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Trump Offers Fresh Defense of His Travel Ban; Trump Reorganizes Natl Security Council; Protests Erupt Across U.S. Over Travel Ban; 16 Attorney General Vows to Fight Trump's Travel Ban; Delta: Nationwide Ground Stop Over Computer Problems; Fareed Zakaria's Take on Trump's Travel Ban; ACLU: $19.4 Million Raised Online This Weekend. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 29, 2017 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:04] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: The legal maneuver did help get dozens released though, including a 5-year-old boy at Washington Dulles Airport. He was detained for hours while his mother waited and of course worried. And the Homeland Security Department just released this statement, "We are and will remain in compliance with judicial orders. We are and will continue to enforce President Trump's executive order humanely and with professionalism."

All that in a moment, but first the White House just moments ago held a closed-door briefing for reporters, and our White House Correspondent Athena Jones was there. So Athena, give us the skinny on this. What did you learn?

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brianna, well, a lot of pushback from the White House and what they consider to be not accurate reporting in the media about this travel ban and so they sought to I guess clarify a few things and express the fact -- to us the fact that this -- they say they're extremely proud of what they've accomplished so far. They talked about a seamless implementation of this executive order, saying it is a really massive success story in terms of implementation on several levels. They say that from the beginning there should not have been any confusion about whether this travel ban applied to green card holders, also called legal permanent residents.

They believe that it's been clear from the start that those green card holders were exempted from this travel ban, but they also went on to say that -- I mean they don't automatically get waved into the country. It's just that these green card holders are able to apply for a waiver and be exempted in, be waived into the country. One official said that as of 3:00 p.m., that was the last check, some 170 or so green card holders or legal permanent residents were waived in.

Another thing that was interesting that they pointed out, Brianna, is they said that this -- we learned yesterday that this executive order had been in the works for some time, certainly during the transition. But they also said that several of the top immigration staff on Capitol Hill were involved in helping to draft these executive orders involving immigration. And I can tell you from my colleague Jim Acosta, the Senior White House Correspondent here, a top GOP aid is saying we were not involved, I'm not sure who that official is referring to on the Hill. So, a little bit of a discrepancy there.

One thing I want to note is that -- one question that came up is what happens after this 90-day pause. Is it possible that more countries could be added to this seven-country list? One of the officials who was briefing would not commit to predicting what could happen in the future in terms of the list expanding or contracting. But they said that the overall goal here is to establish a vetting process by which people seeking permanent admission into the United States can be able to meet the standard of truly supporting our country and loving its people and embracing its values of tolerance, diversity, pluralism and not holding any views of violence, hatred, bigotry or oppression towards any particular race, class, gender or sexual orientation.

This official said it will take a while to get there, it's going to require a rethinking of the interview process is conducted, a rethinking of what kind of checks are performed and what kinds of procedures are in place.

So really the White House is trying to come to its own defense to justify the moves it's made to continue to make the case that they did so because they feel that the current vetting process is, "woefully inadequate", that's a quote we heard again today, and to push back on what they think is unfair criticism by people including people in their own party. Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. And they are getting some of that. And then some folks just not supporting them and sort of staying mum. But we will keep monitoring that along with you. Athena Jones at the White House, thank you.

Now to the station's airports, on both coasts, the U.S. capital and in the south and midwest, you have major American airports attracting large and really loud crowds of people who are angry with this travel ban and they're outraged that millions of people are being not allowed to enter the United States.

We have CNN's Rosa Flores at Chicago O'Hare and in Los Angeles we have Dan Simon at LAX.

So Dan, you are there, set the scene for us and tell us what people have been saying and what they're telling you.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Brianna. This protest here at LAX was supposed to end an hour ago. But as you can see, these people are not going anywhere. Protesters have basically taken over both the arrival and departure areas of the International Terminal. It has been entirely peaceful, but you can see these police officers here who are monitoring the situation to make sure nothing gets out of control but so far these protesters are acting very peacefully. You can see they have their signs, their messages about this executive order and their displeasure with Donald Trump in general. [20:05:00] Now, we are told by attorneys who are representing some of those who have been detained that there are still a few people who are in custody, who are still detained, but we don't have a precise amount. We were told a little while ago that at least one person had been released. This is an Iranian refugee who was in custody for about 24 hours. We were told that border patrol went through her cellphone, went through her luggage and then determined that she could go. But once again, still some people who are in detention here at LAX, as you can see, this crowd obviously are still very loud and boisterous and it does appear that they're going to be going anywhere any time soon.

KEILAR: And they sure are. And we can actually see people behind you waiting through protesters with their suitcases. So, few things in mind, if you're traveling, you're also dealing with potentially some delays here.

Already, Dan Simon, thank you. I want to go to Rosa Flores now. You're in Chicago, tell us what the scene is there, and it also seems like really folks are going to be hanging out for a while.

RONA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, take a look behind me. This is the arrivals lane here at Chicago O'Hare for the international terminal, and you can see that the crowd has been growing probably for the past 20, 30 minutes exponentially here. We've been moving back and seeing more and more people arrive.

Now, I just got an update from the Immigration Law Clinic that the pseudo Immigration Law Clinic that is inside these terminal helping immigrants and they tell me that they're still seeing individuals with green cards being held probably for maybe two to three hours. They're asking them a lot of questions, but they are being allowed to leave the airport.

I talked to one family from Syria. It was a young man with his mother. He said he was terrified. He was accepted to dental school in Indiana, and so he described it as, "being terrified" because he thought that his American dream was shattered because he thought he was going to be sent back. He was very emotional, but he was allowed to leave, and, you know, only -- didn't want to talk to us for very long because he said he just wanted to go home with his mother.

But again, as you take a look behind me here, a lot of people exercising their first amendment rights, speaking out for the individuals who can't exercise those rights, those immigrants who are being held in airports around the country or who perhaps are in fear of speaking out. Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Rosa Flores at Chicago O'Hare Airport.

And let's turn our attention now to a major transit hub in north Texas. A number of travelers detained at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport have been released and they were welcomed by hundreds of demonstrators who had gathered to protest Donald Trump's immigration ban. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is joining me on the phone. And mayor, you met with those who were detained. Tell us about that. What did they tell you about the experiences that they had?

MIKE RAWLINGS, MAYOR, RAWLINGS: Well, it was an emotional time. It's been a heart-breaking 36 hours, but we've gotten through it. Nine of our guests to our city were detained and all nine of those are now reunited with their families. A lot of tears, a lot of joy, but a lot of anxiety. They said that they appreciated the hospitality of everybody at the airport and everybody that was supporting them.

This notion that everything went seamless was just not true. There's no reason, they said, that the airlines couldn't have been contacted immediately when this policy was put in place and there was no need for them to get through this problem. But, you know, there wasn't much bitterness. There was really just a love that they were here in Dallas.

KEILAR: But did they -- So what did they go through though? Did they describe this, how much time they spent --


KEILAR: -- who they had to talk to?

RAWLINGS: They were all put in a room, a salon they called it, and we were able to bring caps in and water and they had to spend the night. Many of these families, a couple of these families have been traveling for four days. They've had no showers, they've had no -- very little sleep and they didn't know what was going to happen. In fact, one lady when she was taken from the airport to the place to meet the family wouldn't get out of the car and go in the building because she thought she was going to be detained again.

And so I'll tell you, once they got with those families and I saw the tears flowing and the joy flowing, it was a great moment. Thought she was going to be detained again. So I'll tell you, once they got with those families and I saw the tears flowing and the joy flowing, it was a great moment.

[20:10:06] KEILAR: So where do you go from here? And is there anything that as a city you are trying to do since you are home to this huge airport?

RAWLINGS: Well, first of all, we want to welcome all these folks and we're going to do it family by family. We've got a great international community, and we're reaching out already to these families with support. We're going to support the students that are at their colleges, their families came over to be with them. And then we're going to make sure that we have a good relationship with the customs officials at DFW Airport that is growing and we want to make sure those add information closed quickly.

But this surprised many of us. It's like a dead system in place. Everybody was very cordial. There wasn't any animosity, but it was just a bad plan, badly executed. KEILAR: You rebuffed that description by the Trump administration that this was seamlessly executed, and you cited the idea that people would be coming in the air and could be turned away, that this was something that wasn't communicated to the airlines ahead of time. Was there any other way that you saw that this could have been implemented more fluidly?

RAWLINGS: All you have to do is say we're going to start on Monday versus starting on the Saturday morning. There's not one issue about why you couldn't have waited two days and let everybody --.

KEILAR: Well, they said they were worried they would be tipping their hands to terrorists who might move up their timeline to try to get in.

RAWLINGS: I think that paranoia speaks for itself.

KEILAR: All right. Mayor Mike Rawlings there in Dallas, he visited with several of these detainees who went through quite the process getting in, as you see there, some being reunited with their families to great cheers by supporters and some protesters there at DFW. Mayor, thanks so much for being with us.

And this hour is just getting started. We're going to continue to watch protests in several cities in response to President Trump's travel ban. Stay with us for that. You are live in the CNN Newsroom.


[20:15:26] KEILAR: People angry about President Trump's travel ban have been protesting today from Los Angeles to Kansas City to Atlanta and other places. The president defended his ban saying, "This is not a Muslim ban as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion. This is about terror and keeping our country safe."

Let's talk about this now with our political panel. We have CNN Political Commentator and Former Reagan White House Political Director, Jeffrey Lord, and Wajahat Ali. He's Muslim-American Playwright Attorney (ph) and a "New York Times" Contributor.

So Jeffrey, we saw this, we saw some of the confusion at U.S. airports. That's undeniable. You had Washington's Governor Jay Inslee saying that his airport team got three bullet points from Donald Trump's team. They had no formal instructions on how to implement the ban. What do you say to those critical of the rollout as the White House is insisting that this was seamlessly implemented?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think, from the White House perspective it was. And listen, I've been in government, Brianna, and I know that the best intentions, no matter who's the president, that there can always be confusion on these things, but the White House feels things have gone very well. And let me just add one other thing here. I've been around the block as it were, and I've seen this kind of protest since I was a kid. You know, the subject always changes. Sometimes the chances are almost identical. We have a real issue here. President Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do. There are people who opposed it. The election was held --. KEILAR: Can I ask you about that, because you said he's saying what he said he would do. He's saying -- Because he promised a Muslim ban and now he seems to be delivering, and yet also insisting it's not a Muslim ban. So figure that out for us.

LORD: Well, there's 40 countries. I mean I read the same White House release you did and there's 40 countries with predominantly Muslim populations and they're not affected by this at all, right?

KEILAR: No, that is true. And there's a number of countries where people looking at this say, look, if you're going to do this appropriately with terror threats, they really messed up and didn't put a lot of countries on there that should be on there like Saudi Arabia.

LORD: Well, let's go back to the Obama situation. Let's recall how that came about, that somebody came into this country as an Iraqi refugee and later the FBI found out after he was already resettled in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that his fingerprints were on an exploded IED in Iraq.


KEILAR: No, they frightened and then they did a pause for six months in 2011. But Jeffrey, anyone will tell you looking --.


KEILAR: Anyone will -- Yes, but anyone will tell you looking into that that it's not apples to apples, it's apples to oranges, because the broadness was very different than what we're talking about here.

LORD: The objective is the same, to keep Americans safe. I mean applaud what President Obama did to that.

KEILAR: But the implementation is not the same.

LORD: Well, no. I mean everything is going to be different here but absolutely the intent is to keep Americans safe. We've had too many dead Americans in America at the hands of people, whether it's Ohio State where people were threatened or the University of North Carolina or Boston and the marathon or San Bernardino or, God knows, 9/11. This is not acceptable. It cannot --


WAJAHAT ALI, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, AFFINIS LABS: But no refugees, Jeffrey. None of the perpetrators were refugees, Jeffrey. Let's be honest here. None of the perpetrators are refugees. Zero Syrian refugees

LORD: Let's be honest. Let's be honest. They were all advocating radical Islam. Let's be honest. They were all advocating for rep.

ALI: So I mean no. So, are you saying that refugee, Syrian refugee is responsible escaping right now a civil war which has killed over 500,000 people?

LORD: Of course not.

ALI: Zero. So why are we banning Syrian refugees but making exception for Christian refugees? So of course this is a Muslim ban.

LORD: Because, quite obviously, Syrian refugees, 198 of them landed on the Greek Island, where as there were two in there who are ISIS spiders and went on to kill 130 people in Paris. That's why it's common sense.


ALI: So, wait, wait. So you're going to violate the constitution and make an exception for Syrian-Christians, but we're going to be so hard-hearted that we're not going to invite Syrian-Muslim refugees? Also, these are seven Muslim majority countries that he's labeled. Zero foreign nationals from these seven Muslim majority countries have killed an American in a terrorist act on American soil. This is a Muslim ban, it's hateful, divisive.

LORD: Well, let me just point to you, one of the countries on this list is Yemen, and just today, an American soldier was killed in Yemen. Now, why was he killed? He wasn't killed because he was fighting Fundamentalist Baptists from Liberty University. He was killed by radical Islamist, AKA in this case, Al-Qaeda, killed him.

[20:20:04] ALI: So are you saying all citizens from these seven Muslim majority countries, by virtue of being Muslims, are radical?

LORD: Of course not. Common sense, common sense. These people are there.


KEILAR: Wajahat, let me --.


ALI: Yeah, sure.

KEILAR: Can I ask you a question about how do you balance, because I hear what you're saying. From the seven, there are zero. You're right, there are zero. Someone made a point earlier that it was AQAP's mastermind bomb-maker who was responsible for the underwear bombing, the attempted bombing that he -- I mean incredibly close for comfort. I think it was 2009 into a flight from Detroit, the person who had a bomb obviously not from Yemen, but this was something that had in a way you could trace back to Yemen.

Clearly there is a concern. And do you give that credence that some people are really worried about what they say being a bigger problem in Europe and they don't want that to happen in the U.S., and how do you balance that and implementing something to make sure it doesn't happen in the U.S.? ALI: Of course we should have a concern. First of all, that underwear bomber was from Nigeria, not the seven countries that were mentioned on this list.

KEILAR: That's right. No, I'm talking about the --

ALI: But listen. Yeah, of course. But look --.

KEILAR: -- orchestration of the device.

ALI: Yes. Muslim ban is going to be ineffective. It is going to be counter productive. It's going to threaten our national security and is going to give amazing propaganda in recruitment tour and this abroad ISIS and Al-Qaeda, what you say, see, the west is a war with Islam. This is not how you go about that.

Now, if you really want to do this Muslim ban, I don't recommend targeting innocent people based on national origin just because a terrorist came from that country. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were who? Saudi, two of them were from UAE, one from Egypt, one from Lebanon, none of the countries mentioned. Donald Trump has business in Saudi Arabia, in UAE and also in Egypt.

Now, if you put Saudi Arabia on that list which will never happen, a double-dare Trump to do it. A lot of republicans, Jeffrey, where I'm at in D.C., will lose their mortgages because they're subsidized by that country for lobbying.

So if you really want to attack people, you really have to go after the source in an intelligence passion which we have then, we have the most extreme vetting of any country of refugees. It takes up to two to three years, a 20-step process. Intelligence agencies vet them.

LORD: And obviously still few (ph) are getting in here.

ALI: Zero refugees have killed Americans and terrorist attacks. This is so hateful. This is so closed-hearted. We are betraying American values here. People come to this country for refuge and you're denying them and people were holding legal visas.

A story, my friend Jessica Sawhney (ph) from alma matter UC Davis Law School yesterday said she's not Muslim, not Arab, she went to SFO Airport 11:00 p.m. She said a 7-month pregnant Iranian woman who's legally here on a visa who came back from Switzerland because she's an employee of Genentech was not allowed in.

How is that humane? How does that make us safe and how are you antagonizing Muslims, immigrant abroad helping unite America and helping our allies who by the way are fighting ISIS and Al-Qaeda, what did they say, "Oh, by the way, I'm going to fight ISIS and Al-Qaeda, but America who's supposed to be helping me will not allow a brilliant student to come and get an education." Is that really American?

KEILAR: Jeffrey, answer that.

LORD: So, when we let out of compassion an Islamic woman come into this country on a K-1 Fiance visa because of her grand love for her American boyfriend and she shows up in an office building and murders 14 people because they're at a Christmas party because she came here with delivering act of killing --.


KEILAR: OK, Jeffrey, she would not have even been caught under this and you know that.

LORD: No. But the point is --.


KEILAR: You know where she came from --.

LORD: It is the whole system.

KEILAR: And it wasn't one of these seven nations. So how can you --.

LORD: Was she a radical Islamist? The answer is yes.


KEILAR: How can you say -- How can you use that as an example when what you're defending would not have prevented? No one thinks that she should have been let in and yet you're defending something that doesn't even -- wouldn't have been caught in it.

LORD: That is not true. I am saying that the whole immigration system has a problem. That is the president's point. Clearly there is a problem. How did this Somali kid get in to study at Ohio State and then he tries to mow down students and go --

ALI: Jeffrey, you're on shaky ground, man. You're on shaky ground. Look, I think the president's problem is that he's catered to hate and anger and division and racism. Let's be honest, the president said, Islam --.

LORD: That's baloney.

ALI: He said Islam makes this.

LORD: That's Baloney.

ALI: Do you think it's baloney? Do you think he doesn't have racism in his campaign when he called Mexicans are rapist and criminals? Do you think it's racist in discriminatory level? I think Islam hates us.

LORD: Hello. Go ask the father of Jamiel Shaw, a young African- American kid who --.

ALI: I'm asking you about Donald Trump, the man who you supported.

LORD: I don't know.

ALI: The president you supported.


KEILAR: And gentlemen, I am unfortunately going to have to leave it there. I know you both have very strong opinions about this. I appreciate you, Jeffrey Lord and Wajahat Ali, thank you so much for being on.

ALI: Thank you for having me.

[20:24:58] KEILAR: We have much more on our top stories straight ahead. You are live in the CNN Newsroom as we show you these live pictures coming to us from Chicago and protesters at the airport there.


KEILAR: One executive action signed by President Trump this weekend restructured the White House National Security Council, turning it into something that Senator John McCain calls a radical departure from any national security council in history.

We have major General James Spider Marks. He is our military analyst with us today to talk about this.

And there's a couple of changes here, general, as you noticed. One is Steve Bannon, the president's top aid is added as a permanent member, and we've seen other folks sort of in his role, maybe not as controversial an advisor as him, be present at these principal's meetings, but the other big thing is no permanent member DNI, no permanent member chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. What do you make of that?

JAMES SPIDER MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, it's unfortunate and I find it quite shocking, primarily because I know a number of the folks that are involved in the National Security Council that's being formed right now, and this doesn't make sense to me.

[20:29:54] Brianna, two things in particular. One is the chairman of the joint chiefs is the principal military advisor for the president, the secretary of defense and the national security council and national homeland security council.

[20:30:02] So that makes no sense that you wouldn't want to have a uniformed voice in the room as a matter of routine. And then secondly, the other thing that's troubling with this is not having a DNI as a permanent rep. Now, the director of national intelligence as an intelligence individual, as the senior intel guy in the room, that guys or gal's primary purpose is to be a contrarian, to provide context and the pushback on what might seem like good strategic or policy issues to provide the context of what's going on in the broader horizon and that's that individual's primary job.

So to exclude that individual moves you now in the probably more an inexorable path of making this a very strong policy determination body which is why you would see somebody like Mr. Bannon in the room, which again I think is unfortunate.

KEILAR: We're looking at some live pictures out of Seattle and this is a protest as we've seen across the country of President Trump's travel ban. What do you think about the fact that you have Iraqis for instance who may have been interpreters --

MARKS: Right.

KEILAR: -- or in a way -- in other ways aiding U.S. forces and there are arrangements for those folks to come over to the U.S., even to pursue ultimately citizenship and they're being caught up on this, they are on hold at this time in point. Should there be an exception for those folks?

MARKS: Brianna, that's a great question. Yeah, I think there should be. Look, the Iraqis, we've been -- the United States has been a part of the Iraqi landscape for the last 15 years. We've been side by side. We've some hiccups, we've had some challenges, but our in-state is to move forward together. They are picking up the fight now to reclaim Mosul. They are making a hard decisions and making the sacrifices to reclaim a land that they want and they want independence for and they charge themselves with getting that done. And for us now to exclude them as a haven for terrorism is a very, very bad message. That needs to be pushed to the side. There needs to be an exception for that immediately.

We could talk about the other countries. We could talk about those that aren't on that list, but I think the Iraqis, immediately we need to lift them from that ban.

KEILAR: All right, General Spider Marks, thank you so much, really appreciate you being with us.

MARKS: You bet (ph).

KEILAR: There are protests that are just popping up in airports coast to coast. You stay with us because we will bring this to you live, and you are live in the CNN "Newsroom".


[20:36:18] KEILAR: People opposed to President Trump's travel ban gathered to protest today from Los Angeles to Kansas City to Atlanta, and the president defended his ban saying, this is not a Muslim ban as the media is falsely reporting, this is not about religion, this is about terror and keeping our country safe.

Let's talk it over now with the man who has advised Donald Trump on national security issues, James Carafano, he's the Heritage Foundation's vice-president of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies. He was a member of the Trump transition team.

And James, it's interesting because you actually were an advisor when it came to DHS, to the Department of Homeland Security, and really between the election and between the inauguration. You knew that this was going to be coming. Why then was this -- you know, a lot of people have looked at it and said this could have been rolled out a lot better. He could have had a better understanding of how this was going to go from Department of Justice lawyers, and the Department of Homeland Security could have been looped in a lot better.

JAMES CARAFANO, VP OF FOREIGN & DEFENSE POLICY STUDIES HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Right. So, I did work on the transition team and the first thing is there's only one president at a time. So you really can't go into a department and start issuing orders before January 20th. So there is a limited amount of things you can do. And I would also say in terms of the drafting of the orders, if there's one thing the transition team didn't lack for it was a lot of lawyers. So the notion that, you know, no lawyer looked at this or didn't have any competency on that, I'm not sure there's a fair criticism.

So I think what's fair to criticize is the administration hasn't been out there kind of defending this thing as superiously as they might have could. And I think part of that is because they've been so anxious to roll so many executive orders out the door. You know, I'm actually -- I think, you know, by next week, you know, we'll probably have another wrath of executive orders and we'll all be talking about something else.

KEILAR: Well, why didn't they defend this video superiously and it also seems as if -- and you say that but Donald Trump himself issued a statement today and he seemed to try to put a softer spin on this and then you had the head of the Department of Homeland Security talking about how green card holders aren't going to get caught up in this.

CAFARANO: So, I would say is the president's tweet is actually 100 percent accurate. The purpose of the executive order is to deal with the emergent threat, so it's not about politics, it's not about campaign promises. It's about the reality that tens of thousands of foreign fighters flowed into Iraq and Syria, and as ISIS loses space, the remaining foreign fighters are going to outflow --

KEILAR: But you see how it can be divorce from the campaign promise right, I mean he made a promise at a time when there was a big concern about ISIS.

CARAFANO: Yeah, look all I can talk about is the reality of what we talked about in the transition team which is not about politics and not about campaign promises but about national security. And everybody in the world, not just the United States agrees that the foreign fighters are going to outflow to those seven countries and that two likely avenues of exit if you want to go to a terrorist attack, is it by getting a visa or going through the refugee stream and we know that because we've already seen it happen here. And so that was the purpose of the executive order, period.

KEILAR: OK, I want you to listen to what the former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said about this travel ban.


DAVID MILIBAND, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Remember, the only people celebrating today are extremists around the world who want to tell Muslims around the world that America will -- is shutting that doors to them. The only people celebrating this propaganda gift are ISIS and al-Qaeda who -- for who this plays into that core narrative over clash of civilizations.


KEILAR: And James, we've heard some Republicans raise this issue too --


KEILAR: -- that this is something that will ostracize Muslims, they could make some of them even more sympathetic to terrorist and their message and this could be a great recruitment tool for ISIS and al- Qaeda. Is there a point there?

[20:40:14] CARAFANO: No. So, you know, I've heard that kind of silly criticism before. Here are the facts that we know. President Obama came into office dedicated to show a more positive face and more positive engagement in Islam and that started with his speech in Cairo. So this administration spent eight years in the sense trying to show a positive face in this issue. And the face of terrorism has exploded over the last eight years. There are more terrorist attacks globally, there are more victims globally, there are more terrorist plots against the United States.

So if it's just about talking nice, then we wouldn't have seen the threat metastasize like we have. And I think it's really similar simplistic and stupid to argue that there's a linear relationship between one thing and the other. I mean that's almost truth or nothing to do with terrorism to suggest that it's true and misplace that's -- I think --

KEILAR: But wait --

CARAFANO: Wait, let me finish, let me finish. It's mostly what we see is people's view on this is based on their politics, not based on the facts, period.

KEILAR: James, he's and I'm -- and this isn't my opinion. I'm talking about people who have given advice to Donald Trump or publicly said things for instance, General David Petraeus in the past has said, you engage in talk like this and it is a recruitment tool. You basically just -- I mean you just agree to disagree.

CARAFANO: Well, so for example, one of the things President Obama said was that gitmo was the greatest recruitment tool --

KEILAR: But I'm -- no, no I'm talking about --

CARAFANO: Let me finish.


KEILAR: No, no, James.

CARAFANO: It gets exactly --

KEILAR: My question is not -- I'm not talking -- and see the difference between President Obama and Donald Trump on this. I'm talking about someone like General David Petraeus who Donald Trump considered having as a part of his cabinet and also Republicans who are saying this. I'm not talking about President Obama. Are you saying they don't have a point?

CARAFANO: Well, I'm not talking about any adviser's right, because they can defend their own comments. I'm just saying as an analyst who factually looks at the data right, we haven't seen that kind of correlation. people said that gitmo was the greatest tool, recruiting tool, that ISIS ever had, and yet people have actually looked at the data actually found that that was not true. They could not find a direct correlation between gitmo and the propaganda that ISIS was using. So --

KEILAR: I'm talking about the language. I'm not talking about --

CARAFANO: But what I'm saying is ISIS hasn't done any recruiting yet. So for people to draw that conclusion, what they're doing is projecting their politics and their views and their beliefs and that's fine, they can do that. They're entitled to their opinion. But as an analyst that looks at the data, traditionally what we've seen is when we have these arguments about this is ISIS greatest recruiting tool, 99.99 percent of the time that reflects a political opinion as opposed to the reality of what ISIS does and what actually motivates people to take up the cause of terrorism.

KEILAR: All right, I will say there are some certainly military voices out there that disagree with you on that, respectfully, I'm sure.

CARAFANO: Well, that's fine. They can do that.

KEILAR: Yeah, they can, all right.

CARAFANO: I just deal with the data.

KEILAR: All right, James Carafano thank you so much. We certainly appreciate you being with us and bringing your insight, especially as someone who advised the Trump transition. We're really glad you could be on with us, and we are going to be right back.

CARAFANO: Thank you.


[20:47:02] KEILAR: Another breaking news story that we're following tonight and this is one that could have some huge consequences for anyone who is traveling tonight or tomorrow. Delta Airlines says its system is currently down in Atlanta where its headquarters is located. Polo Sandoval is joining me now from Atlanta. What can you tell us Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, this is where we were in early August. It was an issue also with the Delta System so as a result so many people were affected and people -- their travel plans were essentially frozen and that's what we see again here. This is the ticketing area at Atlanta Hartsfield where there are -- just a massive crowds that are literally just watching and waiting to see how soon their travel plans will be back on track.

Here's what we know about what took place. According to Delta Airlines officials there was a technical issue with the system that regulates or at least monitors their checks and balances there within the airlines, so it was a result that they turned -- then turned to federal authorities over at the FAA but then implemented a ground stop. So it was result, planes are not getting in or out. We do understand that planes were -- that were in the air were allowed to land but as a result and -- Brianna, this is a picture you don't see very often, the crowds here in the check-in counter.

But take a look at the baggage claims, they are empty. On what is usually a extremely busy Sunday night at one of the busiest airports Brianna. So at this point, what we are told is it could be a matter of time before the systems get back online, we're waiting for the update, but in the meantime the folks here have to wait and then also the folks who are literally stuck on airplanes on tarmacs also have to wait to see how sooner or how much longer it's going to be before they end up in this terminal. Guys?

KEILAR: Oh, that is incredibly frustrating. All right, we know you'll keep an eye on that Polo Sandoval for us at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

And coming up, next hour, the White House defending its travel ban. While thousands protest President Trump's travel ban, after the break, the ACLU raising an eye-popping sum of money on this. We're going to tell you how much, and we're going to talk about whether these protests could lead to a movement. You are live in the CNN "Newsroom".


[20:52:53] KEILAR: Each week CNN's Fareed Zakaria starts his show with his take on a particular story in the news. And today he shared his theory on President Trump's travel ban. Here's what Fareed had to say.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Here's my take, Donald Trump's executive orders suspending the entry of Syrian refugees and if anyone from seven Muslim countries is filled for request for reports and information. The Department of Homeland Security, the State Department are asked to provide information on the numbers of foreign terrorists, and then to issue progress reports on the policy with more data within one and three months.

So let me save the government some money and offer the data right now. Alex Nowrasteh of the CATO institute, a conservative think tank has tallied the number of Americans killed by citizens of the seven countries banned from 1975 to 2015. They are as follows. From Iraq, zero. From Iran, zero. From Syria, zero. From Yemen, zero. From Libya, zero. From Somalia, zero. And from Sudan, you guessed it, zero.

Incidentally that number from Saudi Arabia is 2,369 from the UAE is 314, from Egypt is 162 according to CATO. Why certain countries are on or off this list is truly mysterious. Some newspapers have noted correctly that none of the Muslim majority countries that have a Trump hotel building or office are on the list. More broadly CATO's Nowrasteh points out that including 9/11, the chance of an American being killed by foreign terrorist on U.S. soil over that 41 year period is 1.36 million per year. Being killed by a refugee, your chances are 1 in 3.64 billion per year. So there's really no rational basis for this policy.

What explains it then? I suppose it's what is explained so much of Donald Trump's political career. The exploitation of fear. From the birther campaign to the talk of Mexican rapists, Trump has always trafficked in fear mongering. This time, to stoke those fears and present himself as the country's protector, he chose to punish ordinary men, women, and children, who are fleeing trichlt and violence, willing to brave the odds, bear the hardships and separate from family and home, all to try to come to America.

[20:55:31] These people are the road kill of Trump's posturing. But something sell is being destroyed along with it, the image, reputation, and goodwill of the United States as the beacon of the world. As someone noted over the past few days, Donald Trump seems to want to turn off that lamp on the Statue of Liberty.


KEILAR: And you can watch Fareed Zakaria GPS every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. only here on CNN.

Well the air waves have been dominated this weekend by the growing opposition to President Trump's temporary travel ban from seven majority Muslim nations. Our cameras have stayed focussed on the numerous protests at international airports, and also marches in major cities around the U.S. The American Civil Liberties Union announcing that it has received some 290,000 online donations this weekend, that totals $19.4 million. But what about the Trump supporters who like what the president calls extreme vetting?

CNN's "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter joining me now to talk about this. What do you think about that, there are and this is point the White House will make, there are lot of people who support this.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely an example of divided America. You know, there was a Quinnipiac poll a couple of weeks ago suggesting a policy is essentially what the Trump administration put into effect in the past couple of days, it was supported in a hypothetical sense by 48 percent of Americans. So, a real split almost half in half in the country in terms of the idea behind this ban. Now we'll see in a few days and the weeks to come what the polls show now that these pictures are being seen by the entire country. It'll also be interesting to see if President Trump's approval rating rises or falls. We know that he's been a record low level for a new president in the modern era. We'll see if he rises or falls.

But Brianna you mentioned the ACLU, if I can point out for a moment, I spoke with the spokesman for the ACLU about this just a few minutes ago. These numbers are extraordinary. If the ACLU, it's sort of a cliche, right, to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU it has a certain connotation for a certain kind of liberal in the United States.

Well, now they are gaining new members by the hundreds of thousands. According to the ACLU, just this weekend, $19.4 million in donations on the web, normally, for an entire year, they get about $4 million from online donations. So that's five times as much just in one weekend. And by the way, it's going to be over 20 million, they just don't know for sure until tomorrow morning. And what's most important, is they're bringing in new members encouraged by celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell, Wanda Sykes, Sophia Bush, Billy Eichner, (inaudible), lots of celebrities on Twitter saying go support the ACLU. It's causing a lot of donations. So, it's interesting to see kind of online effort to support these groups at the same time we're seeing these offline protests.

KEILAR: And what do you think about the coverage of the travel ban? This is certainly something that has irked the White House. They don't feel like its fair. They say this isn't a Muslim ban and the media is misrepresenting it.

STELTER: Well looking at these pictures, I'm struck as a visual person, some other the things about the coverage. When's the last time you saw a protest at an airport? You know, there's something about the imagery here, especially the ones at JFK and LAX and all the airports in between that made this even more news worthy. Of course we've seen and we see it here in Seattle, we saw it at other locations outside airports as well this weekend. This organized very quickly. It is true, some left wing groups have been helping make this happen, the ACLU is one of them. There are many others providing financial support, but you think about the role of digital media and social media in organizing these protests, it's something that caught Democrats and Congress off guard in some cases by how fast this happened.

You know, Brianna, last weekend the conversation was, is this just a moment or is it a movement? Is the Women's March just a moment or went off? I think what we hear now, we hear the roar of these crowds. We see the potential for a movement. Maybe in some ways like the Tea Party was born in 2009. I'm not sure what the name of this is, but it is reminiscent some way of the Tea Party, but in the opposite direction. This time on the left instead of the right.

KEILAR: Yeah, we will have to see how much influence it has. Brian Stelter, thank you so much for that. For our international viewers, you're going to return now to CNN international's regularly scheduled programming, for viewers in the U.S., the next hour of CNN "Newsroom" starts right now.

[21:00:01] You are live in the CNN "Newsroom", I'm Brianna Keialr in Washington. We have breaking news for you.