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President Trump Reacts to Judge's Temporary Halt on Immigration Ban; Interview with Penn. Congressman Charlie Dent; Interview with Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley; Houston Counting Down to Super Bowl LI. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired February 4, 2017 - 08:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. So grateful to have your company as always. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. The White House is gearing up for a legal battle over President Trump's travel ban. Now this comes after a federal judge strikes a blow to the president's executive order putting a temporary stop to the immigration ban nationwide.

PAUL: This is a ruling that comes from Washington State where the attorney general there says, quote, "No one is above the law, not even the president," unquote.

Now we know one airline executive told CNN the government is in the process of reinstating 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 up in that ban.

But the Trump administration's vow to appeal could set up a second straight weekend of uncertainty at airports across the nation and across the globe.

BLACKWELL: We have a team of reporters and legal experts standing by to break do you know what this ruling means and what comes next. We're going start in Washington with CNN's Ryan Nobles who has reaction from the White House -- Ryan.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, in fact, Victor, we're getting some reaction from the president himself. He in fact just tweeted a message out in the last few minutes. He doesn't specifically address this ruling by a judge in Washington State, but he is certainly talking about this travel ban that his administration put into place.

It says, "When a country is no longer able to say who can and who cannot come in and out, especially for reasons of safety and security, big trouble," with an exclamation point. That tweet from President Donald Trump.

You're seeing it there now if just came down in the last few minutes. Of course, the White House is gearing up for what is going to be a lengthy court battle in reaction to this ruling from the judge in Washington and the myriad of lawsuits that have been filed against this executive order.

In a statement last night the press secretary for Donald Trump, Sean Spicer, released this statement saying, "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."

Essentially what this judge's ruling yesterday says is that the executive order is no longer in place. There is a temporary halt on it and that means visas can once again be issued to travelers from these seven Muslim majority countries which the administration had banned from coming into the United States.

We are still awaiting the official response from the Department of Justice in reaction to this ruling. So there's a lot that still needs to play out here over the next coming days and weeks as in result of this executive order issued by the administration -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, we'll watch it. Ryan Nobles in Washington, thank you.

NOBLES: Thank you.

PAUL: Meanwhile, we want to go to CNN's Rachel Crane at JFK Airport. A very different travel picture today than what was over this week. What are you seeing at the airport there, Rachel?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christi. The scene that we're seeing here at the airport a far cry from the one we saw last weekend. It is relatively calm here. However, there still is a lot of uncertainty about how this new ruling will impact the travelers and the some 60,000 people who had their visas revoked.

Now a lawyer on the ground here did tell us that she is proceeding forward as though people will be allowed to travel here to the U.S. she's working on behalf of two clients who she's trying to get into the U.S. from Iraq before Monday.

Now, advocacy groups are proceeding with caution. Some of them are, in fact, encouraging their clients and people to take advantage of this moment of uncertainty and try and travel to the U.S. as soon as possible. However, other advocacy groups are proceeding with caution.

They're not wanting to give people too much hope and they're saying they're just going to see how all of this plays out. Now, airlines -- some of the airlines have put out statements saying that they will, in fact, lift the travel ban.

The CBC officials held a call with some of the major airlines last night and the airline executive told us that the CBC official said that business will be back to usual. [08:05:11]And they said the government is working on getting those visas reissued but the question is when the visas will be reissued. As I point out it's relatively calm here at JFK, but we do know that protests are planned throughout the country today, including New York City -- Victor, Christi.

PAUL: All right, Rachel Crane, appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates, and constitutional attorney, Page Pate. Good morning to both of you.

So Page, let me start with you. This is not just limited to the district in which that judge presides. This is nationwide and essentially this is something that I guess on paper allows everyone to come back in. Is this as simple as the Customs and Border Protection officials say that business is back to usual?

PAGE PATE, CONSTITUTIONAL ATTORNEY: This is not simple at all, Victor. First of all, I am a little bit concerned about this particular judge in Washington deciding that this order can take effect across the country. The judge was relying on the decision from the Texas case where a federal judge basically stayed President Obama's immigration executive order.

But the law on that issue is not clear and I totally expect the Trump White House and the Justice Department to challenge that part of the order and say, look, you're a federal judge in Washington, that's great. You control your district, but you cannot decide this particular issue for districts across the country.

Because, as we know, there's at least one federal district judge in another part of the country who sees the case very differently. So all it does is create a bunch of confusion for the Customs and Border Patrol agents who are there at the airport, at the border trying to make realtime decisions about who can and cannot come into the country.

BLACKWELL: Laura, let's talk about that because if we look back to the eastern district of New York a week ago that filing was a class action filing. That applied nationwide. But the respective or the successive filings were limited to specific districts, to specific airports. This now nationwide. Any concerns from your perspective?

PATE: Well, Victor -- I'm sorry.


LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There are concerns of course. The key issue here is that you've got the Massachusetts court in the First Circuit of Court of Appeals and you also have Washington State in the Ninth Circuit. You're going to have two battling circuits trying to figure out whether or not this executive order is unconstitutional or unlawful.

Remember the distinction between judges' rulings are very, very, very different. In Washington State, the judge is saying, listen, this is probably an establishment clause violation. Just taking from what he has highlighted as part of the order that he would like to have banned at this point.

And then in Massachusetts the court is saying, not only is this ban not necessarily a Muslim ban, there's not even a right for people with a visa to be able to come to court and try to fight for it. Meaning there's no due process issue here.

So you've got two very different courts with different conclusions, which means this is right for a Supreme Court battle and unfortunately right now we've only got eight justices. This is probably going to take nine.

BLACKWELL: What's the argument if you were making the case for the federal government as we await that appeal from the Department of Justice, Page?

PATE: Well, I would take two arguments. Number one, I would say, look, the federal district judge in Washington based this order on not just the reading of the words in the executive order but what the president has also said. That concern the judge in Massachusetts.

That judge said, look, I'm not concerned with the president said during the campaign. I'm concerned about what this order actually does. So my first argument would be the order itself does not ban Muslims.

And then secondly what I would do is challenge the scope, the jurisdiction of the judge who said I'm going to have this order in place across the country. But I don't know that those arguments will ultimately be successful.

But what we have to remember at this point is not one single judge has actually determined that the order is unconstitutional. There's a good chance that's going to happen, but at this point still uncertainty.

COATES: And remember, Victor, that the real issue here is the timing of how it's brought in to court. We're not talking about either judge having sided the merits or the constitutionality. We're talking about two judges said whether or not we can stop, take a pause, and figure out what argument should be made.

But again, the big elephant in the room here is there is a lot of deference has given to the president of the United States in terms of national security in deciding who come into the country.

And so you will have this kind of weighing of factors, one the one hand, national security that I think the White House is espousing. On the other hand, whether that interest tramples on our establishment clause.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about that deference, Laura, because the judge here, Judge Robart, was careful to highlight the judicial branch, as an equal member of this tri-part government to establish his authority to make this ruling while we're hearing from some of the supporters of the executive order that this judge, at least from their characterization, tried to override the president.

[08:10:00]COATES: Now, you know, it's so interesting because in a week where we've already had a nomination of a Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch, who is very, very much a staunch believer in the three-party system and separation of power and trying to restore that each branch has different powers and can't be trampled on, we have a judge who is being questioned for that very reason.

And so it's very important I think contextually of how this will actually turn out, but at its core this is only a pause. This is the courts saying, listen, I'd like to hear both arguments. And of course, one of the fallouts from Sally Yates firing is that the Department of Justice probably scrambling to figure out why the same argument they made in Massachusetts gave them a victory and the same one in Washington State gave them a loss. So it's going to be a balance.

BLACKWELL: Within hours of one another. Page, quickly, we know that our viewers are joining us from around the world right now and our Ben Wedeman is in Baghdad. He heard from a man and I wrote it down here because it was pretty startling.

He said, if I were to go to the U.S., they would just throw me in jail or put me on a flight back to Iraq. Why go? Is there anything you can say to people who watch what happened last week, people who left the U.S. -- left their home country, were OK to enter and then mid- flight they were banned by the time they got on the ground, they were detained or sent back that you can assuage those concerns or fears?

PAGE: Well, Victor, I would hate to put myself in that position because the president seems to be making this up as we go along and advice that's given to the agents at the airport seems to be changing.

But the one thing I think is clear from this order and it's been consistent from all the judges who have reviewed the case is that, if you have legal status, if you've already been approved for a visa, you're a legal permanent resident, whatever, and you have a right to travel into the United States, this executive order is not going to prevent that. This executive order is not going to result in your removal.

I cannot give that type of advice to people who have not already applied for visas, who don't have the legal status that these other folks have. But it's touch and go right now.

BLACKWELL: All right, Page Pate, Laura Coates, thank you both.

PATE: Thank you.

COATES: Thank you.

PAUL: That's the legal side of things. There's an emotional side to this as well and we're seeing that worldwide from this outcry of protesters. Look at the live pictures coming to us from London. Fighting back against President Trump's executive order. Demonstrations in London, Indonesia and even Australia, in fact. We'll take you there a moment. Stay close.



PAUL: So glad to have you with us. Following some breaking news this morning, the White House scrambling right now to challenge a federal judge in Seattle, a judge who blocked President Trump's immigration order this morning.

BLACKWELL: In following the judge's order the government will begin reinstating visas that were canceled when the order took effect last weekend. Air France we know says it will accept passengers from countries restricted by the president's immigration order. Refugees, migrants, students, tourist, all with valid visas will be allowed to travel. The White House is expected to call in the Department of Justice to file an emergency stay of the order.

PAUL: I want to show you right now people in London protesting President Trump's travel ban. Demonstrations not just here as they march to Downing Street but in Paris as well this morning.

BLACKWELL: So this is the latest protests that are really popping up across the globe. There's one in Sydney. People marching here, chanting, calling for immediate action over refugees. We know dozens of student activists in Indonesia, they demanded their government ban Trump.

Now in the U.S., there are several protests scheduled for today. Let's look at 1:00, there will be marches at the White House in Washington. Also in Miami and Philadelphia. There is the LGBT solidarity rally over the ban, that's at 2:00.

There's one scheduled for 6:00 tonight at West Palm Beach, Florida. And we know that this list could lengthen because we saw last week protests pop up in cities and airports across the country. So we'll continue to watch.

PAUL: We want to bring in Dean Obeidallah, "Daily Beast" contributor and host of the "Dean Obeidallah Show." Dean, so good to see you. What do you make of this judge's ruling and the fact that now people can board planes, whereas 24 hours ago, they couldn't?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, "THE DAILY BEAST" CONTRIBUTOR: I'm also former attorney and I think it's a great ruling. It put a stay on it to allow a full hearing. So let's hear the merits of the case. Let's hear them argue this case. I think there's such uncertainty and obviously even Republicans have criticized the Trump administration for not fully vetting their own vetting plan here.

You're seeing the fallout. What's heartening and I listen to American, heartening to see so many other communities, LBGT community standing with us at the airports, all different backgrounds. I was in an event in Washington, D.C., Muslim, Jewish Advisory Council, we have our Jewish brothers and sisters standing with us as well.

So that's heartening but it's very upsetting at the same time that as a Muslim we view as Donald Trump getting fear of our community, Islam hates us during the campaign I want to bet all Muslims beginning that ban.

On one level it's very, very depressing. On the other level I've never been more proud to be an American to see all these people standing with us.

PAUL: You know, there are people who support Donald Trump who says, I'm not a racist, I'm not a bigot, I just want my country to be safe. Where is the -- is there a place to have a middle ground here?

OBEIDALLAH: I think there is because Muslims, whatever background, Muslim-Americans, we want you to be safe, too. When there's, God forbid, a terror attack by someone who is Muslim, it makes some people think that's what our religion is about and innocent people die because of someone who is Muslim.

We are in this shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans to stand against it, any kind of threat of terrorism. I think the -- maybe the balance is more of the questioning of people like the Obama administration, people come into the country.

What upsets us and the protests is that Donald Trump gets on his bully bull pit and declares that Islam is so scary we have to ban people from seven countries, millions of millions of Muslims.

That sends a dark message at a time we just had an attack in Quebec on Sunday by a man who is anti-immigrant hater who went to a mosque and executed six Muslim-Canadians praying. We don't hear Donald Trump do a peep about that on Twitter. For us it concerns us.

PAUL: There is -- there are tweets this morning from Donald Trump about this. He said, "When a country is no longer able to say who can and who cannot come in and out, especially for reasons of safety and security, there is big trouble." How do you think the administration will argue this to their advantage, especially with the ban as it is right now? And do you think Donald Trump is swayable in any way to modify what he initially put out in the executive order?

OBEIDALLAH: What I will say to Donald Trump's tweets are that no one is above the law, Mr. President. It doesn't matter if you're the president, senator, judge, whoever you are, no one is above our law. No one is above our constitution. In this executive order, we're going to have a full hearing probably decide it at the Court of Appeals or emergency application in the Supreme Court.

[08:20:06]They will decide if it violates our constitution or our laws that protect against discrimination like the 1965 law that prevents against discrimination for people coming into this country for visas. It should be struck out.

There has to be a balance reached. Donald Trump, we would hope, that -- and I think -- I can't speak for everybody who opposes him that he would speak more compassionately and caringly about the repercussions of this.

This is why you see protests around the world. My friends on Facebook, around the world, the Middle East, they see these things instantaneously and now their view of America is changing. They're not viewing America as great pluralistic society.

My father came to this great promise. They're seeing it as closed place, almost like the old Soviet Union and that's so upsetting. This is not Democrat, Republican issue. This is not standing up for what America is supposed to mean and American values. I hope Trump supporters will stand with us as well and say this has gone too far. Let's find a way to keep us safe and still keep American values intact.

PAUL: Dean Obeidallah, good to have you here as always. Thank you so much. We'll be right back. Stay close.


PAUL: It's a very different travel picture, itinerary this weekend than what we saw last. The White House doesn't like it. They're preparing for a fight for President Trump's immigration order. This after a federal judge put the brakes on it.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Judge James Robart, a George Bush appointee, issued the temporary restraining order last night for immigrants and travelers and tourists and students from seven Muslim majority countries.

[08:25:03]U.S. Customs and Border Protection alerted the airlines that it would begin reinstating visas that were previously canceled. We expect a response from the Department of Justice sometime today.

PAUL: I want to bring in Julian Zelizer, a historian professor at Princeton University and also the author of "The Fierce Urgency of Now." Thank you so much, Julian, for being with us.

Question for you. Do you think that we are seeing Donald Trump as a businessman trying to execute mandates as he would in business and maybe he himself has not transitioned to the political arena because we know both arenas require different presentations?

JULIAN ZELIZER, HISTORIAN: There's an element of that. So it's true that here you can see the businessperson wanting to do what he does, wanting to act as an executive, but now operating in a political environment where there are checks an bas and balances and where there are many other institutions that can stop you.

But part of this isn't that, it seems that this executive order hugely controversial was put together in sloppy fashion. So that's not what the best businesspeople do. So I think there's two elements of what went wrong and what he is now going to struggle with.

PAUL: So let's look at some of the numbers that have come out here on Donald Trump in his first couple weeks in office, 44 percent, approval rating. Comparatively, 53 percent disapprove as of right now. But comparatively when you look at that with other presidents, President Obama at 76 percent, President George Bush at 58 percent, President Clinton at 59 percent, usually there is a bump, is there not, in their initial time in office? What do you make of his numbers, where they are now, and where they may go, these numbers may influence what he does moving forward?

ZELIZER: Yes, I think the Trump administration is going to have to be content with governing with these low approval ratings. These are lower than other presidents at this point. It doesn't seem like they're going to go up very much, especially since everything he does right now is controversial.

He's not trying to broaden his support. He's trying to govern in a divided era by playing to the divisions. That said, he has a big asset and that is a Republican Congress which, thus far, is both united, loyal, and disciplined.

And unless they break with him, which they're not doing yet, he still can get a lot done in terms of policies and he's hoping that that shores up the Republicans for the midterm elections. All of that is a way in which he can govern even with these low approval ratings.

PAUL: We're seeing protests this morning in London. One expected in Paris. Several expected throughout the United States today as well, in Philly and New York and Miami specifically about the travel ban here. I want to listen to something that Ron Brownstein said about the power of those protests.


RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There are a lot of people who are excited about Donald Trump and what he is doing. But there is no question that he is facing more grass roots resistance upon taking office than any president in modern times. This absolutely reminds me of the '60s.


PAUL: How impactful can a grass roots campaign and protest like that be?

ZELIZER: They can have a huge impact. The 1960s is a very good model then we had protests for civil rights against the Vietnam War and they had an effect. They can affect a president. Richard Nixon in the late '60s, early '70s was constantly thinking of the impact that these protests were going to have on his political standing.

But more important, is it a certain point, you're looking for the tipping point where those protests influence members of Congress including some members of the GOP. And they start to make the calculation that supporting President Trump is going to end their career or could end their majority in the Senate and the House.

So that's where the protests can be influential and they can also influence the media. They could influence how we cover the stories and what the media talks about. So we shouldn't underestimate what people taking to the streets can do.

PAUL: So, Julian, look ahead for us here. In your crystal ball, based on history, how do you see the president's term moving forward based on what we've seen in these first two weeks? And do you think that he's got -- do you think that there is an element of persuadibility in him?

ZELIZER: Well, we don't know. I think history is not a great guide with him because in many ways unprecedented is a term we need to use all the time. I do think he's going to encounter some more checks. I think the courts are going to be a problem. I think the streets and the protests are going to be a problem.

That said, I keep coming back to the fact that he has united government and on most policy, most policies like the Dodd Frank financial regulation, he's throwing red meat to the Republicans on the Hill. And if he can maintain that, I wouldn't underestimate what he can do. He might push back on a few issues, but I think it's a mistake to discount him at this point, especially if he sticks to a pretty conservative domestic agenda.

PAUL: Alrighty. Julian Zelizer, so appreciate your insight today. Thanks for being with us.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: President Trump is reacting this morning to a judge's temporary restraining order on his immigration ban as the government moves to reinstate visas. We are going to hear from two elected leaders of the GOP.


PAUL: So glad to have you with us. 08:34 am is the hour. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Hello to you. Breaking overnight, a federal judge puts a temporary halt on the president's immigration ban, applying the ruling nationwide. And now the White House is gearing up for a legal battle.

PAUL: So, on one side, the Department of Justice vowing to fight the ruling. On the other, we have the Attorney General in Washington State where this ruling came down saying "No one is above the law, not even the President."

BLACKWELL: Now, the federal government could soon be working to reinstate these visas. Authorities also told airlines to board travelers who were previously caught up in this ban. As the Trump administration plans to appeal this decision, airports across the country are bracing for a second straight weekend of turmoil that we know Qatar Airways, Air France and Lufthansa all are agreeing to put people on planes.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's welcome in now, Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. Congressman, good morning to you. REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Good morning, Victor. Great to be with you on the program.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you. First, let me get your reaction to the judge's temporary halt to the president's executive order.

DENT: Well, that's what I called for last week on -- a week ago today actually, I asked that the administration cease enforcement of this order until a more thoughtful, deliberate policy could be instated. So, I'm actually pleased that the order has been halted because, as I may have mentioned to you previously, I have constituents' family in my district -- I represent the largest Syrian population probably of any member of Congress in the country and the Syrians in my district are overwhelmingly Christian. And I had a situation just last week where a family was coming over, they landed in Philadelphia at 7:45 am, their visas were revoked in midair, in transit, and then they were sent back to the Middle East within three hours of arrival in Philadelphia. It was very unfair. These people were not refugees. They were simply visa card holders who have been in progress since 2003. And I thought that was very unfair and we have to develop a more thoughtful policy than the one that's been implemented so far.

BLACKWELL: So, continuing this line of -- you're calling for a halt to the policy. Would you then go so far to suggest or hope that the administration would hold off on filing this appeal?

DENT: Well, I'm not sure it's a legal strategy. And I'm not here to say that this order is unconstitutional. I simply don't know. The president has a lot of authorities in this area. I would prefer that they not appeal and, you know, go back to the drawing board on this because it seemed to me that the policy wasn't properly vetted to begin with. The Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice, in my view, were not properly and adequately consulted.

There is no way that Defense or State would have ever signed off on a policy that would've impeded the ability of interpreters from Iraq to travel into the United States. We just passed the Defense Authorization Bill late last year again to facilitate the movement of translators into the United States. So, that's a priority. So, I think they really need to go back to the drawing board on this order and try to get it right.

BLACKWELL: What degree of congressional oversight should there be moving forward on this?

DENT: Well, I believe we should hold some -- we should conduct proper oversight. I'm on the Appropriations Committee and I know that our committee is looking at all the executive orders just to understand the fiscal implications, for example. As an appropriator, you know, there is the order on the border wall. That will certainly have implications as an appropriator. We have to go into this with our eyes wide open and I can tell you that we will be conducting oversight, as we would with any president, on any executive orders. So, I think we do have an appropriate role to play here on this and many other issues. BLACKWELL: I'm going to come back to that border wall in my final question, but while we're talking about this executive order, I want to put up the president's latest tweet that we know this is at this hour -- this is often how he responds. He tweets here, "The opinion of this so-called judge which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country is ridiculous and will be overturned." For people who agree with the president there that this judge takes away the ability to enforce the law here, you say to the president and you say to those supporters what?

DENT: Well, I say let's take a step back and look at who's actually coming into our country. I certainly agree that we have to keep our country safe and that it may be appropriate to increase vetting or enhance vetting for some of the refugees coming into this country. But I would also tell you, though, we shouldn't take our eye off the real threat.

In my view, the greatest threat of people coming into this country would likely come from Europe. There are many citizens of European countries, who are currently radicalized. They can travel into the United States on a passport through the visa waiver program. No one is arguing to get rid of the visa waiver program. A lot of people on both sides of the Atlantic like it very much. I know I do. But that is a very real threat that we face and certainly there are a lot of bad people, you know, who do live in some pretty nice places, like in Europe, and there are a lot of very -- and there are some very good people, like these Syrian Christians in my -- that I'm very familiar with, who live in some pretty tough places. And I think we have to keep that in mind. The threats can come from anywhere, not simply these seven countries, although it's true there are real problems in those seven countries and others in the Islamic world that we have to contend with. So, I say, let's take a broader perspective. It seems that the order, in my view, was overly broad, rushed and not properly considered and vetted.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's turn now to that border wall. You talked about your position there on the Appropriations Committee. There's a growing number of Republicans in Congress who either do not believe, or expressing their disbelief, that Mexico will reimburse the United States for the $12 billion to $15 billion estimated cost of building this wall along the southern border or don't believe that Congress should appropriate that money without 100 percent offset, meaning a dollar spent on the wall was a dollar cut from some other spending bill or a program. Where do you come down on that? Should the $12 billion to $15 billion be appropriated without 100 percent offset?

[08:40:00] DENT: Well, my view is that we, in Congress, should work with the administration to establish operational control of the border. Barriers are part of that process. And I believe, whatever we do on the border wall, should be consistent with a law that Congress passed in 2006 called the Secure Fence Act. I supported that law. We authorized up to about 700 miles of pedestrian and vehicular barriers along the southern border. I want to clearly understand how the president's executive order dovetails with the law that we passed.

I can tell you that we don't need barriers on every square inch of that 2,000-mile southern border.


DENT: We have topographical challenges there. You know, there are places on the border, you have gullies and gorges, you really can't build fences.

BLACKWELL: And in some places, you can't build. I don't want to interrupt you here, but I'm limited on time and I want to get back to the heart of the question. Aside from the merit of building a wall, should Congress appropriate $12 billion to $15 billion of emergency funding, therefore, not offset dollar for dollar? Would you support that?

DENT: Well, we're going to debate that in committee, to be honest with you. I understand that this supplemental appropriation bill that the president is going to present to us will include defense and possibly homeland security dollars. I don't know if he's going to ask for it as an emergency. If it's an emergency, it doesn't have to be offset. If it does have to be offset, we'll find a way to offset it. But, again, I'm not going to accept the number yet, the $12 billion to $15 billion. Let's just see -- let's see what the order -- what he proposes. You can't -- I don't believe he could spend all that money that quickly in a given year. So, I think we can take a deep breath and just see exactly what he presents to us on the wall.

BLACKWELL: All right. Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

DENT: Thank you, Victor. Great to be with you.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll be right back with an interview with Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley. We'll be right back.


[08:15:00] BLACKWELL: All right. We're back now with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, a Republican from Michigan. Lieutenant Governor, good morning to you.

BRIAN CALLEY, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, MICHIGAN: Good morning. Thanks for having me on the show.

BLACKWELL: Good to have you. I want to read for you something that the judge here, Judge Robart, who ordered this temporary restraining order to the president's executive order, said from the bench. He said that federal government was arguing that we have to protect the US from individuals from these countries and there's no support for that. Now, I understand you disagree with Rep. Dent who was just on with us and this judge. Tell us why?

CALLEY: The president is just asking for a couple of months really to go through and vet the process to ensure that the decisions and the background checks and so forth that we have on people entering this country are appropriately securing the interests of the people, the safety of the people in the United States of America. So, taking a few months to do that process seems to be a reasonable reaction to me.

BLACKWELL: Understood. And I think many people would agree with vetting the process and making sure that it works properly, but why should that process include banning people from these seven majority Muslim countries when we know that not one person from any of those countries has killed a person on US soil in a terror attack in 40 years?

CALLEY: There has been -- first of all, that list was created by President Obama and Congress before, countries that had -- that were countries of particular concern, but also countries that that have a lot of terrorist activity that has happened. And whether or not they've been able to infiltrate and to be actively engaged in killing people right on American soil is one of the -- to me, that's not the standard. It's really about managing the risk and ensuring that we secure the future as much as we secure -- as well as we have secured the past. And so, as we look forward to an ever-changing world, a very dynamic world where risks seem to accumulate over time, taking a few months to go through and vet the entire process and ensure that we are protecting the American people, it just -- it seems to me that that's a reasonable position for somebody to take to have a few months of time to really dig in and make sure that we have the right answers.

BLACKWELL: Opponents of the president's executive order would say that mitigating or managing risk would also probably include if this were indeed focused on that specifically, would include people from Pakistan, people from Saudi Arabia where we know that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from.

Let me move on to another element here. The latest CNN/ORC poll has that 55 percent of people who responded see the travel ban as a Muslim ban. Now, we know that the president has said that this is not a Muslim ban, supporters have said that. But why do you believe -- the majority of people who responded here believe that this is indeed the Muslim ban that candidate Trump called for in December of 2015.

CALLEY: I think that opponents have done a really good job of characterizing it that way and talking about it that way online, social media and in news programs and editorial boards and that sort of thing. But at the end of the day, we're talking about seven countries here and there are a lot more majority Muslim countries and that which are unaffected by the ban. It's really a temporary --

BLACKWELL: Let me jump in here because it was candidate Trump who initiated the idea and defended for months the idea of a ban on non- American Muslims coming to the country. So is this not his responsibility? Does this number, 55 percent believing it's a Muslim ban, not fall on the shoulders of the president?

CALLEY: When I look at the actual executive order itself, that's not the basis of the order. So, I understand that people look at tweets, people look at speeches, people look at newspaper headlines and news programs, like this one, but at the end of the day, looking at what is actually happening in the executive order -- and I don't think it's fair to characterize it that way, particularly considering that the majority of Muslim countries in the world are not covered under this temporary ban or suspension that the president had put into the executive order.

[08:50:00] BLACKWELL: All right. I put a question to Congressman Dent about the wall on the southern border. So, I want to give you one as well and go back to the numbers coming out from this new CNN/ORC poll about support for the wall. It is decreasing. In September of 2015, the support was at 52 percent, a year later it was down to 41 percent, now it's down at 38 percent. Why, from your perspective, this slide in support for the president's proposed wall along the southern border?

CALLEY: Well, when it comes to public opinion polls on a particular issue, it's normal to see those things go up and down. But if you were to ask a question to people, do you think that we ought to have secure borders, I think that a lot more people -- most people would say yes. And so, now, the real debate is exactly how that is implemented. And so, having barriers at the border will be part of the answer to that question. There is a lot more to it than that as well. And so, we have to make sure that we are -- this is United States of America. I'm confident that we can have both secure borders and be a welcoming country. It is a big part of our heritage and I have confidence, at the end of the day, that that's going to be the result.

BLACKWELL: You know, the 60-plus-million people who voted for President Trump were promised the wall and they were promised that Mexico would pay for it. We're hearing more Republicans in Washington show a bit of, I guess, equivocation in believing that that's actually going to happen. Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, thanks so much for being with us this morning.

CALLEY: Thank you so much.


PAUL: Obviously, so many of us paying attention to this breaking news today. But I know a lot of you are also looking forward to tomorrow, Super Bowl LI. Andy Scholes, live in Houston. Apparently, the fun is already underway, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christi. Yes, we're less than 34 hours away from Super Bowl LI. This is when the nerves really start to set in. Coming up, we're going to hear from both the Falcons and the Patriots about what they expect when they take the field tomorrow.


[08:55:00] BLACKWELL: We're counting down. Super Bowl Sunday just a day away now and this is when, I guess, folks get a little jittery.

PAUL: I'm just planning my menu. My food, my dreams --

BLACKWELL: OK. Let me ask me, are you blue cheese or ranch?

PAUL: Ranch.



PAUL: Andy. Andy Scholes is in Houston. Andy, I'm getting rejected by Victor. Are you blue cheese or ranch with the wings?


SCHOLES: I go ranch.

PAUL: Yay!

BLACKWELL: You're both wrong.


SCOTT: We win. I tell you what, guys, there are so many fun things to do here in Houston. We're in downtown right there. Right outside the NFL experience, you guys check this out, I mean, I see a giant NFL helmet. This is one of the coolest things to do here. All the fans have been packing this place all week, taking pictures with their favorite teams.

Now, one of the biggest storylines, of course, for tomorrow's game is the experienced Patriots versus the inexperienced Falcons. You know, the Patriots have many players who have played in a lot of Super Bowls. Tom Brady is going to be playing in his seventh. And he says, though, no matter how many times you step on this field for a Super Bowl, it's always an emotional rollercoaster.


TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: You kind of have to be right on the edge. It's such an emotional game. It's a -- you don't want to be out of control, but you can't play with no emotion.

DWIGHT FREENEY, DEFENSIVE END, ATLANTA FALCONS: This is a big moment. And the one thing you don't have to worry about is your emotions, bringing it on Sunday, because that's going to come. You know, you don't have to all of a sudden get hyped up for the game.


SCHOLES: Now, a good stat to know for this one is the Falcons have the number one scoring offense in the NFL, while the Patriots have the number one scoring defense. This is the sixth such matchup ever for a Super Bowl and the number one defense has won four out of those five games. So, it's a good sign if you are a Patriots fan.

And Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be at tomorrow's game here in Houston. Department of Homeland Security has designated the Super Bowl as a top-tier national security event and federal officials have, for months, been involved in security planning and will help secure Houston's NRG Stadium.

And be sure to tune into CNN later this afternoon, 2:30 pm Eastern for kickoff in Houston, a CNN Bleacher Reports special, former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward, alongside John Berman and Coy Wire, are going to get you ready for tomorrow's big game.

And you know what, guys? We might as well do it right now. I know you're sitting in Atlanta. Who you've got in tomorrow's game?

BLACKWELL: Who do you think?

PAUL: What color am I wearing?

SCHOLES: Well, I don't know.

PAUL: Gotcha.

SCHOLES: I'm posing the question.

BLACKWELL: We're going with the Falcons.

PAUL: Yes. We're with you, Falcons.

BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes, thanks so much. And thank you for joining us. We're back here at 10 o' clock Eastern for an hour of "NEWSROOM".

PAUL: Smerconish is up with you next. Stay close.