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Trump Fires Acting U.S. Attorney General; Domino Effect on Travel Ban; Petition for U.K. Government to Ban Donald Trump; Keeping Loyal to Trump. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 31, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Cyril Vanier.
Let's start with that breaking story here in the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the acting U.S. Attorney General for refusing to enforce his executive order on immigration and refugees. He sent Sally Yates a hand-delivered note on Monday, relieving her of her responsibilities.
CHURCH: Yates told Justice Department lawyers Monday she didn't think the president's travel ban was legal and told them not to defend it. The new acting attorney general Dana Boente has already reversed her guidance. He has ordered the department to defend the lawful orders of our president.
VANIER: And that controversial ban has sparked days of protests around the world and in airports across the U.S.
Justice Correspondent Evan Perez now has more on the legal wrangling around the order.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary series of events as President Trump fired Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General because she had ordered the Justice Department not to defend the president's executive order on immigration and refugees.
The president's order rolled out chaotically over the weekend, banned travel to the United States of people from seven countries deemed to be security risks.
Yates is an appointee of President Obama and a nearly 30-year career lawyer in the Justice Department. On Monday evening she told Justice Department lawyers that, quote, "I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what's right."
She went on to say that she didn't think the executive order is lawful. A few hours later, the White House issued a statement attacking Yates for being weak on illegal immigration. The statement said "Yates," quote, "has betrayed the Department of
Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States."
The new acting attorney general is Dana Boente, the top federal prosecutor in Northern Virginia. He will remain in office until the Senate confirms Senator Jeff Sessions expected later this week.
Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.
VANIER: Let's get more now with Michael Moore. He is the former U.S. Attorney for the middle district of Georgia. He knows both Sally Yates and her acting replacement Dana Boente. Mr. Moore, thank you very much for joining us.
MICHAEL J. MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA: Glad to be with you.
VANIER: And I want to read this quote that we're getting from the new acting attorney general who has ordered the Department of Justice to, quote, "Do our sworn duty and defend the lawful orders of our president." As somebody who knows both of the characters incoming and outgoing involved in this and what is your perspective on this situation?
MOORE: Well, I'm not surprised to hear Dana's order that he has issued for the department. But I think the key word in there is "lawful." And he has instructed in the DOJ employees, in fact, to carry out lawful orders for the president. The question is whether or not this order was lawful.
Sally Yates determined it was not and made that public tonight in the statement. And ultimately, lost her job because of that. And so, I think that will be what we're debating over the next couple of days.
CHURCH: So are you suggesting from the wording that Sana Boente referred to there that he may do something other than follow the executive order?
MOORE: I don't think many lawyers, especially at the level that we're talking about with Dana and Sally and other high-ranking officials in the department put together sentences with words that don't mean something.
And so I don't think he threw the word "lawful" in there unless it meant something. And so my belief is probably that he'll take a look at this. He'll make a decision about it. We've already -- we know that some issues have been taken up by the courts as they've looked at this order over the weekend.
And I think ultimately, then he'll make a decision on whether or not it's something he thinks will withstand constitutional scrutiny.
VANIER: So you do not read this as meaning that he has made a determination already that it is lawful? MOORE: Well, I think he is saying that if he determines that the
order is lawful, he'll expect the Department of Justice to enforce that order. I think if you had the president coming in let's say implementing torture, just because he puts that in an order doesn't make it a lawful order.
It may make it an order, but it certainly wouldn't be lawful. And so that is the word that we'll be looking at and we'll be talking about over the next few days.
CHURCH: Just putting the legal argument aside just for a moment, because you do know both of them so personally.
CHURCH: We are interested to find out what you know about each of them, and what would have motivated Sally Yates, for instance, to take a stand like this. Because she exposes herself by doing this in a way, doesn't she? She makes herself very vulnerable by taking a stand on principle.
MOORE: Well, let me tell you, I know Dana in a professional capacity. He served during as United States attorney during the time that I served and we would attend meetings or conferences together, that type of thing.
[03:05:01] And I found him to be an extremely cordial, nice guy. I think he is certainly had a long distinguished career with the department. And he's filled in and been called to do certain tasks by the attorney general.
And I know that he received his appointment as the United States after Neil MacBride left from the District of Virginia. So he came in late in the Obama term and not familiar with him, was somewhat limited but always pleasant. And I think -- I think he is a fine gentleman.
My familiarity with Sally is more in-depth. I had the pleasure of serving in Georgia with her when she was the United States attorney. I consider her a professional colleague. I consider her a friend.
Tonight, after she has had the fortitude and the courage to make the statement that she made, I'm especially proud to call her a friend. I think that took a great deal of courage. I think it took someone who recognized that her job as the acting attorney general is not simply to agree with the president.
Simply because he is the president, and he wishes something done or he says something. But in fact, she is a servant to the Constitution and a servant to the people.
And I think what she did was she analyzed her duties, and she looked at the Constitution very carefully and decided that the order that President Trump put forth won't withstand constitutional scrutiny.
CHURCH: So, there are a number of academics who are coming out and saying even though they may find it abhorrent, what this order is insisting upon, that when it comes to the legality of it, it would pass because of the wording that they have used.
MOORE: Well, I think ultimately that's going to be a decision that gets made in the courts. And you know we have an adversarial system and there would be one side that says that it doesn't withstand constitutional scrutiny, there will be another side who says in fact, that they feel like the president had the authority to do exactly what he did.
I do think the president has a certain amount of authority when it comes to border security such as that. But this was a law or an executive order rather that was put out.
We've heard so much criticism about executive orders in the past. This is an executive order that was put out which essentially allows in its worst case for there to be a religious test. And I think that's the problem when we look at the Constitution.
VANIER: But again, there are different views on this depending on what side of the aisle you're standing on. I want to read some quotes to you.
VANIER: Democrats and republicans. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says, "The attorney general should be loyal and pledge fidelity to the law, not the White House. The fact that this administration does not understand that is chilling."
As against that, Senator Ted Cruz says "President Trump was exactly right to fire an acting attorney general who refused to carry out her constitutional duty to enforce and defend the law."
So, again, we're really at the intersection between law and politics here with very different interpretations. The starting point everybody agrees on. The attorney general should be enforcing the law. But the conclusions everybody differs on.
MOORE: Well, and again, I think that maybe is inherent to our system, to our judicial system. We're an adversarial system. And there will be opposing views that make their way into the courtroom. And ultimately, a judge somewhere and ultimately maybe the Supreme Court will make a decision about this.
But nonetheless, there could be different views. I'm simply saying I believe Sally is a woman of character. I think that she is a consummate professional. And I think that she looked at it and made a decision that she felt like she could not direct the employees at the Department of Justice to enforce this order.
And so for taking a stand, I mean, I applaud her for that. There may be other people who disagree. And if Senator Cruz was the attorney general, he may in fact disagree with that and may have ordered people in fact to move forward. I will say, I think the American people ought to take some comfort in
having an attorney general whoever he or she may be who is willing to put the brakes on power from the White House. I think that's an important aspect that we shouldn't forget as we talk about politics and we talk about the law.
We want the attorney general to be willing to stand up to, and in fact, have the backbone to push back against an overreaching executive power.
CHURCH: Even though history has told us that that doesn't happen very often.
MOORE: Not very often. But when it does, we're very thankful that it did happen.
CHURCH: Michael Moore, thank you so much for joining us.
MOORE: It was my pleasure. Thank you very much.
All right. Stay with us. We're joined now by Scott Lucas in Birmingham, England. He's a journalist, a professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham.
Scott, Donald Trump has dealt with a lot of opposition since he has come into office, protests, having to fire the acting attorney general.
For any other president you would have to say this is a really rocky start to the presidency, the kind that could undermine the whole term in office. But Trump is not a conventional president. Is this damaging his presidency or not?
SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM SHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS PROFESSOR: You're absolutely right. This is unprecedented. What the Trump strategy is along with his chief strategist Steve Bannon, adviser Stephen Miller, including this order is that they can count on a minority of people to basically steamroller and almost intimidate anyone who challenges them.
[03:10:10] They have been trying to do this of course with the media. They have been trying to do this with members of Congress. They have been trying to do it in fact, even with the courts.
Now the question is, will these tactics work where we are in unknown territory. But what I will have to say is that having seen the protests that took place the day after the inauguration where millions protested over a variety of issues and that haven't seen the reaction this weekend to the latest executive order.
We're at the start I think of a very significant and defining moment in American politics and American society. Probably the most significant since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. VANIER: Some of the opposition that we've seen over the last few days
seems really to have been self-inflicted when it comes to this executive order, the way it was rolled out, the absence of coordination with some of the -- with the various agencies that are involved. Perhaps securing the legal case for it. What does that tell us about the way decisions are made in this White House?
LUCAS: Well, that's the essential wider context what Michael Moore just told you. And that is that Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller reportedly the two men who drafted this executive order did not consult the Justice Department. Therefore, they did not get a legal opinion.
They did not consult the Department of Defense to get a military opinion. They did not consult the State Department to get a diplomatic opinion. They did not consult Homeland Security that has been the case not only with this order, but with a series of executive orders.
The Environmental Protection Agency was not only not consulted over the decision to renew the Dakota and Keystone pipelines, they were put under a gag order not to make any comment on that matter.
VANIER: And do you think this is done on purpose or is this just growing pains? Learning the business of government during the first few days in office.
LUCAS: Let us be clear here. This is not growing pains. This is a different type of administration in part because of the character of the president, in part because of the character of the advisers I just told you about.
They are going to try to rule by fiat, or to put it more bluntly, it's an authoritarian type of rule. Now whether they succeed or not is going to be a real test of the American system.
VANIER: But can they do that for four years? Can a U.S. president in this political system do that?
LUCAS: I think that's up to the American system. now remember, our founders design this precisely in the 18th century so that no one man or group of men could just push their way across the rest of us.
So, the question whether they can do it for four years, it depends in part on Congress. It depends on part on the courts. It depends in part on the military and it depends in large part, on the American people.
VANIER: All right, Scott Lucas, professor at the University of Birmingham. Thank you very much for your views.
LUCAS: Thank you.
CHURCH: And despite the nationwide protest, not everyone thinks Donald Trump's travel ban is a bad idea. Still to come, how Mr. Trump's supporters are defending his executive order. VANIER: Plus, refugee groups are condemning that ban. We'll discuss
how catastrophic the order could be for those fleeing violence and persecution. Stay with us.
[03:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Don Riddell with your CNN Sport Headlines.
The English Premier League has a full midweek slate of games. The one that immediately jumps out is the floundering Liverpool team taking on the leaders Chelsea. If the Reds lose, they will equal an unwanted 94- year record. As a fourth defeat will see their worse run of losses at home since 1923.
Liverpool can't wait to get Senegal's Sadio Mane back into the team, so much so that they chartered a jet to bring him back from Gabon after their quarterfinal defeat in the Africa Cup of Nations. But it's been reported that with delays was getting him back to Merseyside meant that he missed training on Monday. So it remains to be seen if he will be available.
Now there's a good news for Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason, he was released from hospital on Monday. Mason spent a week recovering from a fractured skull, sustained when he clashed heads with Chelsea's Gary Cahill last weekend. It's not clear when exactly he'll be able to play again. But it's unlikely to be any time this season.
The draw has been made for the fifth round of the England's FA Cup competition. And for the first time two non-league teams have made it through. Lincoln City go to the Premier League side Burnley. But Sutton United really hit the jackpot, hosting the 12-time winners Arsenal. The Gander Green Lane Stadium holds just 5,000 people, 55,000 less than Arsenal's Emirates.
That's a quick look at all your sports headlines. I'm Don Riddell.
We continue to follow breaking news from Washington. President Donald Trump is responding forcefully to those who resist his executive order on immigration and refugees. He fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she said that she wasn't sure the order was legal.
CHURCH: Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to defend the controversial travel ban. U.S. Attorney Dana Boente was sworn in to take Yates' place and has already rescinded her guidance.
VANIER: In cities across the United States people took to the streets for another night of protests against President Trump's travel ban.
CHURCH: Thousands gathered outside the Mohammed Ali center in Louisville, Kentucky at an anti-Trump rally. A Mexican-American student gave a particularly emotional speech. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I graduated from school in this beautiful state. Also graduated from high school. Worked my way through college, two jobs. Have not -- have not that pay all my taxes.
Never been arrested. Never cause any trouble for you guys. So, I have earned my right to call this place home.
CHURCH: And former U.S. President Barack Obama is speaking out for the first time since he left office 12 days ago. He issued this statement through a spokesperson.
VANIER: "The president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion. Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake."
CHURCH: For more on all of this, we are joined by James Carafano with the Heritage Foundation. He worked on Donald Trump's presidential transition team on both foreign policy and homeland security, up until the inauguration. Thank you so much for being with us.
JAMES CARAFANO, HERITAGE FOUNDATION FELLOW: It's good to be with you.
CHURCH: So let's start with the breaking news. President -- President Trump firing the acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she instructed lawyers in her department not to defend Mr. Trump's executive order.
Why not just wait until his own attorney general was in place and the rest of his team before signing this executive order and trying to move things along so fast and creating all of this chaos right across the country?
CARAFANO: You know, that's a - that's a really fair question. And I think what they're weighing was the risks of going forward versus not doing nothing. I mean, this executive order was designed to deal with the emerging threat.
And the concern is you had tens of thousands of foreign fighters flood into Iraq and Syria fighting for ISIS. And as ISIS is rapidly losing space, the remainders have to go somewhere. And everybody believes they're going to go to the seven countries that were listed. It's not just us. I mean, the Europeans believe that. The Obama administration believed that.
[03:19:59] And so the concern is you have to have mechanisms in place that if they try to outflow they'll come to the western United States, you're prepared to deal with that.
And I think what was on the mind of the incoming administration is on January 20th, we own this. And if something happens, it's on our watch.
And if there is a terrorist attack on the scale of Paris or Brussels on the 21st of January, nobody is going to accept well, we just did what the last guys did.
CHURCH: But what's -- what's...
CARAFANO: So, my point is I did feel that they -- I did think there was a sense that we own this and we need to - we need to be responsible and get our processes and procedures out faster.
CHURCH: But why not slow it down? Because it's not a matter of either they do it or they don't do it. It's a matter of doing it when everybody is in place. And what's confounding a lot of people is the list of seven nations here, the majority Muslim countries where there have been no attackers in the United States.
CHURCH: Where those countries that haven't been included Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, they're not on the list. And another country is Pakistan.
CHURCH: So where is the logic with this? We can have an emerging threat.
CARAFANO: Right. So, let's -- let's -- yes.
CHURCH: But if we've already got countries that have as we provided with attackers.
CARAFANO: So, let's focus on -- let's focus on those seven -- let's focus on that decision first. And it's very clear that the reason -- it's the same reason why the Europeans have very strict restrictions on the seven countries, the same reason why the Obama administration had very strict restrictions on the seven countries. Because...
CHURCH: But not as broad as this. Not as broad as this.
CARAFANO: Well, let me finish. Yes, OK. Let me -- you ask the questions and let me answer them. So, the idea here is that's the country where everybody believes that when foreign fighters run away, that's where they can go, that's where they will go and that's where they'll try to exit from to go to the west.
And we've already seen terrorists go through visas and the refugee trail to go into attacks in Eastern Europe. So it's very clearly focused on where the emerging threat is coming from. It doesn't mean don't worry about terrorists coming from other places. It doesn't mean don't worry about the domestic terrorist threat.
But it's dealing with a specific threat that people recognize this over the horizon. It's like, you know, everybody gets accused of preparing to fight the last war. So the administration says we need to be prepared to fight the next wave which is not just us, but the Obama administration and everybody else.
CHURCH: But that still doesn't answer the question why.
CARAFANO: Well it sure it answers the question.
CHURCH: Why Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, the nations that have provided attacks.
CARAFANO: Well, that's ridiculously -- no, come on. Look, that's a ridiculously easy question to answer. Foreign fighters are not flowing into those countries and they're not flowing out of those countries, period.
CHURCH: The San Bernardino attack happened...
CARAFANO: So, I mean, Saudi Arabia -- well, look, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, they have very, very tight restrictions on ingress and egress. They're not even taking any refugees. So the argument that they somehow they represent just as much a potential -- a potential foreign fighter -- foreign fighter threat flow can only be made by somebody who doesn't actually know anything about how foreign fighters are moving in the Middle East. I mean, it just doesn't pass the laugh test.
CHURCH: All right. James Carafano, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it.
CARAFANO: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: Well, President Trump has suspended the admissions of all refugees for the next four months.
Kathleen Norland List joins us now from Beirut in Lebanon.
VANIER: She's a Middle East field director for the International Refugee Assistance Project. Kathleen, can you tell us what impact you've seen on the ground? Can you describe the situations that you've witnessed?
KATHLEEN NORLAND LIST, MIDDLE EAST FIELD DIRECTOR, IRAP: The impact here, it's a devastating humanitarian impact. The UNHCR has estimated that about 20,000 refugees around the world are immediately affected by this ban. But that doesn't even tell the full story because the U.S. direct refugee admission for Iraqis who worked with us, they are also suspended by this.
And that number is about 58,000 the last time official numbers were reported. And in addition to that, most of those people in addition to being Iraqi allies may have U.S. citizen family members in the United States who they are now separated from.
And among the 20,000 from the UNHCR numbers, those aren't any refugees. Those are the most vulnerable 1 percent of all refugees worldwide. Most refugees don't even get considered for resettlement. They have to make do in the country that they first flee to.
The UNHCR looks for those with urgent medical needs for those who are orphaned, and those are the 1 percent that are considered for resettlement. So the impact is truly devastating.
VANIER: Beyond the numbers, can you give me an example of the kind of people that you've been dealing with and the kind of stories that you have seen.
LIST: Absolutely. You know, when this draft was issued, our clients, I represent a legal aid organization that works directly with refugees. Our clients read the draft and they, you know, read what was being said on various groups on Facebook. And they came to our office in tears in some cases, having been up all night in anxiety what would happen to them.
[03:25:02] One of my clients is a transgendered woman from Iraq. She fled to Lebanon because her family in Iraq found out that she was transgender and gathered a council of the tribe. And they issued a death threat against her. And she came to Lebanon where it's not safe.
She is not safe from her family here. We have other clients who have been kidnapped by family members and forcibly brought back to Iraq to be killed by these tribes.
So they need to get out of Lebanon because they're not safe here. And this ban prevents them from doing that. She has great respect for the rule of law. She sat in my office and showed me a certificate that she had from the resettlement support center here showing that she had gone through cultural orientation sessions to prepare her for building a new life in the United States.
And she said, how could this happen to me so late in this stage? America is a country that respects the rule of law. Why would they, you know, pull the rug out from under my feet like this?
CHURCH: And Kathleen, hers is one of so many stories for sure. I want to ask you this. Before this executive order was signed by President Trump, just how difficult was it for refugees to enter the U.S.? And do you think the Trump administration understands the complex vetting system that was already in place for entry to the U.S.?
LIST: It appears, and I think this is very disappointing. It appears that they don't understand that the system that was already in place. And I think that this is so important.
Because I sincerely believe that this is an issue that most Americans would truly change their mind about if they investigated for themselves the facts about the process that was already in place.
It's not like the situation that may be occurring in some countries in Europe, where there are a large number of refugees seeking entry at the border, and those requests seem to be processed in a, you know, quick amount of time.
This is a situation where the vetting process, it takes 18 to 24 months. They go through rigorous interviews with the UNHCR and with the USCIS. Their bio data is run through databases at the Department of Defense, at the FBI, at the Department of Homeland Security, in addition to other government agencies.
And if at any stage something comes up, their application is done. This is not something that any of these agencies take lightly.
And I think that many Americans have been misled and believe that the first time we're investigating the background of these refugees is when they arrive at the U.S. border. That's simply not the case. They've been through an extremely thorough vetting process, more thorough than anybody else who is entering the United States.
VANIER: Kathleen Norland List from Beirut, thank you very much. Thanks a lot.
We're going to take a short break. When we come back, as we've seen, the U.S. immigration ban is causing political and legal chaos. We'll take a closer look at the Justice Department's role in enforcing it.
CHURCH: And the travel ban sparked chaos, confusion and protest across the U.S. and the world. But we found Trump supporters who are pleased with it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to check out who -- who is coming in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of bad people there that we don't know their background.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
VANIER: Hi, everyone. A warm welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.
CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. We do want to update you on our breaking news. U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the acting attorney general in a dispute over his executive order on immigration and refugees. Sally Yates said Monday she was not sure the order was legal, and she told Justice Department lawyers not to defend it.
VANIER: U.S. Attorney Dana Boente was sworn in to replace Yates. He's already rescinded her guidance and he says he will enforce the president's order. Boente may serve only a few days. The Senate is expected to vote on President Trump's nominee for attorney general, and that is Jeff Sessions, on Tuesday.
CHURCH: So, let's get more now on all of this. We're joined by CNN legal analyst, Page Pate. Great to have you here, Page.
PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.
CHURCH: So, let's start with this. The firing of the acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, by Donald Trump. He calls her defiance a betrayal because she wasn't ready to carry out his executive order on immigration.
So, talk to us about the legality of that, where President Trump stands and what she should have been doing in the midst of all of this.
PATE: Certainly. Well, as the acting attorney general, she works for the president. So the president clearly has the legal authority to replace her if that's what he decides to do.
Now as acting attorney general, when you're faced with a situation where you have to decide if you're going to step into a courtroom and defend an order that you think may be unconstitutional, you should have the back and forth with your boss before that happens.
And so, I think Ms. Yates took the position that you did not follow the proper legal channels here. You didn't consult with anybody senior level in the Justice Department before you issued this order.
And now you expect us to simply walk into court and parrot what you tell us to say. I think she had a problem with that, and I think that's why she did what she did and then that's why the president fired her.
VANIER: Page, she didn't just challenge the executive order on the basis of its legality or presume the illegality, she also questioned whether it was wise or just. Is it the role of the attorney general or in this case the acting attorney general to discuss the wisdom of a presidential policy?
PATE: You know, that's a good question. I think for most people that hold a position, a cabinet level position, you're there at the pleasure of the president. You're expected to serve the president. Of course.
I've always thought that the Justice Department here is a little bit different. Because not only are you part of the executive, you deal with the judicial branch all the time. And so you have an obligation to the American people, to the rule of law, to the Constitution. And that's what you swear an oath to, not the president, but the Constitution.
To make sure not just everything that crosses your desk, you know, the i's are dot and the t's are crossed, but the process is consistent with the Constitution. I think that's what she had a problem with.
CHURCH: And right at the center of all of this is this executive order, banning people for the time being at least from coming from the seven nations.
Talk to us about whether that is constitutionally possible. You know, where it stands constitutionally and morally.
CHURCH: Because a lot of people are saying it's not just the constitutional factor here, it's the moral factor.
PATE: Well, you're both right. And those are two separate questions, and politically I guess there is a third question. You know, there's been a lot of, I guess extreme language on both sides of this issue. It's clearly constitutional or it's clearly not constitutional.
[03:35:00] It's not entirely clear one way or the other. The order itself, and I'm sure it was written intentionally this way, appears to be, at least on its face, constitutional enough to survive a legal challenge.
But I think the ACLU correctly focused in their initial lawsuits on the way that it was being implemented. What they were doing at the airports and at the border presumably were stopping people who had legal status, who had the right to come back into the country or to come into the country for the first time.
They had already been through the process. They had already been approved. So they have different rights than someone who simply shows up at the border. And so, I think the implementation of this order, while on its face, it doesn't say anything that's entirely inconsistent with the Constitution. The way they're carrying out this process I think is.
CHURCH: So, we talked about the constitutionality of this executive order. And then of course, you mention that it's been written in such a way that they can probably get this through. So, where does that leave some of the legal challenges in place right now?
PATE: Well, they still...
CHURCH: Are they likely to succeed or not?
PATE: A lot will depend on the judge. I think there is no question since we have multiple challenges in different district courts that this is going to rise through the courts. After the district court makes a decision, there may be inconsistent decision. Because we're dealing with different judges. Lawsuit filed in Virginia. Lawsuit filed in New York, I believe. A lawsuit filed in Seattle.
VANIER: And four federal judges in two states also attacking the policy.
PATE: Right. And so far, at least with the initial stay order, it's been consistent. But there has been no determination about the constitutionality. All those judges were saying let's keep everything status quo until we can take a closer look at this.
But regardless, whichever side loses, they're going to appeal. It will go up to the Circuit Court level and then presumably eventually to the Supreme Court where we're still short one justice.
CHURCH: Do you wonder why the Trump team wouldn't have waited until their own attorney general is in place to avoid all of this chaos, not only what we're seeing now unfold with the attorney general, but also with people arriving in the chaos and nobody knowing what to do once people had actually landed and they had visas?
PATE: Right. Someone had to think this through. And so, from my standpoint, a legal standpoint, you're not going to do something as dramatic as this, issue an executive order that you have not at least run by the senior level folks at the Justice Department unless you are intentionally bypassing them and you expect consequences like this.
VANIER: Are you saying he might have expected this level of disruption, perhaps wanted this level of disruption?
PATE: I think that's certainly possible, yes, from a political standpoint, yes. Because legally, no one could have assumed that Sally Yates or anyone that works closely with her would have decided to jump on board and decided to defend this order given their reservations about it.
CHURCH: Page pate, thank you so much.
PATE: Thank you.
CHURCH: Always a pleasure to talk with you.
PATE: I appreciate it.
CHURCH: Well the protests against the Trump travel ban have gone beyond U.S. borders.
VANIER: There have been demonstrations across the U.K. as well in London. Thousands of protesters marched from Trafalgar Square to parliament on Monday. In addition to petition on the U.K. government in parliament web site to block a state visit by President Trump has now passed the one million signature mark.
CHURCH: And our Nina Dos Santos is in London. She joins us now. So, Nina, let's start with the protest. Just how extensive have they been across the United Kingdom? And how many people are turning out to voice their concerns?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPPONDENT: Yes. We don't have official numbers from the police, Rosemary. But I can tell you that people gathered in their thousand along Whitehall and the mall. And right near Downing Street between the U.K. Houses of Parliament and the official seat of the Prime Minister Theresa May to voice their concerns. And some of them are saying frankly disgust at this travel ban.
The ultimate irony here being that the U.K.'s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have said that this country, Great Britain could be one of the only countries in the world where dual nationals who also hold passports from these seven courts but hold U.K passports as well could actually end up being exempt from this travel ban.
As you can see here, people really voice this, their discontent, particularly not just verbally, but in the form of these placards here, a lot of them reading "dump Trump" and "say no to Donald Trump's travel ban," and so on and so forth.
Some of these placards are actually ones that I recognized from a week and a half ago when we had the women's march here in London. A lot of the same characters having kept those placards and taking them to the street for a second time. It's not excluded that we could see more gathering outside number 10 Downing Street later on today, again, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes. And Nina, I also want to ask you about that petition calling on the British government to block President Trump's state visit. It garnered more than it has so far. More than one million signatures. So what is likely to happen with that? Anything? Will it make it into parliament? Will it be discussed?
DOS SANTOS: Well, because of the number of signatures that this petition has gathered on the government web site, it will have to be discussed by parliament. But just yesterday evening, Theresa May's office came out again and said, well, she is committed to having extended this state visit offer to Donald Trump.
[03:40:04] And they're standing by that for the moment, number 10 Downing Street. But as you said, yes, it has gathered more than a million and a half petitions so far. This was actually a web site petition that was set up back in November by a lawyer well before this travel ban had caused so much fury, and indeed was implemented in just the first seven or eight days of Donald Trump's tenure.
It has been gathering more signatures apace. We'll just have to see where it goes from here. But in the meantime, as you point out, yes, it will have to be discussed. So far, Theresa May as I say before, has stuck to her word, saying that she has extended the invitation on behalf of the queen.
But there is also some consternation in the British press, Rosemary, today, about whether or not that invitation was given too hastily. We've got Lord Ricketts, the former Foreign Office head, speaking to the Times saying that perhaps this particular invitation should be downgraded from here to try and downgrade the level of public anger that we're seeing in the U.K.
CHURCH: All right. Nina Dos Santos with that reaction from London where it is 8.40 in the morning. Many thanks to you, Nina.
VANIER: And despite the protests against President Trump's travel ban, there are still plenty of Americans who favor the tighter restrictions.
CHURCH: CNN's Randi Kaye visited a community in Pennsylvania where voters are not afraid to speak their minds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JANET GATTINE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We have to check out who is coming in. We have to know who is coming in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Supporters of President Donald Trump and his refugee plan weren't hard to find at the Beltway Diner in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
KAYE: After all, Trump won this county with 58 percent of the vote. A major reversal from President Obama's tight victory here in 2012.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Do you think that this will make America safer and prevent terrorism?
GATTINE: Yes, yes.
GATTINE: Because there are so many of them here now. It's hard to keep track of them. And they just keep coming and coming and coming.
KAYE: This Pennsylvania farmer, a long-time registered democrat switched parties to support Trump because he liked his refugee plan. He says this isn't a ban on religion. This isn't against Muslims. How do you feel about it?
STANLEY FTORKOWSKI, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It's not. He is doing the right thing. Those people have to be vetted. These people are coming off the street. We have no idea who they are.
KAYE: But the State Department does vet them already. They spend a couple years vetting these folks. And they've even turned some away. Who is saying it's not enough.
FTORKOWSKI: But there are still enough room for those people to sneak through. I don't think they get everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: And if they're coming in from Syria, many here told us don't even bother vetting. Just keep them out for good.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FTORKOWSKI: There is a lot of bad people there that we don't know their backgrounds. We don't know where they came from. We don't know if they're fully what they're behind. I'm sure...
KAYE: You sound like Donald Trump when you say that. FTORKOWSKI: I kind of agree with him.
KAYE: Not a single Trump supporter here considers president Trump's executive order discriminatory. What do you say to those who call this discrimination and illegal?
JANICE CALHOUN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: You can't call it discrimination when we've got so much violence with the bombings and attacks. It's like he is just trying to keep us safe.
KAYE: Will this make America safer, do row think?
CALHOUN: I don't know. I don't know. I'm hoping it will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: In a diner jammed with Trump devotees, this woman stuck out. An independent who supported Hillary Clinton. She says President Trump is bullying Muslims.
What about the ban specifically?
JOAN SWEDAR, CLINTON SUPPORTER: The ban is a disgrace. This country is made up of immigrants. He just wants to sign executive orders to show that he is doing something. He has no idea what it's all about.
KAYE: Is this discrimination in your view?
SWEDAR: Definitely. It's discrimination. It's illegal. And it's a disgrace to our country.
KAYE: This woman couldn't disagree more. She says it's the only way to stop terrorism.
What about the terrorism? What scarce you about that?
GATTINE: Oh my God, you never know where it's going to be, you know. You could be shopping or you can go to church. They might want to blow up your church.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Hazelton, Pennsylvania.
CHURCH: Well, coming up Donald Trump's chief strategist is elevated to a seat on the National Security Council. A look at how much influence Steve Bannon has in the White House. That's still to come.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: We've talked about the travel ban, but there is also outrage in Washington over President Trump's decision to give his chief strategist a seat on his highest level national security team.
VANIER: And many are now wondering just how much power Steve Bannon has in this White House.
Jeff Zeleny reports.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Steve Bannon is the White House chief strategist. But even that title may not do justice to his influence in the West Wing. He is driving decisions on every piece of President Trump's agenda, domestic and foreign, including the president's immigration order and travel ban that sparked a global backlash.
But it's his elevation to a permanent spot on the National Security Council that is now outraging even many republicans, who question why he has a seat alongside the secretary of state and defense secretary in the inner sanctum of national security.
The president said in a weekend memo the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence will no longer have a standing seat on the group known as the principles committee.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates who has served eight presidents said it was an unprecedented move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think pushing them out of the national Security Council meetings, except when their specific issues are at stake is a big mistake. I think that they both bring a perspective and judgment and experience to bear that every president, whether they like it or not, finds useful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer brushed aside criticism as utter nonsense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, UNITED STATES WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This administration is trying to make sure that we don't hide things, wait for them to come out after the fact. So it recognizes the role that he is going to play. But Steve is not going to be in every meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Bannon is unfazed by the controversy. In fact, a person close to him tells CNN he thrives on it. Bannon sees his role as disrupting the establishment, republicans included. And putting his ideological imprint on Trump's presidency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now I want to go to one of our Breitbart posse...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: He calls himself a nationalist who says Trump could create a new populist movement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: This whole movement is really the top. The first inning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: He joined Trump's team last August taking a leave from leading the conservative Breitbart news web site. At 62, he has one of the loudest voices in the White House who is rarely seen or heard outside, except now at the president's side.
[03:50:06] Last week, Bannon told The New York Times, "The media here is the opposition party." One day later, the president echoed the same sentiment to the Christian Broadcasting network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the media is the opposition party in many ways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Washington.
VANIER: We're going to take a very short break. When we come back, one suspect is in custody, charged in a deadly attack on a Canadian mosque. The latest on the investigation. Stay with us.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: All four seasons being experienced across the United States over the next couple of days. We have summer-like warmth building in across the southwest. Very much spring like around the southeastern corner of the U.S., and certainly, winter in full effect across parts of the northern states over the last couple of days.
Still seeing some snow showers also lake enhanced across this region. Parts of Pennsylvania and certainly in northern New Jersey. On into New York City, even seeing flakes fly over the next several hours. But generally this is as light as they come. Under five centimeters is what we're expecting with the heaviest amounts. Right in the favorable late effect areas of western new York, western Pennsylvania over the next couple of days.
Temperatures look at such, Atlantic gets up to a balmy 21 degrees. A different story up around New York City. Only at 2 with the snow showers mixing in. While San Francisco into the upper teens there.
But notice big changes here. One storm system, a second one back behind it. Certainly going to be an active pattern the next couple of days over California yet again. An area that has already seen for some of those cities has seen triple their monthly average of rainfall so far in January. And notice the temperatures down towards say, Mexico City as mild as
they come, 23 degrees and partly cloudy skies. Watching some scattered showers around northern portions of Brazil and some changes in store that are really for the better out of Chile with the major fires in place.
Frontal boundary approaching late in the week. Shower potential increasing in the area as well that will be very beneficial for that region.
VANIER: A university student described as a lone wolf has been charged in Sunday's deadly shooting at a Canadian mosque.
CHURCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the attack and marched in support of the mosque at an individual in Quebec City Monday.
CNN's Deborah Feyerick has the latest.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Canadian authorities charging Alexandre Bissonnette with six counts first-degree murder in the brutal mass shooting at a Quebec mosque. Police calling him a lone wolf in what is being considered an act of terror. Authorities says he is previously unknown to police and not on any watch lists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[03:54:56] CHRISTINE COULOMBE, QUEBEC PROVINCIAL POLICE: Quebec received a call for shooting. So a lot of police officer were here to try to know what happened. And they make the perimeters of security. So now we consider the event like an act of terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: A second man arrested shortly after the shooting is now being called a witness and not a suspect. Eight p.m. Sunday, a gunman dressed in black entered the mosque and opened fire on dozens of worshipers, including families with children.
The six who died were all men between the ages of 39 and 60. The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals. Thirty nine others in the mosque escaped injury.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have three people in intensive care. They spend all the night in surgery. And we have other people in care, traumatology care. And they are more stable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: In this city where mass shootings are an uncommon tragedy, the mosque's former director couldn't control his emotions as he remembered the innocent people gunned down, quote, "In a place of worship with people who were praying. The same mosque was targeted last June during the holy month of Ramadan. A pig's head with the message "Bonne Appetit" was left at its door."
Practicing Muslims don't eat pork. Canada has welcomed refugees, taking in tens of thousands since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office in 2015. Many of them from Muslim majority nations.
And, as large crowds turned out in Ottawa today to protest the U.S. travel ban on predominantly Muslim nations. Quebec's Premier reached out to reassure Muslims living in Canada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIPPE COUILLARD, PREMIER OF QUEBEC: We are with you. This is your home. You are welcome here. We are all Quebeckers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Quebec, Canada.
CHURCH: Thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church.
VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier. So stay with us, a lot of news coming up on CNN.