon Valley, the tech industry, how much of it is enlightened self-interest,
versus actually believing this is a matter of principle and values?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNNMONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: I think this is one of those rare cases where it's about half-half. I was speaking to
the executives of some of these companies over the weekend. And they were telling me, look, these are people that we have come to depend on and know.
So, they're outright about the fact that these are people they have personal relationships with, but at the end of the day, they say, this is
bad for business. This is creating uncertainty, both for our employees, as well as for us as companies, and nobody knows better than you that
companies hate uncertainty.
QUEST: OK, but, do they have the power and that's really the gear to affect a change. I'm not suggesting they will be viewed as the Hollywood
elite. But at the same time, do these CEOs, from this particular industry, albeit, the most important industry, can they do anything about it?
BURKE: I think what's interesting here is if you watch how the news changed throughout this weekend, into today, it was the tech companies
first. They were OK, because they knew they had cover with each other. So even though so many of these CEOs fear the Donald Trump tweet at 6:00 a.m.
Eastern time, when they're asleep over in California, they knew they were all coming out together. So, what they did was create this space, then
later for the CEO of Ford to come on this very network and talk about the fact that he's also against this travel ban.
So, I think what they're doing is greasing the wheels for the rest of industry to come their way. And they think, as I was talking to them over
this weekend, that the rest of these companies, tech or not, will go their way, because at the end of the day, they need this foreign-born talent.
I've been in Silicon Valley, and these campuses are filled with people not from the United States. They depend on these people to make money.
[16:25:00] QUEST: Samuel Burke in London. Thank you, sir.
Sam Altman is the president of a start-up incubator, Y-Combinator. He's written that Trump's actions amount to a breach of America's contract with
all the immigrants in the nation. Sam is with me from San Francisco. Good to see you, sir. That breach that you talk of, a breach of America's
contract with immigrants, which part of the executive action are you most concerned about. Because at the end of the day, this was a policy that the
President ran and was elected upon.
SAM ALTMAN, PRESIDENT, Y-COMBINATOR: Look, he clearly said that he wanted a total and complete shutdown of Muslins entering the United States, so I
don't think we're surprised by the policy. But I do think, when you start turning way American green card holders, that that is a fundamental breach.
Now, I'm happy to hear that has been reversed or is going to be reversed, but, that was the specific part I was referring to there.
QUEST: Right. And when you hear, Samuel Burke talking just a second or two ago, and you -- I mean, give me an impression. Give me an
understanding, sir, just how important the immigrant community, the H-1B visa is in Silicon Valley and the tech industry.
ALTMAN: I think the tech industry has prided itself on being very inclusive and getting the best talent from around the world. And from
anywhere it comes. If you believe that talent is roughly equally distributed around the world, and the U.S. has 5 percent of the population,
that means there's 95 percent of the talent, the best talent in the world that we don't have. And the U.S. tech industry, I think, is the best in
the world. I hope it stays that way for a long time. And clearly, with what we're hearing about upcoming orders, I think it will be harder to get
that talent into the country. And I think that weakens all of us. That weakens our economic strength in a way I'm very nervous about.
QUEST: The -- I mean, I don't think I'm giving away any great secrets when I say, Sam, that the tech industry was not a huge supporter of Donald Trump
in the election campaign. So, I can certainly see an argument that they say at the White House, well, we never had their support to start with. We
ain't going to miss them if they're not supporting us on this one.
ALTMAN: You know, I've heard them say that. I've heard that they are saying that inside the administration. And I think that they will see that
the tech community, when we get organized and motivated, is quite powerful.
QUEST: Finally, how does one back this up? I mean, obviously, you know, people like yourself have been extremely concerned, concerned to the extent
that you come on our program tonight, and for which we are exceptionally grateful --
ALTMAN: Thank you for having me on.
QUEST: -- AND talk about this. You've heard the statements from GE, from Apple, well, let's go to our old industry, from united and all these other
-- how does everybody now back this up?
ALTMAN: Well, we're talking right now about what to do. Again, I think there are a lot of things the tech industry could do. And we will see over
the next few weeks and months what happens. But I think, you know, I've heard that the H-1B change that's coming will be pretty bad. I think you
had Steve Bannon say a few months ago, that something like when two-thirds to three quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are Asian or South Asian,
which by the way isn't even true, but when we have that, and he trailed off and he said, I think a country is more than an economy, we're a civic
society. And I think what you have is an administration that is basically in very thinly veiled code saying we want more white CEOs, then I think
that is so antithetical to what has made Silicon Valley work. We're a culture of immigrants and people from very different backgrounds coming
together with the most talented people in the world to create the future. I think when you have that threatened, we should all be very afraid. Not
just tech. This is an affront to all our American values.
QUEST: Sam, were grateful you came on the program tonight and we look forward to having you again, sir, thank you.
ALTMAN: Thank you.
QUEST: You might have heard the story about a frog in a well that took two steps forward and one step back, flip it around and you find Donald Trump's
plan to deregulate American businesses. I'm here to explain the idea of one backwards, two forwards, after the break.
[16:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. Donald Trump says you can judge his track record on how the
stock market's doing. The former head of Vallarta tells me, the U.S. travel ban is sheering confidence.
For all that this is CNN, and on this network, the news always comes first.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama has now spoken out on Donald Trump's travel ban. The former president's spokesman says he is heartened by the
level of engagement taking place across the country following the immigration order. He also said Mr. Obama fundamentally disagrees with the
notion of discrimination against individuals because of their faith or religion.
A police in Quebec say one of the two people arrested in connection with a deadly shooting at a mosque is actually a witness, not a suspect. The
attack on Sunday night killed six worshippers, who were gathered inside the Islamic center for evening prayers. At least one gunman opened fire.
The date is now set. The White House says President Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on February
the 15th. Mr. Trump says he will move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but a senior administration official says while that remains a
priority, doing so will take some time.
The slew of executive actions falling from Donald Trump's pen shows no sign of slowing. On Monday morning, he signed in order meant to reduce the
weight of regulations on American businesses. It's one he promised. It says that for every new regulation introduced, two should be cut. Then
during a meeting with small business owners at the White House, the president said its policies like this that will keep the markets happy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Big businesses are thrilled with what's happening. The stock market has gone up massively since the election.
Everyone says, oh, the market will go down. The market's not going down, the smart people know me, the businesspeople know me, they know what I'm
about, so the market went massively up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Ari Fleischer is a former White House press secretary in the George W. Bush. He joins me now from Washington. Good to see you, sir. Thank
ARI FLEISCHER, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: My pleasure.
QUEST: And I just got to start -- I mean, for goodness sake, that last sound bite that you just have heard of the president talking about the
market going up, going down, is one of the canards of your old job. You never predict what the market's going to do. This President seems to have
no compunction about doing that.
FLEISCHER: Well, I must say, he wasn't elected to reinforce old canards, he was elected to make change. He is the epitome of change, for better or
for worse. It depends on what people think. But make no mistake, he was not elected by the American people to keep doing what we're doing. People
want Washington to change.
QUEST: OK, but it is wise? Is it wise to drive the engine so hard and so fast in the first two weeks? I know the hundred days principle, Ari.
[16:35:00] And I also know the idea that you've got to get momentum. But the sheer number of executive orders, fundamental in nature, is arguably
going to unbalance the ship, to mix my metaphors.
FLEISCHER: Remember, 75 percent of the American people who went to the polls last November thought the direction of the United States was wrong,
that we were off on the wrong track. We very much had a country from people wanted things to be changed. People were fed up with a weak economy
and low wages and with terrorism and with risk to Americans.
So, he had momentum to do that. Now, time will tell, Richard, whether or not what he's going to do was successful. But I have no qualms, as
somebody who often criticized Donald Trump, I have no qualms with him coming in, doing what he said he was going to do, and acting with dispatch.
I think in some instances, such as immigration, he didn't do it with enough coordination, with enough planning, but I don't fault him for playing his
hand. We'll ultimately see how successful he is.
QUEST: Well, you say that, sir. And I take on board what you say. But all the other executive actions, I mean, they will have long-standing
ramifications, such as TPP, or indeed, today's. But the immigration one was the first that had immediate, instant reaction. And on that one, I
think, as you've just admitted, it was somewhat lacking and arguably failing in its execution.
FLEISCHER: Yes, that's the one I was referring to. I think there's some aspects of it, just focus on refugee, not green card. Green card was a
mistake, I'm glad they pulled it back, but when it comes to refugee, it is impossible in places in Syria and Libya to validate anybody's name or their
hometown, because there's no functioning government to check, to see, if you say this is who you are, is indeed who you are. So, I can understand
some areas of pause there, until we can figure sympathetic out. But as an overarching rule, look, I don't like the idea of banning people to coming
to America. I happen to think that one of the best things we have as a country is a tradition of welcoming people in, who make us stronger. The
Muslin America community makes out stronger in dealing with the radical Muslim community abroad.
They're our allies in that fight and I want to treat them as such. This is a lot more nuanced than people want to make it out to be, too. Richard. I
don't think he deserves all the criticism he's getting for it. I think some of these protests are just for anti-Trump protests. It doesn't matter
what he does, but I think he went too far. It wasn't planned, but it doesn't mean everything in it was wrong.
QUEST: No, but if you accept that somebody arriving, we'll put the green card -- I think everybody can agree, that was unfair-- but somebody
arriving with a visa has already been vetted, and as you're aware, it's a lot harder to get to the United States than it is to cross the land border
from Turkey up into Europe. So, I wonder how much more can the U.S. government system take before something wobbles and falls off?
FLEISCHER: Oh, stop that. Please.
QUEST: No, hang on, let me finish. Let me finish. If the speed of change, if the system is put under this speed of change that he's going at,
at the moment.
FLEISCHER: Look, the greatest things about democracies is that they are self-correcting. I'm fed up with all of this, America's wobbling,
something might fall, he's Saddam Hussein, it's authoritarianism. I've seen all of this, recently. It's the pathology of the left critics who
can't stand Donald Trump and still crying over the fact that they lost an election. Now, I didn't vote for Donald Trump, he's not my guy.
But I'm open-minded enough to say, the American people support him, he deserves a chance to see how he is going to do. This country desired
dramatic change and they're getting it. Whether Trump will fulfill people's changes for the right kind of change, we'll see. But I have high
hopes he will be that kind of president.
QUEST: The issue I'm getting at is the system in time can handle that dramatic change. But in week two, the system is still trying -- it's like
the car trying to find second gear when you haven't even found first gear and you're still looking for reverse.
FLEISCHER: I think there are a lot of Americans out there who are saying, why didn't you do these things years ago? What took you so long?
QUEST: All right, Ari, good to see you, sir. We'll need you over the next few months to help us understand what's happening, at least for viewers
around the world. I think you'll agree, there's a lot of perplexed people in the world wondering what's going on in America at the moment.
FLEISCHER: And that's nothing new.
QUEST: I'll take that one under advisement. Thank you, sir.
Now, as QUEST MEANS BUSINESS continues tonight, career diplomats consider using a secret communication tool to express their concern at the travel
[16:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: Welcome back to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Now, dozens of career U.S. diplomats are considering sending an anonymous memo, voicing their
opposition to the administration's travel order. They're warning that the ban, in their words, calls back to some of the worst times in history.
Now, the ban, you'll be familiar, of course, relates to the same seven countries, Libya, Sudan, Somali, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and Syria. They're the
same seven identified by the Obama administration as being countries of concern.
The draft memo, which CNN has obtained, reads as follows. The end result of this ban will not be a drop-in terror attacks in the United States.
Rather, it will be a drop in international goodwill towards Americans and a threat towards our economy. Steven is the former chief council of the U.S.
Customs and Immigration Service. He joins me now from St. Louis, Missouri. Good to see you, sir. Thank you. And the reality is, those
people who are considering sending such a note are in a very tricky position, aren't they? Because, you know, if you work for the government,
you don't really have the right to pick and choose which policies that you're going to like and follow.
STEPHEN LEGOMSKY, FMR. CHIEF COUNSEL, U.S. IMMIGRATION SERVICES: No, that's absolutely right. Thank you for having me, by the way. Those
people are being quite courageous in speaking out. I do note, however, that they are not saying that they're going to disobey the policy. They're
merely expressing their strong opposition to it.
QUEST: So, as you look at that, because, obviously, in the time that you were in government, you must have seen policies that you disagreed with.
What, to you, is a legitimate form of action, if you like, when you disagree with a policy?
LEGOMSKY: Well, I think it depends heavily on the person's position within the agency, because I was part of the agency leadership, as chief council,
I felt an obligation to be discreet and make sure the department was speaking with a single voice. But I think that for the rank and file, it's
perfectly appropriate, under the first amendment, for a person to express his or her views, as long as it's done respectfully.
QUEST: And within that context, I mean, look, this -- first of all, are you surprised at how quickly this issue has blown up in the way that it
has? You've obviously not great experience in the immigration and customs area and you know the trickiness of it.
LEGOMSKY: I'm actually not surprised at all, given how dramatic the policy is and how many people it affects and how intensely it affects them. Among
the world's refugees, the Syrians are in one of the worst situations. Their plight is desperate. And the complete ban on Syrians, for an
indefinite point of view, period of time, is not surprisingly going to engender some very strong passions.
QUEST: Surprised of what our earlier guests were talking about, a lack of vetting at the interagency, vetting of the policy?
LEGOMSKY: That's a great question. This is very extraordinary. During my time in government, a policy of this magnitude would never, ever have been
issued without intense vetting, first of all, by the immigration experts, and secondly by the national security experts, long before it got to the
White House. It appears this was a product of his closest advisers, Steven Bannon and Steve Miller. And I think the lack of vetting is responsible
for some of the problems.
QUEST: Is it possible of a policy like this that you --
LEGOMSKY: I think we lost our connection. I'm just hearing a --
QUEST: Can you hear me? No, I think we've lost our connection there. Apologies. Fascinating a discussion that could have gone for a great deal
longer. Now, Donald Trump spent his Monday morning tweeting in defense of the policy.
[16:45:00] He said there's nothing nice about searching for terrorists, and urged opponents to study the world. Joining me now is Andre Bauer, former
lieutenant governor of South Carolina and a CNN political commentator. Good to see you, sir. All right, let's assume that the president was
elected -- well, actually, let's not assume, he was elected, this was one of his policies, he's entitled to introduce a policy like this. But you
would accept that the way it was introduced and executed has been ham- fisted, at best?
ANDRE BAUER, FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, SOUTH CAROLINA: No. This is just a temporary protective pause. He's saying, wait a minute, let's give us a
minute and let this White House get a handle on the problem and address it. They're not saying this is a permanent proposal. This is just, let's pump
the brakes, let's see where we're at. First and foremost, the job of the American president is to make sure the American people are safe above
everything else. That is the number one priority of the president of the United States.
QUEST: Now, let me take that issue off the table and agree with you so that we're not going down a rabbit hole of security. I agree with you,
sir. Number one duty of any leader is security. But, at the same time, you would accept, for example, as our previous guest is just saying, this
is a policy of execution that hadn't been vetted fully by our government and therefore anomalies and mistakes came quickly.
BAUER: Keep in mind, Barack Obama's security team recommended a travel ban on these exact same countries. My perspective is, if you're home and your
neighborhood's being broken in a lot, you make sure to lock your doors and take precautionary measures and this is what we're doing. This gives him a
chance to say, we're going to temporary stop this, find a way to address it. And we are a nation of immigrants. Donald Trump wants these folks to
come in, but he want good folks, not folk that are going to harm the American people. And first and foremost, we've got to make sure the people
that are coming here have the best interests of the people of the United States at heart.
QUEST: There are three sections of this executive order, to put it simply. The first is stopping them immediately for 90 days. The next concerns the
refugees for 120 days. And the third part, of course, is the future policy on refugees from minority religions. Bearing in mind the countries that
are involved, how can you not say that this is an anti-Muslim policy when, clearly, the minority religions in those countries affected will,
obviously, be not Muslim?
BAUER: Look, you can always find a reason to find faults in these. But look, Donald Trump ran on this. Make no mistake, he didn't come in after
he got elected and change his policy. He's doing exactly what he ran on. And he thinks -- I don't think Donald Trump just wants to pick a fight with
certain countries. What he's trying to do is make sure we don't have continued things like Orlando massacres again and protects people --
QUEST: Now, the Pew Research has shown that there's been not one American killed by any refugee or immigrant from those countries from the seven
countries named. You're well aware that -- you, sir, more than most, are well aware that most risk comes at the moment from homegrown terrorism,
within the United States. And bearing in mind further, sir, that every -- we're talking here about people either with green cards or who have already
been vetted with visas. I'm not sure whether I understand this is just a straw accusation.
BAUER: Well, I don't think this is the only thing you're going to see happen. I think you're going to see actions to curtail homegrown
terrorism, as well. Look, Donald Trump's only been in office -- this is only his second week in office and it's the beginning of the week. I think
you'll see other things as well in the near future, to, again, revamp what we're doing as a country. And there'll be some growing pains. And we had
a citizen right here, or a student right here in South Carolina, that attends Clemson university, went to her home country and now is having
trouble getting back.
So, there will be issues that people will be affected adversely. And that -- you know, I'm adversely affected by terrorism. I have to go through
TSA. A lot of times I'm prechecked and they still stop me and go through me. At one time, I was able to walk right through security. Now I like
everybody else have to go through a multitude of different checks and systems I don't really like, but at the end, I know it's to protect
everybody that boards that plane.
QUEST: Andrew Bauer, come back again. I'd appreciate it.
The head of WPP, the world's largest media and advertising company is next on the program.
[16:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: The chief executive of WPP is Martin Sorrell, he says as the grandson of an eastern European immigrant, he has an, instinctively
negative reaction to the travel ban. He told Nina dos Santos it is creating more uncertainty for business.
MARTIN SORRELL, CEO, WPP: Obviously, we're concerned about the impact, not just of our overseas employees, non-U.S., but also U.S. employees, that may
have families being unable to come back to the U.S. so that's a concern. And at another level, we're concerned about, obviously, innocent people
being caught up in all of this. And I suppose the final point that, as the grandson of four eastern European immigrants who came to this country, to
the U.K., in 1899, two of them from the Ukraine, and then in the, just after the or between the first world war and the second world war, from
Romania and from Poland, concern, a grandson of four immigrants, that these sort of measures -- I have an instinctively negative reaction to any
measure of that nature.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What are your staff saying to you? Are they saying they're worried? Are they starting to contact you and ask
SORRELL: Of course, a number of people who may be have dual citizenship, who have had some pretty remarkable examples I think here in the U.K., Mo
Ferrell would be an example as to whether there was uncertainty, to where you had dual passports, you know, a Somalian passport and a U.K. passport,
so the rules, they've already been modifies, the rules are capable of interpretation. It's difficult to figure out what it means. So, it
It's just like, in a way, the post-Brexit vote issue around the 17 percent of our people in the U.K. We have 17,000 people in the U.K., 17 percent of
whom are EU citizens. Are they going to be turned out if we trigger article 50 and we can't negotiate a place for them in the U.K. post-Brexit
or not? So, these uncertainties, this is just an added uncertainty. So, are people worried? Sure, they're worried. What they have complex
families, I have a babysitter who has three citizenships. She has a born in the U.S., she has Italian citizenship and U.K. citizenship, so she will
have three passports.
[16:55:00] She wouldn't be caught, I don't think, by this legislation, but obviously, it makes you think.
QUEST: We'll have a Profitable Moment after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's Profitable Moment. What started in tech, very quickly, rapidly expanded elsewhere. The range and extent of companies that have
actually now criticized the president's strategy and in many ways come out saying, this does not represent American values, or indeed, their corporate
values. But as you heard on this program, it's a bit of a dangerous policy in some cases, because first of all, you've got those customers' clients
who will support the president's policies, and second of all, it's a very risky road to take, because when do you speak out and when do you not?
When is it regarded as enlightened self-interest and when is it regarded as something that's no concern of yours? And that is why, I think, it is so
significant that you did have General Electric, you had Ford, you had United Airlines, you had the banks all coming out and speaking, this wide
swath of the economy. Whether it does any good, of course, well, that's the difference between business and politics. And that's QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. We'll do it again tomorrow.