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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S.-Iran Tensions Escalating After New Sanctions And Threats; Speaker Ryan: Iran Nuclear Deal Likely Staying In Place; Military Botches Release Of Video Seized In Yemen Raid; Military Release Wrong Video After Yemen Raid; Congressional Republicans Revolt Over Trump's Wall; Washington State Judge Halts Trump Travel Ban Nationwide; Aired: 7-8p ET
Aired February 3, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OutFront next, breaking news. The Trump White House making new threats against Iran, slapping sanctions on the country, calling it hostile and belligerent. Is Trump going to go all the way to war? Plus, Trump Adviser Kellyanne Conway citing a massacre that never happened. Tonight, alternative facts or outright fiction?
And breaking news, Trump makes a major announcement about Wall Street, the markets go wild, surging today. Let's go OutFront.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OutFront tonight, the breaking news. Hostile and belligerent, the White House slamming Iran for its "bad behavior," now escalating the fight with the Islamic republic. President Trump today slapping Iran with new sanctions as punishment for a ballistic missile test earlier this week. President Trump making it clear that, as promised he's taking a hard, new line against Iran, first with this warning on Twitter, Iran is playing with fire. They don't appreciate how kind President Obama was to them. Not me. And then a short time later, speaking from the Oval Office Trump minced to no words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They're not behaving.
BURNETT: Meantime, just moments ago, House Speaker Paul Ryan trying to calm the situation down, publicly saying the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump, of course, strongly criticizes, is here to stay.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: A lot of that toothpaste is already out of the tube. I never supported the deal in the first place. I thought it was a huge mistake, but the multilateral sanctions are done, so --
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Done meaning it's -- you're not going to be able to put that back together?
RYAN: Well, yes. I don't think you can go back and reconstitute the multilateral sanctions that were in place.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Obviously not exactly the same message Trump is sending out
with his words tonight. Michelle Kosinski begins our coverage OutFront at the state department. And Michelle, With the president tonight, a tit for tat between the U.S. and Iran escalating through the day.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And this back-and-forth is still going on right now. I mean, just tonight the National Security Adviser put out this strongly worded statement, using much of the same language that the administration's been using over the past couple days, calling Iran belligerent, lawless, hostile, saying for too long, the international community has been tolerant of Iran's provocative behavior, but the Trump administration isn't going to put up with it anymore. He said the days of turning a blind eye to these kinds of behaviors are gone.
But Iran has its own statements today. I mean, this morning, while Donald Trump was tweeting about Iran, the Iranian Foreign Minister was putting out tweets of his own, saying that Iran is unmoved by threats, that it would only use its weapons in self-defense and then tweaking the U.S. by saying, how many of those out there that are complaining can make the same statement? And to top it off tonight, Iran now is saying that it's going to respond in kind to the U.S. sanctions, that it's threatening legal action against Americans and American companies that in Iran's view support terrorist groups in that region and kill and oppress defenseless people there, Iran saying that it's going to name names soon, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Michelle, thank you very much. And also tonight, another major mistake linked to that deadly navy SEAL raid that went terribly wrong over the weekend. Jim Sciutto is OutFront.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, growing confusion surrounding Sunday's deadly raid by U.S. Special forces in Yemen and just how successful it actually was. Central command released this captured video showing Al-Qaeda training fighters to make explosives. An instructor in a black mask and white lab coat says, "we would like as many people to graduate with this knowledge and expertise as possible."
The military said it was releasing the video to illustrate the sort of "intelligence information that was obtained" but hours later, Centcom had to walk that back and admit the video was actually nine years old and had been circulated widely before, not the new intelligence the Trump administration says the raid had collected. A military spokesman admitted the video had not been properly analyzed.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSEPRESS SECRETARY: We recovered a tremendous amount of information and we killed an estimated 14 members of Al- Qaeda and AQ -- AQAP individuals.
SCIUTTO: The stumble follows earlier conflicting accounts of who originally approved the raid. The Trump administration claims President Obama gave the OK months ago. Obama administration officials deny that to CNN. Regardless, the White House says that President Trump and his closest advisers were deeply involved in the decision-making before giving the final OK three days before the mission. The Trump administration still touting the raid as a success.
SPICER: When you look at the totality of what was gained to prevent the future loss of life here in America and against our people and our institutions, and probably throughout the world in terms of what some of these individuals could have done, I think it is -- it is a successful operation by all standards.
SCIUTTO: The target of the assault was a compound of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Al Bayda, Yemen. Fierce fighting left U.S. Navy SEAL William Ryan Owens dead, along with as many as two dozen civilians, including an eight-year-old girl. Three U.S. Service Members were also injured in the operation, and a 70 million dollar osprey aircraft destroyed.
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: There is a risk in doing nothing, because people can leave. There's a risk in doing something, because the raid can go wrong. It's hard to second guess.
SCIUTTO: And to be clear, that nine-year-old bomb-making video was not the only intelligence gathered during this operation. There were computer hard drives, they're still analyzing this. I will also add that the military central command says that it did not receive any pressure from higher-ups, more senior leadership or the White House to release information intelligence to prove in effect that this was a successful and useful operation. Erin?
BURNETT: All right, Jim, thank you. And OutFront now, retired General James "Spider" Marks, Kimberly Dozier, senior national correspondent with The Daily Beast and David Gergen who served as adviser to four presidents. I want to start with Iran, David, Donald Trump tweeted today, Iran is playing with fire. They don't appreciate how kind President Obama was to them. Not me. He's escalating this. Look, they fired the ballistic missile this week, OK? They did that.
DAVID GERGEN, FOREMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Right.
BURNETT: But he has escalated it up -- and up since then. Smart strategy?
GERGEN: Well, it depends on what you think a smart strategy is. If you think tearing up the Iran nuclear accord is ultimately your goal and having putting the relationship on a new foundation, you might say this is smart strategy. In terms of keeping down -- keeping the temperature down and trying to get along with Iran and seeing if they can't keep the nuclear deal together, this is only -- escalation draws escalation, as we're seeing from the Iranians.
I think it goes to this larger point, Erin, and that is -- there was a big story in the New York Times today and others who are saying he's moderating his foreign policy on Iran, on Israel, you know, and on the Russians. If you listen to what he says, Trump himself is saying things that are much more belligerent than what some of his advisers are now saying.
BURNETT: Right. And of course, we'll then see who actually ends up wielding the power.
GERGEN: Yes. Briefly I think the evolution is still on, it's just the revolution in slower motion.
BURNETT: Interesting way of putting, I mean, General Marks, Trump is escalating the situation in response to Iran testing a ballistic missile, OK? So he will say he is hitting back, OK? Here's the reality, Iran has done several ballistic missiles tests as you know since the U.N. deal, right? Which is what pertains to the ballistic missile test. In March, they test fired two missiles with the words Israel must be wiped off the earth. That is in March that is post the nuclear deal, that is post the U.N. deal. They wrote it in Hebrew. Can Trump stop Iran with threats in the form of words when this is what they did post deal?
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, U.S. ARMY (RET.) MILITARY ANALYST: Oh, of course not. I mean, the words won't yield anything. What needs to happen is we need to be very resolute in terms of what we intend to accomplish. And that's the concern, I think, that most folks are voicing right now, is that when you put some, a regime like Iran on notice, there isn't a book that you open up, a doctrinal description that says say on notice means the following. We will do X, Y, and Z.
What that means is we're watching very diligently, intelligence will be surged in order to try them more closely, but we don't know what that means, and there are elements within our toolbox that we can use to try to apply some pressure, but we don't know what we're trying to achieve. We haven't defined -- I think the real issue here, Erin, is we haven't defined what the end state needs to look like, what is the objective of putting them on notice.
BURNETT: Right. Which I guess is what David's raising.
BURNETT: Does it get the Iran deal ripped up and if so then what? I mean, Trump has said explicitly in the last 24 hours, nothing is off the table when it comes to Iran when asked the question. You've asked the administration why they're using this threatening language. They told you they hope Iran will heed the warning and change its behavior. You just heard the general say, no, words will not yield anything. Do they believe that? Do they understand that?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, they said that they were reviewing different options, everything from economic, which we saw today, to they wouldn't say the word military, but they wouldn't take it off the table in our conversations. So, you know that over at the pentagon, they have a stack of plans. That's their job. For potentialities. If Iran launches a missile, then we could do this. If Iran harasses ships in the gulf, then perhaps we could deploy our own ships and set up some sort of blockade.
So, they could step up to these options. The thing is, Iran understands what's going on here. It understands that it is being goaded into a response. I think that's why you saw the foreign minister today tweet we're not going to start a war. Others may. Also, outgoing Obama administration officials warned the Iranian regime, this incoming team, they're going to be looking for you to take a step out of line. Don't do it.
BURNETT: And General, I want to ask you a question here on Yemen. You know, you were, of course, in the military for many, many years, and you were operating in places like Iraq, obviously near Yemen. How does a mix-up happen like this with the tape? I mean, was the military -- they're saying they weren't pressured by the Trump administration to justify what intelligence they got. Did they feel that because there were issues with the raid, they had to justify their own choice to go in? What happened here?
MARKS: No, I don't think, Erin, there is a conscious effort to immediately get something out to try to soften, or at least dissipate some of the criticism. I think there could be a technical challenge here and that I could take -- I could words in 136 different languages, I can aggregate them and I can tell you where the anomalies are. I can't do that with video. So, we have a video. We want to put it out because it becomes something that is very easy to understand and demonstrates tactics, techniques and procedures.
What we -- what the additional step could have revealed is, you know, we saw that nine years ago. So, I -- it's very, very difficult to say that there was a motivation or a rush to get some type of a justification out there, but there was an effort to say, look, we lost a SEAL, there are always costs associated with war. This was a mission that was taken in a very measured approach, and oh, by the way, look what we got. They probably could have said, hey, look what else we got.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all. And next, the breaking news. Leading republicans now saying no to Trump's wall. Could Trump's biggest campaign promise be shot down by his own party?
Plus, Uber trouble. How even the appearance of supporting Trump went horribly wrong for the mega tech company.
And we've been talking to a group of women Trump supporters for nearly a year. You've seen them on this show. After controversy after controversy. So, what do they think of President Trump now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People really dislike him. I don't understand it, because I love him.
BURNETT: Tonight, breaking news. Top republicans now breaking with Trump over his talk, his big campaign promise to build the wall, this as a new CNN/ORC poll shows, public support right now, 60 percent of Americans actually disapprove of the wall. Manu Raju is OutFront. Manu, you see those poll numbers. You've been talking to republican lawmakers about this. What are they telling you?
MANU RAJU, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT REPORTER: Well, their concern, Erin, namely over the price tag. This is something that the republican leadership said could cost anywhere from $12 billion to $15 billion, and what we're hearing that it's going to be labeled as, "emergency spending," which means that it does not need to be offset by spending cuts and actually it could add to the deficit. Now, the Trump administration is trying to make clear that they believe congress should pay for the wall initially and then Mexico will eventually reimburse the United States fully for the cost, but when talking to republicans, not only are they concerned with the price tag, they're also very skeptical that Mexico will actually pay for the wall, including Senator John McCain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
He's obviously talking about having Mexico pay for it. Do you think that's actually a viable option?
JOHN MCCAIN, SENIOR UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM ARIZONA: No.
RAJU: Why do you say that?
MCCAIN: Because it's not a viable option.
RAJU: So, then taxpayers could be left with the bill.
MCCAIN: The taxpayers are paying a lot of money right now. One of the biggest problems we have is the enforcement of existing law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: And Erin, he's hardly alone, including Senator John Cornyn who's the number two senate republican representing the State of Texas, concerned about adding money to the deficit. I asked him specifically about this wall. He says, I do not want to add a dime to the deficit. So there's a lot of pressure on the Trump administration to figure out how to cut spending and cutting $15 billion, a lot of money, something they don't expect to come forward in that proposal coming to congress, Erin.
BURNETT: And Manu, what is the Trump administration now doing? They obviously have to shore up support. This is important. They can go ahead and build a wall if they want, right? He's got the authority to do that, but not the authority to get the money to come up for it. He's got to get that from congress.
RAJU: That's right. Actually John Kelly, the new Homeland Security Secretary, was on Capitol Hill this week talking to lawmakers about his plans for border security, but I'm hearing he did not give a lot of details about how that wall would look -- would look like. The republicans and democrats want to hear more details, but they're planning on -- the administration's planning on putting together a proposal of funding that will not only could border security, but also more national security spending as well, and they think that perhaps that could convince some republicans who are skeptical to vote for it because they believe other national security measures should be funded, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much, Manu.
RAJU: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And now, Trump supporter Kayleigh Mcenany, democratic strategist Maria Cardona and our senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson. Kayleigh, what is the president going to do if republicans stop his plan to build a wall? He needs their support, he needs the money from congress.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. And I don't think there will end up being a problem with congressional republicans. You know, we've seen Paul Ryan come out and say we want to give President Trump this. This was his number one campaign promise. And republicans, you know congressmen and women need to support a republican president. And I think he can do a lot of cajoling behind the scenes, maneuvering to get these republican congressional individuals there.
And I think the one thing he needs to say to them is when have republican GOP establishment congressmen and women ever cared about spending? You know, we're called back to two years ago when you had Senator Mike Lee saying let's defund DHS because they've given out 900,000 work permits over the last decade. You know, where were they then wanting to defund DHS? Now all of a sudden they care about spending. So, I think maneuvering behind the scenes will remedy this problem.
BURNETT: OK. Nia, here's the thing, though, support for the wall among the American people has dropped dramatically, right? This used to be something every republican would agree with, at least those running for office. Here are the numbers among the American public. 52 percent of people supported building a wall in September of 2015. Today that number is 38 percent. That is a pretty significant drop and it could affect republican opposition, right? Is this going to make it easier for them to go against Trump on this issue? Will more of them join John McCain?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. I think so, and we're seeing some of that already. I mean, it's really hard to find a border-state republicans who are out really Trumpeting this idea of building a border, a state wall. In many ways, it is deja vu all over again. This is the problem that the initial fence that was Bush's idea, this is the problem that it had. This is -- this is why it's still incomplete, because they couldn't come up with the money to fund it.
I mean, these -- and the other problem is we have these estimates, $10 billion, $15 billion. It's not clear that those costs include what it would mean to seize private property, right? I mean, this idea of eminent domain. I mean, I think something like two-thirds of that land is either private property or controlled by those states, so I think it's going to be difficult for republicans to make the case that they should seize this property.
BURNETT: Very significant point. I mean, you have seen numbers $20 to $25 billion to build the wall, and maybe with what you're saying, Nia, that's even conservative. Maria, when we talk about -- Nia just mentioned the 700 miles wall that President George W. Bush built which he did of the 1,933 miles to comprise of the border. Our Ed Lavandera went to the border for an amazing series of reporting for this show. He found along the wall already built ladders stacked up.
And then in another area where the wall was already built, he found tunnels that were dug 70 feet under there. So, you know, you can't -- are you going to put the wall down 70 or 75 or 80, what are you going to do? I mean, obviously, that is the problem here, and it seems that reporting like this is impacting the American public. That's what we're seeing in that poll.
MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Of course you are. But I also think what you are seeing in that poll is that the American public has always understood what is feasible, what is viable and what is really just nice campaign rhetoric for those people who loves what Donald Trump was saying during the campaign. When you -- when you campaign in fantasy and you win, then as you -- as you are governing, you run into reality, and that is what's happening to Donald Trump, because not on -- not only do you have the republicans who are concerned about cost, as they should, but you also have what Nia mentioned, which is a lot of this is private property, a lot of this is mountain terrain --
CARDONA: -- that -- where you can't even -- it's not even possible to build a wall. A lot of it is around the Rio Grande. What are you going to do there? And a lot of it is Native American territory, who they are not going to let you go in and build this "wall." It also doesn't solve the problem, Erin, which is where I think is where the American people really understand. Let's remember, the comprehensive immigration reform plan of the -- of the Gang of Eight was supported by majorities of Americans because it actually solved the problem of border security as well as the flow of immigration back and forth.
BURNETT: So, Kayleigh, let me put this question to you though, because this goes with John McCain was saying, and Trump raises this point all the time, right? There's a lot of laws not being enforced. Why wouldn't you just enforce them and then say, "Oh, guess what, you know what, I saved you guys so much money. I, Donald Trump, did the best deal of all, I enforced the laws and don't need to spend a dollar on the law, right? Why not enforce all the laws first and then see if he needs to go ahead with an idea that surely even he knows doesn't add up?
MCENANY: Well, Erin, you're right. I mean, enforcing the laws is number one. Criminal illegal immigrants need to be removed from American territory, no doubt about it. Enforce the current laws. But that's not enough. We have to be perspective and look forward and how we're going to stop--
BURNETT: But how do know that's not enough? Why not do it before you go ahead with all this eminent domain and $25 billion and building a wall?
It's not enough because during the Reagan administration, we went through this all one time and we were going to build a barrier, we were going to enforce the border, and here we are two decades later and we still have millions of illegal immigrants who have come across the border, most good people, but many who have deprived American citizens of their right to life. People have lost their lives (INAUDIBLE) lost his live at the hands of an illegal immigrant. Kate Steinle. Not one American citizen should lose their right to life and they losing it because you have criminal illegal immigrants running across the border. So you have to have both. You have to be forward looking and at the same time enforce the current laws.
CARDONA: And you know what would do that -- sorry, and you know what would do that, Kayleigh, is if you pass comprehensive immigration reform. Tons of border security, plus a legal --
MCENANY: We did that.
CARDONA: -- a legal -- no, you did not. We did not pass comprehensive immigration reform --
MCENANY: We did it in the 1980s.
CARDONA: Oh, Kayleigh, that was 30 years ago. And now we have --
MCENANY: And here we are with 11 million illegal immigrants.
CARDONA: Yes. We have 11 million undocumented immigrants who want a pathway to citizenship and who understand that they -- that they have contributed a lot of money to this economy, and it would do what you want, which is to continue to deport the criminal undocumented immigrants, which is what we need.
BURNETT: Quickly, Nia, I want to -- Nia, one question here before we go, though, and that is, Donald Trump does have a lot of support for some of the things he's doing, all right? The wall support has changed, but in terms of the immigration ban, right now 47 percent favor it, 53 percent oppose it. The margin of error there is three percent. I think that may surprise some people watching the show. A lot of people in this country support what he's doing there. Will he get the support of congress for these things?
HENDERSON: Perhaps. And a lot of those numbers there, with the support for that travel ban, it's because republicans, you know, are very much supportive of what he's doing, and that's not the case if you look in -- deep into the numbers with the wall and 70 percent of republicans support the wall and something like 85 percent I think support the travel ban. So yes, I mean, it looks like if you talk to people on the hill, they don't like the execution of this, but they do like the overall idea. We still don't know what extreme vetting is. I mean, there's already pretty much extreme vetting in place.
CARDONA: Yes. There is.
HENDERSON: I don't know, you know, it's two years. I don't know if extreme vetting is three years now in terms of a way that these folks are vetted when they come over. We'll have to see. But he does have some support for this. The execution I think was a problem for a lot of republicans on the hill.
BURNETT: All right, thank you all.
And next, the breaking news, the market's loving Donald Trump tonight. We'll tell you why. And Kellyanne Conway under fire after talking about a massacre that did not happen. We'll be back.
BURNETT: Breaking news on what could be a stunning blow to President Trump's travel ban. A federal judge at this hour granting a Washington Attorney General's request to immediately halt President Trump's executive order on immigration nationwide. OK, the Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, spoke just moments ago about his request for a temporary block. Literally just finished speaking. Here's part of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB FERGUSON, My short answer is, yes. I want to be very clear, what the judge announced today was nationwide, the president's executive order does not apply.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OutFront now, our legal analyst Paul Callan, David Gergen, and on the phone, Jeffrey Toobin, our legal analyst. Paul Callan, let me start with you. He's saying absolutely no question to supplies nationwide. Obviously this is a Washington state. Please explain.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is Washington state, but it is a federal district court. And in constitutional questions, federal district courts can issue orders that could apply to the United States. It is extremely rare. It almost never happens.
The Supreme Court doesn't like it because it likes these things to percolate up through the district courts so that they can decide what the best policy is. My bet is an appellate court will overrule this, but technically -- yes, it can be done.
BURNETT: Which is pretty stunning. I mean, Jeffrey Toobin, Paul's saying, technically, yes, it can be done. Then as we await for, as he said, maybe an appellate court to overturn it, what happens in the next couple days? Do the other states all go along? Do they have a choice? Can you explain?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST (via telephone): What happens is this executive order is not in effect now. And I think this is more common than perhaps Paul is suggesting. It just happened to President Obama in Texas. Remember, the Texas opponents of his immigration executive, that is, President Obama's, got a district judge in Brownsville, Texas, to say this -- that executive order was not in effect.
It was appealed to the 5th Circuit, and the 5th Circuit upheld that nationwide ban. So, this is going to go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which tends to be one of the more liberal circuits.
BURNETT: Liberal, yeah.
TOOBIN: And they may well uphold this. This is a striking blow --
BURNETT: I know there's a little delay. You're halfway around the world, but people right now are saying, OK, what's about to happen? What's about to happen at JFK, at LAX, at O'Hare, at Hartsfield? I mean, are they about to say, no longer, this can't be -- I mean, this now is the law of the land, that they're going to go back to the way things were right now?
TOOBIN: That's right. If they follow the ruling of the judge -- and federal judges have nationwide jurisdiction on constitutional matters -- this executive order is a legal nullity at the point. It does not apply anywhere in the United States, and that's where we are right now, until and unless an appeals court steps in.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Let me ask both of you, Paul, and, Jeffrey, this is David Gergen. The United States -- the government's going to immediately appeal. Can they get the circuit court, the appellate court to put a stay on effects on what --
CALLAN: They'll move for a stay, but as Jeffrey was saying, this is the 9th Circuit and they are very liberal.
GERGEN: Then couldn't you go to the Supreme Court?
CALLAN: Well, you could go immediately to the Supreme Court, but as Erin is asking, what's happening right now in airports across America? Technically, this is a lawful order of a federal court, and if it's in effect right now, they should be responding to it.
BURNETT: So, how quickly can, say, the 9th Circuit of -- the Trump administration will move immediately, right?
BURNETT: So, does the 9th Circuit court wait until Monday? I mean, are we now in for a weekend of chaos here?
CALLAN: Well, I think that the 9th Circuit will see that this as an issue of national urgency and probably will move immediately to make a decision as to whether to issue a stay or not.
GERGEN: So, let's say the 9th Circuit approves and it goes to the Supreme Court, how long, Jeffrey, in your judgment, would it be before we get a decision from the Supreme Court?
TOOBIN: Well, I think we could get a stay decision from the Supreme Court within a matter of days. I mean, it has to go to the 9th Circuit first, but you won't get a final ruling from the Supreme Court in a matter of days, but they act upon stays, on emergency matters, whether it is executions or the applications of law, in a matter of days.
So, this will be feverish legal maneuvering on both sides over the next couple of days. But just so we're clear, the status quo as of this moment is that this executive order does not apply anywhere in the United States, unless and until a superior court, a higher court, overrules or stays this order.
GERGEN: So what happens to all the people who were caught up in the coils of the current executive order?
GERGEN: What happens to them?
CALLAN: Well, there's a new order in place now that has negated and made this executive order a nullity. So, we're back to the old set of rules as of this moment.
BURNETT: So, we were reporting 100,000 visas possibly affected by this.
Jeff Toobin, are they now back to the way they were? I mean, this is -- this is pretty stunning. I mean, you have the entire world now in complete confusion on whether you can come to the United States or not on this ban.
TOOBIN: Erin, I think you captured the situation in two words -- complete confusion.
[19:35:05] I mean, lawyers like me can say, sure, it doesn't apply anywhere in the United States, but the fact that we are saying this on CNN does not mean that every airport authority at Dulles or JFK or Logan Airport actually knows what's going on right now.
BURNETT: There are probably a lot of people standing in customs lines watching CNN right now. The customs officers aren't going to --
CALLAN: I might throw into the mix a quote from an ancient president. I think it might have been Andrew Jackson, who was angry that another chief justice named Marshall had issued an opinion that he opposed, and his comment was, "Marshall has issued his opinion. Now, let's see him enforce it."
So, the question is, if Trump decides not to order these various departments to abide by the order, how will the Seattle federal judge enforce the order? Normally, they have marshals in their local districts who can go into an airport and enforce it.
BURNETT: You're saying the law of the land would be to -- the law of our land is that a federal judge has the authority to do this on constitutional issues. So, to go otherwise would be to break the constitutional law of this land.
CALLAN: There would be a constitutional crisis, unless the appellate courts act, and it's why most federal district courts are sensible enough to issue a stay while these difficult questions are being decided, instead of --
GERGEN: Most appellate courts.
CALLAN: Most appellate courts, and most district courts as well.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you that question, because this comes on the same day, OK, first victory for the Trump administration on this issue was up in Boston. The federal court declined to renew the temporary restraining order, which was put in place in Boston on the first day of this ban. Jeffrey, I guess the question for you is, we got 50 states, this is the first place that this has happened. It took a week to do so. Why?
TOOBIN: Well, because different federal judges see the law differently, and this is why we have appeals courts, this is why we have a Supreme Court ultimately to resolve differences among federal judges. The problem is, what happens in the meantime, before we get a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court, or at least from 1 of the 12 circuit courts of appeals, is that you have different district judges viewing these issues differently and going back to the words you used, complete confusion in the meantime.
GERGEN: Let me ask you the question, but I guess the Supreme Court, as it likely will -- what do you gentlemen think is the likelihood that the Supreme Court would actually hold this unconstitutional?
CALLAN: You know, it's interesting, because you have a 4-4 liberal- conservative split on the Supreme Court --
BURNETT: Well, actually, Neil Gorsuch.
CALLAN: And if they just split along strict ideological grounds and four voted for Trump and four voted the other way, that would merely uphold the lower court ruling. So, if the lower court ruled nationwide it goes forward, that's what would stay in effect. The lower court is the 9th Circuit, which tends to be more liberal than other courts, so my bet is the more liberal approach to this, the more anti-Trump approach might be how it turns out if it gets to the Supreme Court.
But, of course, this is very speculative.
BURNETT: What do you think, Jeff?
TOOBIN: And let me just add to that, that you know, I think it is quite possible that parts of the executive order might be upheld, but parts would be struck down. Remember also, this is something of a moving target. What the executive order has meant even to the federal government has not been clear.
At first, it was being applied against people with green cards. Now, the Department of Homeland Security has said, no, people with green cards are not affected. So I think even the meaning of the executive order, much less its constitutionality, is unclear at the moment, and that will certainly affect how it's evaluated by the courts as we go forward.
CALLAN: You know, Erin, I wonder if they're going to let Jeff Toobin back into the country. That's --
BURNETT: I mean --
BURNETT: David Drucker from "The Washington Examiner" is joining us in this conversation.
David, as we're honestly at this point, you know, completely at a loss, I think, to understand what the impact is going to be at this nation's airports as people are trying to enter right now. You're saying this is something that doesn't surprise you, though, that this happened, simply because of the way this executive order was written and executed, because of part of what Jeffrey Toobin was saying, right? We didn't even know at first whether green cards were included or excluded.
DAVID DRUCKER, SR. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Yes, Erin, the administration was in effect making policy on the fly. They pushed this through in the first ten days. They didn't have an attorney general in place. They still don't. They had a homeland security secretary just getting up to speed. They didn't have a secretary of state.
And so, I think they were trying to figure this out. And this is what happens when you rush, especially with executive orders that don't have the same force of law because the courts are going to look at an executive order differently in this case than something that has gone through Congress.
[19:40:10] They're much more hesitant. And I'd let Jeffrey speak to this and your other guests, but they're much more hesitant to get in the way of something that has the seal of approval of Congress and an actual law than simply a president's pen and, you know, phone, so to speak. So, I think this is part of the problem.
So, I want to say, we just have more breaking news here, and this adds significantly to the story. Obviously, shooting down President Trump's executive order not now in effect nationwide. The question was, would Customs and Border Patrol comply? The answer is yes. They have just come out with a statement saying they will review the order and they will comply.
The statement says, "A customs and border patrol spokesman tells CNN the agency will review the order and comply with all court orders." To be very clear. GERGEN: Did they check with the White House?
BURNETT: And I want to go to the White House right now. Sara Murray is there.
Sara, obviously, a rapidly developing story, but you now know Customs and Border Protection says they will comply with the court order.
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We have not heard a response from the White House on this. We have reached out to numerous sources here to try to get their response.
Look, Donald Trump has left for Florida for the weekend. The White House has been quiet this evening. I don't think that this is the kind of thing, obviously, aides were expecting to see coming tonight.
We did see Donald Trump weigh in earlier today on Twitter before any of this was happening, saying, we must keep, quote, "evil out of the country." Presumably, he was referring to threats coming in across our border, but he has not weighed in on twitter since then.
And I do think this is indicative, as your other guests were say, about sort of the rush to nature with which the White House unveiled this travel ban, and there have been a lot of discussions internally about how they could do something like this better the next time. There were a lot of questions about why Donald Trump would do this without his own attorney general in place, knowing that there would be challenges to this in court. And I think we're beginning to see that play out right now.
Now, obviously, he has put some people that he believes will execute on his orders up at the Justice Department, promoted some folks that he believes will carry out the travel ban, but clearly, this court ruling throws a big hitch into that, and we're waiting to see how the White House is going to navigate it, Erin.
BURNETT: I think they are probably sitting in there right now desperately trying to figure this out. Let's just again say that Jeff Sessions has not yet been confirmed. There is an acting attorney general who said that he would move to make arguments to support this ban when Sally Yates said she would refuse to do so.
Let me ask you, Paul -- looking at this ruling, they are saying to obtain the temporary restraining order, of course, which ends the president's executive order, the state needed to prove, statement of Washington, that its underlying lawsuit was likely to succeed and that irreparable harm was likely to occur out the restraining order and that halting the president's order immediately is in the public interests.
Those crucial words -- prove that its underlying lawsuit was likely to succeed, that is their way of saying that this judge does believe, obviously, that this will go through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
CALLAN: And normally, a court will hear and decide, after hearing all of the evidence in the case, they won't issue an order immediately. However, if there's going to be irreparable harm, and if the case is so strong, sometimes you get this temporary restraining order.
And I would say, the federal court in New York, Ann Donnelly, issued a similar order, saying that irreparable harm was present and that a temporary restraining order should be issued as well.
So, this is not the first federal judge to say that there's a strong constitutional case against the Trump executive order.
BURNETT: No, but again, Jeff, I get to the point that this is the first district judge to take it to the point of putting a nationwide halt on the entire executive order, which, of course, whatever your political view here, is going to create even more chaos and confusion at this nation's borders.
So, I guess the question to you is do you see politics at play in this order?
Obviously, he doesn't seem like he can quite hear me. Let me put this question to you quickly and then David.
CALLAN: You know, people are going to be looking at who appointed these various judges. Ann Donnelly, the judge in New York, was appointed by a Democrat. I don't know who appointed this federal judge. So, people will say politics are there, but federal courts are supposed to be above politics and decide cases based on the law.
GERGEN: Interestingly, this judge was appointed by George W. Bush.
BURNETT: OK, this judge was appointed by George W. Bush.
GERGEN: Yes, yes.
CALLAN: So, you have one appointed by the Democrats, one by a Republican. They're both reaching the same conclusion.
BURNETT: So, you're saying the judge in Washington state that just did this order, George W. Bush. I think that's significant for people to hear, so if they say it's politics, wait a minute, this is a George W. Bush judge.
CALLAN: It was, but it's so stunning that you used that word at the beginning of your reporting on this. I just think, who knew this was even coming? Who knew this was even on the radar screen?
BURNETT: Well, I'll be honest, when those headlines crossed, we were scrambling to try to figure out the significance and importance, because as everyone watching knows, various judges across the country have issued similar rulings, none of them purporting to apply nationwide, like this one does, and of course, can do.
[19:45:07] GERGEN: So, does this mean tomorrow morning when somebody tries to get on a plane somewhere in the Middle East or elsewhere and come from one of these seven countries, that that person has a visa --
CALLAN: Well, it doesn't mean --
GERGEN: What happens to that person?
CALLAN: It doesn't mean our borders are just open to anybody that wants to come in -- no. We go back to the old set of rules.
BURNETT: So, if you have a visa and you're coming from --
CALLAN: If you have a visa, you can come in.
BURNETT: -- Iran, you can come.
CALLAN: Immigration will do what, well, you called secondary screening, which was done under the Obama administration. You have a visa, but there's something suspicious about your background, they can pull you off at the airport.
BURNETT: Right, but it's back to the way things were the day before Trump put the executive order out.
GERGEN: Can they quietly ratchet up the vetting?
CALLAN: The secondary vetting?
CALLAN: Well, technically, I guess they could, but if caught, they would be acting in an unconstitutional way and subject to lawsuits.
BURNETT: So, as we said, customs and border protection says they are going to comply with all court orders. This, of course, is now the court order that is the law of the land constitutionally.
Let's go to Rene Marsh.
Rene, we're trying to get an understanding of what is about to happen at this nation's airports. What can you tell us?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you, Erin, there are not a lot of people who have answers at this point. Customs and Border Protection, which is essentially tasked with enforcing this, they themselves, we just got off the phone with them, and they're trying to figure this all out.
They have not received the text of this judge's ruling, so they haven't had a chance to review it, digest it, and figure out how they react to it. So, that's the space that we're in now.
However, a spokesperson did tell me that, you know, they from the very beginning said that they would comply with any court order, so that is that. As far as the confusion that this now creates, it just creates another layer here. I mean, we saw the confusion when this ban was first put into place with the airlines, and now you have this ruling.
And many people involved, whether it's the people who will need to enforce it, and the airlines to a certain extent would need to enforce it as well. They're kind of sitting there not quite sure what to do and how this all pans out. Does this mean that airlines will now go back to, as you all were just talking about, the way things were before? Or do they continue to do what this travel ban said that it should do?
It is unclear. I guess the answer here for you, Erin, is no one knows what happens next.
BURNETT: Yes, no one knows, right? And now it's sort of will it be a frenzied two or three days? Will the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals be able to move more quickly?
The solicitor general of Washington -- of course, Washington state where this ruling came down from federal district court, is speaking out. Here's what he is saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOAH PURCELL, WASHINGTON STATE SOLICITOR GENERAL: Is the executive order in its entirety blocked? And the technical answer to that is no. We only challenged the parts that are actually sort of affecting people immediately, which are the parts about refugees and the parts about targeting these seven countries for not being allowed to enter the country.
So, technically, we were challenging parts 3 and part 5 of the order. A lot of the other parts are things like policy statements, long-term directives to the Department of Homeland Security that do not have immediate impact, so we weren't challenging those right away. But the parts that were getting so much attention and causing harm to people, stranding them overseas and such, are enjoined right away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So, Paul, when we hear that, when he says challenging parts of it, I want to be clear, these are the parts that everybody has been talking about so much. This is refugees and the seven countries.
CALLAN: Right. These are the parts about keeping people, Muslims in particular, out of the United States. The rest of the order, there are lots of things in the order involving gathering statistics so that we can study safety in terms of the screening process.
BURNETT: They're not touching any of that.
CALLAN: No, they're not touching that. This is only directly relevant to people getting into the country.
BURNETT: All right. So, Jeff Toobin, I believe I still have you. And I want to ask you what you think the significance of this moment is. I know you said that Barack Obama had been dealt a similar blow by a federal district court, but this is -- this is a moment in history, in a sense, that this is happening at this point, at this moment.
TOOBIN: Absolutely. This is an epic confrontation between the court system and the executive branch. I mean, we have three branches of government. They are often in conflict but rarely on such a dramatic and immediate way as right now. I think it's important to emphasize that this is one important act in a -- but it is going to be a long drama, and there will be many judges involved and there will be many courts involved.
And so, I think all we can say is stay tuned as everyone tries to figure out what this means, especially for the people who are on line at airports in a very practical sense.
[19:50:05] BURNETT: So, let me try to get a bottom line of where we are, and I want all of our viewers to understand here, now a federal judge halting the Trump travel ban nationwide, constitutionally allowed to do so. Customs and Border Control say they will comply with court orders. We have not yet heard from the Trump administration. Silent right now as they're figuring out what their response will be.
What is the timeline, Paul, we're talking about here? They're going to come out and slam it. It's going to go to a Court of Appeals. I mean, is this something that gets resolved tonight or is this something that as you --
CALLAN: It could get resolved tonight. You know, the circuit court could assign a judge to look at it and decide whether a stay should be issued, whether we should, you know, step back and decide it more slowly.
And the other thing you have to emphasize is we're not at a constitutional crisis situation yet because border -- customs and border have said we're going to follow the judge's order. And as long as the judge's order is followed --
BURNETT: So, they're now following the judge's order, they say, and not the president.
CALLAN: Well, but that's how our system works. Federal judges rule on constitutionality and presidents traditionally abide by what they say, until the administration says we are going to ignore that order, we don't have a constitutional crisis.
BURNETT: We will see what the president says. We are awaiting that as we await a response from the White House here. We'll be back in a moment with more on our breaking news.
BURNETT: We are following breaking news: a federal judge granting a Washington attorney general request to immediately halt President Trump's executive order on immigration nationwide. Customs and Border Control say they will comply with that judge's ruling.
This is an issue that has divided America, and as we await the White House's response tonight, we talk to a group of Arizona women who love Trump and their support for him and this ban unwavering.
[19:55:04] Tonight, we go back to Arizona where you met them first a year ago to hear what they say now with Martin Savidge OUTFRONT.
BROOKE STECK, VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: I was so elated, I could hardly stand it. It was like the best early Christmas present I could have gotten.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These Arizona women love everything about President Donald Trump and can't understand it if you don't.
ROSALIE WRIGHT, VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: If anybody in this country is against anything he said he's going to do, I really worry about their judgment.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Has he made any slip-ups, blunders, any mistakes in your mind?
STECK: Not at this point for me.
SAVIDGE: The people he's surrounding himself with, the cabinet choices?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my gosh!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Incredible people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just incredible people.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): But some wonder, is he moving too fast?
STECK: No. He's going to move forward quickly because he's going to do exactly what he said he's going to do. I don't think he's moving fast at all. I say keep on going.
SAVIDGE: They see nothing wrong with the president but plenty wrong with everyone else, beginning with Democratic opposition in Congress.
EILEEN EAGAR, VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I think that's a terrible thing that the left is doing to hold things up, and it's so purposeful.
SAVIDGE (on camera): But doesn't that sound see much like what the Republicans were doing during the Obama administration?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They showed up.
SAVIDGE: How is it different? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they showed up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democrats are not even showing up.
EAGAR: These people are actually not even showing up for the vote.
CRYSTAL JUNIOR, VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: People really dislike him. I don't understand it, because I love him. I love who he is. I love his transparency.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Speaking of transparency --
(on camera): What about the tweeting? Should that have stopped or should he control it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it.
EAGAR: You know what it does? It leaves you out.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): The you Eileen is referring to is the mainstream media, which the group blames for what they see is a nonstop barrage of negative news about the president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you push and you push and you push and you don't back off. And frankly, I'm fed up with it.
SAVIDGE: It's not the only thing these Trump voters are fed up with. They're also sick of the demonstrators who they say can't accept that Hillary Clinton lost.
STECK: Get over it, move on, let the man get to work and better our country. Stop with the protests.
SAVIDGE: Speaking of moving on, what's with Trump seeming fixation on the inauguration crowd size?
(on camera): Why was he bothered?
JUNIOR: I think it's fair for him to defend himself. That's all.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): And what about the president's claim of widespread voter fraud, for which he's offered no proof and officials say didn't happen?
(on camera): Do you believe president Trump when he says he thinks there was several million votes cast illegally?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
EAGAR: And I'm really glad that he's checking that system out, just like he's checking out the immigration problem. SAVIDGE (voice-over): Trump's immigration executive order is another
issue these supporters see differently. Seeing the move not as discriminatory but, rather, about safety for Americans.
STECK: You know, as a mother of four kids, I feel that it is the right of my children to grow up in a country where they feel safe.
SAVIDGE: But what about refugee children who are now banned from reaching the safety of America?
WRIGHT: If we lead with our emotions, this country's sunk. You can't lead with your emotions.
SAVIDGE: It's not all gloom and doom. Despite the differences they see, these women believe we can unite as a nation under President Trump. In fact, they say we already did, for a brief period, Inauguration Day.
BONNIE HAYMORE, VOTED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: It was just touching.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Yes, it was a very remarkable event.
HAYMORE: It was a wonderful two or three hours and everybody was just like, yeah, this is a transfer of power, peaceful, this is how America is.
BURNETT: Martin Savidge joins me from Tucson.
Martin, another stunning, amazing-to-watch conversation. And you've had a chance to get to know these women in the sense that you've talked to them several times since the beginning of last year, often at times of controversy from Trump. They have always been honest with you, forthright as to their point of view.
SAVIDGE: Yes, they have.
BURNETT: What strikes you most about their commitment to him?
SAVIDGE: They don't hold anything back, but one thing's certain is despite what you might say were the ups and downs, and definitely downs during the campaign for Donald Trump, they never wavered. They were absolutely convinced that not only should he be president, he was the president that this country needed. And now some would say two tumultuous weeks into his term in office, they believe that more strongly than ever. They are actually reinvigorated to see the way the first 14 days have gone.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you so much, Martin Savidge. An amazing report, the view, bringing the view of those women again to you as we will continue to do.
The breaking news at this hour on what could be a stunning blow to President Trump's travel ban, though -- a federal judge at this hour granting a Washington attorney general request to immediately halt the president's executive order on immigration nationwide. It was a stunning development.
And at this time, still silence from the White House. We are waiting for a response. This news breaking only about 30 minutes ago.
Thanks for joining us. It's time for Anderson.