Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SATURDAY
Federal Judge Halts Trump's Travel Ban Nationwide; Worldwide Outcry Against Trump's Travel Ban; Countdown to Super Bowl LI; Protest Against Cleveland Clinic Hosting Fundraiser at Trump Resort. Aired 7- 8a ET
Aired February 4, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Government is reinstating visas and is, quote, "back in business as usual."
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
PAUL: Welcome to Saturday, so grateful for your company as always, I'm Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world.
This morning, the White House is on the defense. After a federal judge puts a nationwide stop to President Trump's travel ban. That is for now. It is a temporary order.
PAUL: It is. But the Trump administration is vowing to mount a legal challenge to that ruling from Washington state. The attorney general there says, quote, "No one is above the law, not even the president." Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB FERGUSON, WASHINGTON ATTORNEY GENERAL: Judge Robart's decision effective immediately, effective now, puts a halt to President Trump's unconstitutional and unlawful executive order. I want to repeat that. It puts a stop to it immediately, nationwide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: One airline executive told us last night the government was in the process of reinstating those visas. We do not know the status of that effort at the moment. Still, major airlines now say they are boarding travelers who were previously caught in that ban.
BLACKWELL: Also today, anti-Trump protests are expected in major cities for what will be the third straight weekend. Thousands are expected to march in New York and Washington. Cities in Florida as well. London and Paris we're watching, too.
We have a team of reporters, getting reaction from around the world. And our legal experts, they're standing by as well to break down what this ruling means and what comes next.
Let's go to Washington first. CNN's Ryan Nobles is there with reaction.
Ryan, what are you hearing?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, what we believe is that this is just really the beginning of what could be a lengthy and bitter legal battle that the White House has vowed to take right up until the very end. But make no mistake, this ruling from a judge in Washington state last will have a swift and immediate impact on the status of Trump's immigration order. That travel ban from seven Muslim majority countries.
Effectively visas can be begin to be reissued as soon as possible. Now there were some 60,000 visas that were revoked last weekend. And we don't know yet what the status is of those visas for people traveling from those countries but this all stems from that emergency temporary restraining order that was put in place nationwide by that judge in Washington state that effectively put an end to that travel ban.
And last weekend, we saw chaos at airports around the country and around world as travelers from those countries were told that they could not arrive here in the United States. And some that arrived here in the United States were told that they were going to be sent back to their home countries.
Now the attorney general from Washington state who argued this case, Bob Ferguson, said, yes, there could be more chaos again this week as a result but he said that's not his fault. It's the fault of the White House. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FERGUSON: The question what changed, because this happened at 4:00, were to be some confusion. I'll tell you where you there's been confusion. The president's executive order. That's what caused confusion. I'm sorry, there's no other way to put it, it's keystone cops, it really is. That's not just me speaking, that's Republican members of Congress. Right? That's what's caused confusion.
And -- so no, I don't worry about the confusion. There's nothing confusing about the judge's order. And the federal government will be expected to abide by it, and they will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: Meanwhile, the White House has vowed to take legal action as soon as possible. This is what Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, had to say in a statement last night. "At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the president which we believe is lawful and appropriate. The president's order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people."
So even though this emergency restraining order was put in place, there's still a lot of legal uncertainty as to the future of this executive order. That's why those who could travel from the United States to these countries of which they originally are from, are being told in many cases just to stay here in the United States because this legal battle still has to play out.
The Department of Justice has yet to formally time that appeal and ask for that emergency stay. That could come at anytime. We're keeping a close eye on that, we'll have an update on it when we get that information, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. Ryan Nobles in Washington, thank you.
PAUL: Want to go now to CNN's Rachel Crane at JFK airport. Last week we were sitting here talking about the fact that people were not able to get on plane. What's happening there this morning, Rachel?
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, there's still a lot of uncertainty surrounding how this new ruling will impact travelers around the world and here at JFK. Now CBP officials had a conference call last night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time with all the major airlines. And according to one airline executive that's -- the CBP official said that it will be business back to usual prior to this executive order.
[07:05:03] Now that motivated American Airlines to take down their travel ban from their Web site. Also several airlines putting out statements saying that they will in fact allow people to board with valid visas including Qatar Airlines and Air France. Air France putting out a statement saying, "Air France takes note of the decision to suspend the presidential decree of 27 January 2017, prohibiting entry into the U.S. for citizens of seven countries -- Yemen, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Iraq. Consequently and subject to satisfying the conditions of entry into the United States from today, Air France will accept passengers from the country concerned on its flights to the U.S."
Now advocacy groups are proceeding with caution. Some people saying -- some advocacy groups encouraging people to take advantage of this moment of uncertainty. In fact, we spoke to a lawyer here on the grounds who said they were working with two clients to try and get them flights. To take advantage of this moment. But other advocacy groups saying that they don't want to get people's hopes up, and they're just going to see how this all plays out.
Now we know that the executive order impacted 60,000 people whose visas were revoked from them. We know now that the Department of State is working with the Department of Homeland Security to see how this stay will impact travelers and those visas. And as you pointed out, last weekend, we saw a massive protest here at JFK and across the country. We'll see how today plays out -- Christi, Victor.
PAUL: Well, we know there are definitely protests planned in major cities across the country. New York included. Rachel Crane, we appreciate it. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney David Cevallos and immigration attorney Jessica Stern. Welcome back. And Danny, I want to start with you. And first an
appreciate for the breadth of this judge's ruling. There have been other rulings over the last eight days or so that were limited in scope to specific districts or specific elements of the president's executive order. But what Judge Robart's order is quote broad.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It certainly is. And the judge even more interestingly uses a Fifth Circuit case which involved the previous administration for the proposition that immigration law should be enforced not just in his district but in a uniform manner throughout the country. And the court uses its inherent power in little district court in the state of Washington to strike down the policy nationwide.
But meanwhile, back east in the First Circuit, the administration might decide to say that, hey, we're going to follow this district court in another part of the country, and this is going to continue. We're going to keep getting this patchwork as different courts decide this issue. It's something that will have to be resolved first by the circuit courts and ultimately, very likely by the Supreme Court.
BLACKWELL: So, Jessica, last hour, when you were with us, you told us that despite the pending appeal from the government, despite the uncertainty, you would advise people in these seven countries to get on to planes now and try to come to the U.S. Why?
JESSICA STERN, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Yes, I would. These are people who have proven to the Department of State that they are entering the U.S. for the purpose of their visa. So it's the burden of the person who is applying for the visa to prove after a lot of difficult questioning and having to make sure that nothing is said that indicates any other intention than the reason for their visa, so people who are coming on a student visa, that they are only coming for that purpose, or people who are coming for the purposes of joining their spouse, or to get married in the next few months, even.
STERN: These are people that have plans, jobs, schools that they need to attend and they need to get here because they were granted that visa and have the right to enter.
BLACKWELL: And we need to be careful, Jessica. I caught myself this morning having this conversation and using two terms that often come with a stigma that is unfair. Refugees and migrants. But as you point out, these are students, these are professionals, these are tourists, these are espouses coming to be with their significant others, so we should be careful about how we discuss the people who are trying to come in from these seven countries.
STERN: That's right. It's not only the refugees that are being prohibited from entering with Donald Trump's order, it's everyone who has something other than a permanent resident status who is prohibited from coming in from the seven countries. And it affects a large number of people that are coming in for a lot of different reasons. And the refugee vetting process is very, very difficult. There are clients of mine who have been waiting two years just for --
just the wife and child of someone from a country that's not even suspected of terrorism. And it's taken two years to join the family. So this is not an easy vetting process for either the refugee applicants or visa entrants.
[07:10:02] BLACKWELL: Yes, Danny, your expectation of a timeline here, do you expect that we'll hear or see that appeal filed? We know it's filed electronically so they could do it at any hour sometime this morning, sometime today or tomorrow?
CEVALLOS: Things are moving very quickly. I mean, we went from yesterday just having an oral order that was relayed to us by word of mouth to having a written order to having a statement by the White House that they will appeal. So the Ninth Circuit, they can appeal to the Ninth Circuit, and theoretically they could hear it even over the weekend. We could have action on this within just the next couple of days. But the ball is firmly in the court of the government at this point. And by the government, I mean the White House and the Department of Justice.
BLACKWELL: Are there any protections, Jessica, for people who I guess essentially did what they did last weekend? They get on to a plane, they have valid visas. Midflight, there is potentially a stay of Judge Robart's order, this temporary restraining order, and by the time they get on the ground, they're banned again. What protections, if any, are there for those people?
STERN: Well, if you are detained by the government and your freedom is restricted, you have the ability to file a habeas corpus petition challenging your constitutional violation. The right to have a court be involved in the process, to make sure that you are really properly being protected. And that your rights aren't being violated unlawfully. So ultimately, there are protections in place if you have the ability to enter the United States and you have a right and approved entrance into the United States.
But it's going to be tough because the government's going to need to allow lawyers to have access to people that are detained and that was an issue throughout this week as well. But we're hoping that border protection will follow the order and will allow visa entrance into the United States without an issue.
BLACKWELL: All right. Danny Cevallos and Jessica Stern, thank you both.
STERN: Thank you.
PAUL: We watch this week the disappointment and even disgust some have said over President Trump's travel ban not just across the nation but this morning, around the globe. Several protests overnight expected to continue throughout the day. We'll talk about that.
BLACKWELL: And later Cleveland Clinic doctors and medical students protest the president's travel ban, calling on the clinic to cancel a fundraiser at Trump's resort in Florida. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[07:15:42] PAUL: So good to have you with us. Breaking news this morning, the White House scrambling to challenge a federal judge in Seattle who blocked President Trump's immigration order.
BLACKWELL: Now following the judge's order, airlines will begin reinstating visas that were cancelled when the order took effect last weekend. At least the government will and airlines will allow them to fly. Air France says it will accept passengers from countries restricted by the president's immigration order. Refugees, migrants, visitors, professionals all coming to the U.S. with valid visas will also be allowed to travel.
Now the White House is expected to call in the Department of Justice to file an emergency stay of that order. That could happen at any moment.
PAUL: Haroon Moghul joins us -- Moghul joins us again here. He's a senior fellow and director of development in the Center on Global Policy.
So, Haroon, if you could sit down with -- if you could sit down with President Trump, what would you say to him?
HAROON MOGHUL, SENIOR FELLOW, CENTER ON GLOBAL POLICY: If I could sit down with President Trump -- I think I should sit down with Steve Bannon, but given that probably that's not the question, I would say to him that if he actually wants to keep America safe, he needs to keep a few things in mind. The first is what you telegraph as the president is what the rest of the world hears including our enemies. So being afraid of engaging with the world and being afraid of huge numbers of people and blanket bans does not communicate strength or confidence.
Second, if you want to actually defeat terrorism not just to block terrorists from our borders, you need to build alliances with people. And slapping people in the face as the Iraqi government described the travel ban is not really going to be helpful. You can't tell people we want you to help fight and die for us or with us but you're not good enough to enter our country.
And third, don't forget that the way you win is through divide and conquer. The saber rattling with Iran, for example, the hostility towards Mexico, all these things creating more opportunities for friction around the world when you're focused on a singular fight isn't really helpful. Those are the three things I would say to him if I had the chance.
PAUL: So what would you say to people who are in Iran, who are in Iraq, who are in Libya, who are trying to get to the U.S., who were not able to do so last weekend. Would you advise them to get on a plane based on what we're seeing today that they are opening up, they are allowed to come in in at least this window of opportunity right now? MOGHUL: I can't -- of course, I can't issue legal advice. I don't
have that training or that professional specialization. What I would say to people across the world is that, while yes, he is the president of the United States, there are a lot of people in this country who disagree with what he's doing and who stand up to what he's doing. And if you -- if we saw -- of course, we're talking about -- the restriction on the travel ban from the state of Washington and the state of Minnesota, that case, that represents really the best of democracy. And that's the whole point of a democracy and checks and balances that when the executive goes too far, there's a mechanism through the judiciary, to popular protests, to other forms of engagement to push back and to try to find a policy that's more acceptable and that's more moral.
PAUL: So -- let me put it this way, if you were in another country right now, and you saw this window of opportunity to get there, would you take it?
MOGHUL: It's a great question. And I'll say that since a lot of the people who were affected by this travel ban are people who have built their lives here, absolutely, yes, I would take it. If this is your home, if you have family here, if you have a spouse, if you have kids, if you have parents, if you have a career here, an education here, you should not be denied or cut off from that part of your life which -- it's so much of your life. So I would.
PAUL: And real quickly, how do you think we can -- how do you think we can dissipate the fears on both sides of this and bring people together? How do you think unity is possible?
MOGHUL: That's a great question right now in this moment. It's challenging. My personal feeling is that Donald Trump represents a fundamental threat to democracy. And as such, the resistance to him has to be inclusive of popular protest, of engagement with Democratic politics, with pushing back wherever we can and taking a stand against whatever values he targets in whatever order he targets them, whether that's LGBT communities, whether that's religious minorities, whether that's people of color, whether that's women.
But at the same time it's important to reach out to the people who voted for Donald Trump and to explain to them that his policies are actually bad for them. If he alienates Iraq and Iran and he makes the Middle East more unstable, if he makes it harder for us to have allies in the war against terrorism who is actually going to bear that burden?
[07:20:02] Who is going to fight those wars? Who's going to be out there risking their lives? It's not going to be him. It's not going to be the billionaires he's stacking his Cabinet with. It's going to be everyday Americans. We're the ones who are going to suffer those.
PAUL: Haroon Moghul, we appreciate your thoughts as always. Thank you for taking the time to be here.
MOGHUL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Let's bring in now Jack Kingston, a former senior adviser to the president's then campaign and a former Georgia congressman.
Congressman Kingston, good morning to you.
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So when we spoke last week, you believe that there was enough of a national security risk to support the president's executive order banning people coming in from these seven countries, do you believe this morning, are you comfortable with people now coming in from these seven countries that were listed or highlighted by this executive order?
KINGSTON: Well, let me make sure that we do clarify that the seven nations that were identified were identified by the Obama administration as ones not having thorough vetting process and thorough documentation in their own countries. And they're also countries that are known to have terrorist training camps. So the reason the Obama administration designated these seven nations is not arbitrary. Now should we have --
BLACKWELL: But let me add -- let me add here as you finish this answer, for the specific reason of the visa waiver program they were highlighted.
KINGSTON: Yes, now let me say in terms of something like a global entry for professional travelers, for people who are in the military, for families that are infirmed, something like a pre-check, I think that that certainly is necessary. As you know, the order allowed the Department of Homeland Security to do those waivers but they were not quick enough and they were not clear enough with that. 60,000 people having these visas, I think the Homeland Security has a role in sorting those out.
As you know, however, the case in the state of Washington and Minnesota was -- that decision was one judge, whereas the contrary decision in Massachusetts was made by a collection of judges, an appellate court. So if you're the Supreme Court and you weigh in the two, you may say the one in Massachusetts really has a higher value because more than one judge made the decision. But I don't know that. And I would say that what the White House is going to do right now is appeal in the Ninth Circuit, are the Washington and the Minnesota case. So they're going to play that one out, as I understand it.
But I do think, again, the Department of Homeland Security, to weigh in their insight, let us clarify who gets waivers and who doesn't. But moving forward beyond the 60,000 people, you still have the question about vetting the other people. And so that where I think the future of this discussion needs to go.
BLACKWELL: Well, that conversation could have commenced instead of this executive order which is in part the rebuttal that we are hear from so many who are fighting this executive order. Let me ask you about this, though, OK. There was the statement that came out from the White House, and they -- Sean Spicer released this calling initially an outrageous order. And then omitted the word "outrageous." What do you glean from something that does not happen that very often, coming back to take out a word of the a statement from the White House?
KINGSTON: Well, there was obviously a discussion within the White House on using that word, and whoever said get it out got it out. But, you know, I do think a lot of this could be helped if we had his Cabinet nominees picked. We didn't have a secretary of State last week. We don't have an attorney general right now. When Barack Obama was in his first week in office, they had 12 Cabinet nominees sworn in. Donald Trump has had four because of Democrat delays.
I think it's in everybody's interest to go ahead and get the president's team in place. You know, when the left talks about let's get along, why not start with letting the president of the United States have his team on board.
BLACKWELL: OK. But what about the nominees? The president has, according to "The Washington Post" reporting, has submitted fewer than 6 percent of those top-level executive positions. We're talking about 6 percent of the 700 leaders of these departments. Only the secretary of Energy, only the secretary of Labor, only the secretary of Interior, only the secretary of Agriculture. And there are more than a dozen top positions there. So while Republicans call for Democrats to confirm these nominees, where are the other 94 percent of the president's nominees?
KINGSTON: Well, the reason is you want to start with the boss so to speak and then let the secretary of Agriculture get his own assistant and deputies. So you have to start with the number one person. And what the Democrats are doing every time they ask a -- answer a question, then the Democrats ask for more information. And then they claim there's not sufficient information to make a decision.
This is -- this is absolute partisanship. And we know that. What they're doing is just dragging. Why not give the same team -- the team in place for Trump that the Republicans did for Obama? It's only fair.
[07:25:01] And I think then going forward, you can eliminate some of this confusion and you can have a better discussion and a better process up front.
BLACKWELL: Well, the Democrats will say that they have some serious questions about some of these nominees. But they've made their case. And we'll continue to have that conversation.
Jack Kingston, former congressman from Georgia, thanks so much.
KINGSTON: Thank you, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All right. President Trump's executive order not only -- not necessarily, I should say getting any ringing engagement endorsement from around the country. We're going to have a look at his approval ratings as it relates to the travel ban, to the wall, after a just a few weeks in office.
PAUL: Want to show you a live look at London right now. A lot of people out what looks to be dreary day for an anti-Trump immigration ban rally. That's what's under way right now. These protests are planning to march down Downing Street, the federal government preparing to reinstate visas, as we speak. That's the news this morning.
So, again, these protests, not just in London, but in Paris, also some here in the United States. We know Miami, New York, are going to see some protests today as well. But what has happened overnight is with this judge's ruling, it's put a temporary halt on the president's immigration ban.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And we are seeing those demonstrations expected as we said Paris, Sidney, Jakarta, Indonesia there. As to the protests as we know coming up and down the East Coast today, we've got the times here. They're starting at 1:00 in Washington, in Miami, in Philadelphia as well.
[07:30:02] Then at 2:00 there's the LGBT solidarity rally in New York. And in West Palm Beach there is a march at 6:00 p.m. this evening.
PAUL: Citizens in Iraq seemed to be taking Trump's executive order personally.
Here's CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman joining us live from Baghdad, Iraq.
Ben, on this latest news that the travel ban has opened up the way for people to get to the U.S. Do you see any activity at the airport there?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, there's no activity, Christie, in fact, most people only heard about the news when they woke up. It was probably too late to get on a flight. There are, of course, no direct flights from Iraq to the United States anyway.
Thousands of people did take to the streets of Baghdad today, however, but it was for the annual Baghdad marathon. Now some of the people we did speak to about this latest twist in this week-long saga regarding the travel ban, most people said they don't understand what's going on in the United States. They find the policy -- to use some of these adjectives -- confusing, ambiguous. Unclear. It's just not clear what the situation will be, even if you were to be able to get on an airplane and fly in the direction of United States, one man says, what happens, I'll arrive there, they'll throw me in jail or they'll put me back on a plane back to Iraq?
So people are waiting. Keep in mind, it's very difficult to get an American visa. It takes quite a long time. You have to pay money. And then an air ticket is quite expensive. So I think at the moment, people are just sitting, waiting, hoping that there's some sort of clarity because at the moment there isn't any -- Christie.
PAUL: Very good point. Ben Wedeman, appreciate it so much. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: All right. So we're pushing forward on this breaking news. The next element here is what will be the federal government's response? We're expecting that could be filed at any moment. And that's what we're waiting on as we cover this from all angles. We'll be right back.
PAUL: If you're looking for a mortgage, guess what, they're down this week. Here's your look.
[07:35:41] PAUL: Welcome back. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.
PAUL: Any moment now we could get the Justice Department's response to a federal judge's ruling that blocks President Trump's travel ban.
BLACKWELL: That judge temporarily stopped the executive order that kept people seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. and suspended or indefinitely halted refugee programs. Initially, the White House called the decision outrageous. But later dialed back the language omitting that word saying the DOJ would file an emergency stay at the earliest time possible.
Now U.S. Customs and Border Protection is working to reinstate previously cancelled travel visas and alerted airlines to begin admitting people trying to come into those -- to U.S. from those countries to allow them to board those flights.
PAUL: Want to bring in CNN political commentator Errol Louis, CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier, and the White House correspondent for the "Washington Examiner," Sara Westwood.
Thank you all for being here. We appreciate it. Errol, I want to start with you. How do you think the administration will argue the validity of the ban now that they have to do so?
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the validity of the ban, we'll get some clues to it and the response is going to be worth paying attention to because for the injunction that's sought, you have to sort of show irreparable harm. You have to show that there's a likelihood to succeed on the merits. If they're going to argue the other way, the government now has to come back and say we've got some likelihood to succeed. We've got some problems as far as irreparable harm and protecting the public interests.
And they're going to have to start to really sort of make the case for why they wanted to do this. Up to now, really what we've heard so far, Christie, is them sort of saying this was a campaign promise and we're going to go ahead and do it. They've made some vague claims to enhancing public safety. They're going to have to be a lot more specific. And that's what I'll be looking for with the DOJ response comes in.
PAUL: Kimberly, we've been seeing the images from London already this morning. A lot of people there as they walk into Downing Street to oppose the travel ban here. And we need to keep in mind, this isn't just a ban on refugees and migrants. This involves anyone who has a permanent residence status, like business travelers, tourists. What do you make of the reaction we're seeing around the world to this one executive order?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the fact of the matter is, though, the White House keeps stressing that this is not a Muslim ban. That is how it's being perceived. And even once this gets sorted out in the coming weeks, it's going to leave lasting bitterness.
I've been speaking to Iraqi translators who worked with the U.S. military. They talked about feeling like they've been called a traitor by being banned for this period of time. Even though that situation was eventually resolved and they're now exempted from the travel ban. So the fallout for this internationally could complicate the White House's goals in terms of moving forward with some foreign plans because a lot of European diplomats I'm speaking to are also saying that their populations are looking at the U.S. right now and see the U.S.' reputation much diminished by this.
PAUL: So, Sarah, when we put that into perspective the phone calls the president will have to have with world leaders, how do you think this is going to affect any of that kind of business?
SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, look, clearly there has been a big backlash to this order. The uncertainty over people who have dual citizenship, people who have valid visas, people who are en route to the United States when Trump signed it, none of that should have happened. And there were a half dozen contingencies at least that the administration clearly didn't think through. And now President Trump is being forced to expend political capital to clean up a policy that should have been an easy win for them because even with the rollout of this thing being sloppy as it was, keep in mind that about half of Americans still support it.
So it is tempting for Democrats now to fall into the same trap of mercilessly criticizing the policy. But they risk making the same mistakes Hillary Clinton did by criticizing it but not offering up solutions because it is still supported by about half of Americans.
PAUL: OK. I think it's 47 percent agree with the travel ban, 53 percent oppose it.
[07:40:03] Sarah, what is the White House going to do? And I'm go to ask you the same question I asked Errol, how do they argue the validity of this? And in terms of a timeline, how soon are we going to hear from the White House?
WESTWOOD: Well, certainly, it's in their interests to move as quickly as possible to put this uncertainty to rest given the other -- given the other order in Seattle. So they're going to move forward and seek an order likely in a district court maybe in the eastern side and have that order maybe supersede the one in Seattle.
PAUL: Errol, let's look at the CNN/ORC approval poll that came out this week. The president's been in office for essentially two weeks and when we look at his approval rating in that amount of time, 44 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove. That is the lowest rating of any president in recent history as far as we can tell. There you have it, President Obama, it was 76 percent at this point. George W. Bush at 58 percent. Bill Clinton at 59 percent at this point.
What do you make of how that number will affect what he does moving forward?
LOUIS: Well, you know, it's interesting, Christie, my sense is that the number is in part as bad for the president as it is because he hasn't wanted to move it in any other direction. I can't point to a single gesture in the last two weeks, in these first two weeks, in which he decided he was going to try to make peace with some of the people who were skeptical or even hostile to him and his agenda. In fact, they've gone in the opposite direction.
So my sense is that he's going to try and figure out how to govern even without popularity on his side. They will make it much, much more difficult when it gets into negotiations with Congress. There are some people who do sort of worry about their popularity numbers. And you know, we can start with the 23 odd Republican members of the House of Representatives whose districts were won by Hillary Clinton, who did not have a lot of Trump support on one level. So he's going to have to really figure out what he wants to do and who if anybody he wants to bring over to his side going forward.
PAUL: And Kimberly, really quickly, this is a man who was a businessman, who was used to protecting his brand. Politics doesn't fall into that same category. Do you think that we will see a transition from business leader to political leader?
DOZIER: Well, I think he's going to get the message from Capitol Hill from Republican lawmakers I've been speaking to over the past couple of days. They're hearing from their constituents who are not happy about how this has been handled. And the message is going to be, if you want to work with us on your other initiatives, you can't have another messy rollout like this. You've got to get professional. You've got to clean up your act.
PAUL: All right. Errol Louis, Kimberly Dozier, Sarah Westwood, always appreciate having your voices in the conversation. Thank you.
LOUIS: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: More on the breaking news in just a moment. But first the excitement growing for tomorrow's Super Bowl. Andy Scholes is in Houston. We'll talk to him in just a moment.
[07:46:33] BLACKWELL: Tom Brady looking to win another Super Bowl tomorrow. Set a record this time with the Patriots take the field against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
PAUL: Andy Scholes have a hard job. He's in Houston right now. I wonder what he's been doing this morning. Andy?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys. Yes, it's so tough here in Houston especially since this is my hometown. It's been such an exciting week. And you know, this week, we really have seen a different Tom Brady. On opening night, he got emotional when talking about how his dad is his hero. Then later in the week, he got emotional once again when telling us that it's been a tough year for his family because his mom has been dealing with a health issue all year long. And she hasn't been able to come to one of his games the entire season. So 39 years old, Brady seems to be reflecting on what's been an incredible career. And he said he owes it all to his family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: You owe so much to your family, and your wife and your spouse or people who support you because they're pulling the burden at home for us to live our dream. And our dream is so important. But it's not their dream. You know. And they're sacrificing a lot of their loves for what we do. And you want to be able to, you know, reward them as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Now if you're looking for someone to cheer for tomorrow, you got to consider number 63 for the Falcons, Ben Garland. Matt Ryan calls him a jack of all trades because he plays offense, defense and special teams. But get this, when he's not on the football field, Garland is a captain in the Air National Guard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN GARLAND, FALCONS OFFENSIVE LINEBACKER: I wasn't really thinking of my NFL pursuits. I was thinking more so of becoming an Air Force officer and be the best pilot I can be. And I've gone from Air Force officer to playing on offense, playing on defense. Playing both ways, playing special teams. And it's been a journey but I love every moment of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: And we'll be getting you ready for the game later on CNN this afternoon, 2:30, Eastern, "Kickoff in Houston, A CNN Bleacher Report," special former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward alongside John Berman and Coy Wire, going to get you ready for tomorrow's big game.
Now according to the American Gaming Association, $4.7 billion is expected to be wagered on the Super Bowl tomorrow. And you cannot only bet the game, you can bet on all kinds of fun pop bets, and we like to show some of these every year. These are some of my favorites that I've got. You can bet on what color Lady Gaga's hair will be when she performs in half time. Pink takes 10-1. That's pretty good odds there. Another one that caught my eye if there's a score in the first 30
seconds of the game, if you say that's going to happen, it pays 55 to 1. So that would be a big payoff. And finally, this prop bet is rather controllable, will Donald Trump tweet three or more times during the game. According to the odd makers, , 61 percent chance that that happens.
Guys, what do you think? How many tweets do you think we'd see from Donald Trump during the game?
PAUL: I don't know, but I am betting that has never been a bet before now.
BLACKWELL: It is probably the first time. Yes. Yes.
PAUL: Andy Scholes, have fun.
SCHOLES: All right.
BLACKWELL: All right. Coming up, more than a thousand doctors, medical professionals and students are protesting the president's travel ban and the Cleveland Clinic. This comes down to one of their doctors and a fundraiser planned at Trump's resort in Florida.
[07:53:21] BLACKWELL: Nearly a thousand medical students and doctors have signed an open letter urging the Cleveland Clinic to cancel a fundraiser at the president's Mar-a-Lago Resort. And actually let me correct that. There are more than 1400. I just checked. The letter also denounces the president's travel ban and reaffirms its commitment to diversity.
Now many of the signers of this document are medical students at Case Western Reserve which is a university that partners with the clinic.
So let's talk now with M.D. candidate at Case Western, the school of medicine there, Vanessa Van Doran. Good morning to you.
VANESSA VAN DORAN, MD CANDIDATE, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Good morning.
BLACKWELL: So I understand that this in part relates to a doctor, a resident there at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Suha Abushamma, 26 years old. She was in the country with an h1b foreign worker visa. She's from Sudan but she went to Saudi Arabia for vacation but could not get back. After the breaking news that we're seeing happening overnight and today, what's your reaction to now this decision that effectively would allow her to come back into the U.S.?
VAN DORAN: So I mean, that's great. We're very excited about that of course. And it seems a little unclear if there'll be -- you know, what's next with that, if there will be any changes. But the bigger issue, even if that does -- if the ban is reversed and she's able to come back, the focus of our letter was more on the Cleveland Clinic being affiliated with someone who would institute such a ban in the first place.
BLACKWELL: Let me read a portion of the letter. Let's put up on the screen. "Your willingness to hold your fundraiser at a Trump resort is unconscionable prioritization of profit over people. It is impossible for the Cleveland Clinic to reconcile supporting its employees and patients while simultaneously financially and publicly aiding an individual who directly harms them."
[07:55:07] That's just a couple of lines here. You also have some other demands. Explain those.
VAN DORAN: So the -- I mean, the main demand is just for them to relocate the fundraiser. Not to cancel it but to put it -- you know, have it somewhere that's a little bit more morally in line with the goals of a hospital. And the other demand -- I'm sorry?
BLACKWELL: Go ahead. Go ahead.
VAN DORAN: And the other demands are just more about taking a stronger stance on being more active and confirming their support for their residents and employees and for just being openly opposed to this ban and the impact it's having on their patients and on their doctors.
BLACKWELL: Now we reached out to the clinic and they tell us that they've had it at this location, Mar-a-Lago there in Palm Beach before, and I wonder from your perspective is hosting the event at the Trump property a de facto endorsement of the policy?
VAN DORAN: I mean, to me, I think it is. The bigger point is that, you know, if the Cleveland Clinic is raising money for research and for patients, and that's great. But if they're raising it at Trump's, you know, fancy resort, having a Trump size fundraiser, what they're doing is the public is going to perceive that as them becoming sort of like a Trump-style hospital, one that's only providing care, focusing their care on white, Christians, heterosexual people because Trump has made it very clear that those are the people that he values.
You know, and I just think that that definitely doesn't represent the people that I work with at the Cleveland Clinic. I'm sure that's not the type of hospital the Cleveland Clinic aspires to me. And for us, it seems like they have a choice. They can be this Trump-style hospital or they can take a moral stand, you know, actually put action behind their words, stick to their mission statement of being a hospital that provides world class care for everyone and hold this fundraiser somewhere else.
And that's really the question, that's what we will be asking Dr. Cosgrove when we contact him this weekend.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk to Dr. Cosgrove because he's the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. Tony Cosgrove. A member of the president's strategic and policy forum. Their first meeting was yesterday, and the president says he plans to meet with them frequently, economic Cabinet. You're a member to Mr. Cosgrove, would you call on Dr. Cosgrove as the -- I guess the people who used Uber who called on their CEO to pull out. Do you think he should remain as a member of this group?
VAN DORAN: I mean, I absolutely do not think that he should remain a member of the group. I mean I understand the idea that maybe he can influence policy and try to guide things in a better direction. But I think, I mean, Uber CEO pulling out -- the reason that he pulled out is because Trump is not listening to the people on that Cabinet. And so if you can't influence from within like that I think you need to pull out, you need to take a more stance today and we are not affiliate with someone who acts like this.
BLACKWELL: There would be some who argue that the reason the Uber CEO pulled out is because some of his customers were pulling out of using that app.
But, Vanessa Van Doran, thank you so much for being with us. Before we leave here, I got to read this statement from the Cleveland Clinic. We asked one of their representatives to join us. They gave us this instead.
"First and foremost, we are fully committed to the safe return of our employee who was denied entry into the United States. We are incredibly proud of our highly diverse workforce and patient population, a core part of our cultured history. Please know that the sole purpose of our event in Florida is to raise funds for important research to advance cardiovascular medicine that improves patient care. In no way is this connected to anything else but helping patients. The event has been held there for years well before the election."
So that's the side there from Cleveland Clinic.
We've got a lot more to tell you about this morning. The next hour of your NEW DAY starts after a quick break.