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Report: Grandmother from Iran Held 9 Hours at LAX; Ford CEO Joins Companies Opposed to Travel Ban; Trump Travel Ban Unleashes Global Chaos. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired January 30, 2017 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] SIAVOSH NAJI-TALAKAR, GRANDMOTHER DETAINED AT LAX: In her room, the panic, tension and anxiety started to raise every time somebody was grabbed and taken back. They didn't know if they were being taken back to be deported or let go. And each time they would ask questions. They would be given no answers they would just be told to go back and sit down and wait.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: When she was talking to you on the phone was she upset? Was she remaining calm? You know, what was her concern? Did she feel like perhaps she was going to be turned back? Or did she feel confident it was just a matter of time?
NAJI-TALAKAR: Well, she actually told me to go a hotel room because she had no idea when she would be let go. And I let her know I'm not going anywhere. My mission here is to get you and take you home. But she was -- she is a very strong lady. She's got a strong willpower but she wouldn't too frantic, but I could tell she was scared. She is very old she probably most likely not visit America again. She has a green card, she's had a green card since 1997. She was concerned she wouldn't be able to visit us, her son, granddaughters and ever see us again in the future.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Is she confident she will be able to do that now there seems to be clarification on green card holders?
NAJI-TALAKAR: Yes, she does. She feels like she can come back again. But at this moment she's not sure if she's willing to put herself through that process again. It is over a 20 hours of flight, 40 hours of travel. And someone at her age, she has had two triple bypass surgeries, COPD, arthritis. Travel takes a toll on her. Her main concern is there was no consideration for people like her when coming into the country. They didn't care. They didn't offer them food. They only offered eight ounces of water throughout the ten-hour detention. She said they were escorted like prisoners to the bathroom if they needed. And be counted as they come back. She said it felt like a prison to her.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Eight ounces of water in ten hours, no food. I think everyone would say that's unacceptable. Especially for your grandmother who is of advanced age and health challenged as well. Thank you and her as well, we appreciate it.
NAJI-TALAKAR: Thank you for sharing our story. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Now back to our breaking news. Former
President Barack Obama responding to some of President Trump's executive actions including the travel ban and the public response seen across the country. We are back in a moment.
[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: The Iraqi government expressing its quote regret and astonishment after Donald Trump included that nation on its list. A statement released today goes on to say, quote, "it is very unfortunate that this decision was issued against an ally engaged in a strategic partnership with the United States that coincides with the victories achieved by our brave fighters in the battle of Mosul."
Israel is also now seeking clarity as the ban affects tens of thousands of its citizens. The Pakistani foreign minister says the move will not affect terrorists but will increase miseries of the victims of terrorism. While Germany and the United Kingdom have criticized the ban, the British Prime Minister Teresa May says the invitation for Donald Trump to visit this summer still stands. I want to bring in Clarissa Ward. We've heard the President insist that this is not a Muslim ban despite that he promised for one as a candidate. And that it appears to many across the world to be one. What are your thoughts on that?
CLARISSA WARD, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Briana, I think you can't ignore the optics of this. And Sean Spicer and the White House administration can continue to insist until they are blue in the face that this is not a Muslim ban. But to the rest of the world I can tell you that it is being perceived as a Muslim ban. That's for several reasons. First of all, the seven countries that are targeted as a part of this ban are Muslim majority countries.
Second of all, we saw those caveats in the form of various tweets by President Donald Trump indicating that Christian refugees would be given different treatment, you yourself have read out from the executive order. It does make clear there is religious preference going on here. Thirdly, people overseas do watch the U.S. media as well and people have seen the former mayor of New York City, Mayor Giuliani appearing on Fox News explaining that President Trump approached him and said how can I enforce this Muslim ban in a way that's legal and that this was indeed the framework that he had recommended to President Trump.
So, in the eyes of the international community which is watching all of this play out very closely and with a great deal of anxiety, it has to be said it is very clear that it is being seen as a ban against Muslims. And that is certainly ruffling feathers internationally.
[15:40:00] KEILAR: You hear Iraq now threatening to block Americans from entering their country, which is significant because so many Americans go there as diplomats just as one example and then you have Germany's Transatlantic official saying today that President Trump's ban creates uncertainty in the future as to the U.S. role in the world. What is the message overall that this is sending to U.S. allies just beyond that concern of a ban? WARD: I think the message that is being sent is that there is a
radically new world order being implemented. And U.S. allies are kind of watching it be put together in real time with no real sense of where it's going. Although these are promises that President Trump made repeatedly on the campaign trail I think it's fair to say a lot of U.S. allies didn't necessarily expect him to follow through especially on the most controversial of them.
You use the example of Iraq. The Iraqi forces on the ground are the main proxies helping the U.S. fight the war against is. Today we are now hearing the Iraqi parliament threatening to stop Americans from entering Iraq at all. Through especially on the most controversial of them. That probably won't happen. But of course, this has profound ramifications when it comes to the issue of trust, and trusting in the alliance, trusting the U.S. to have Iraq's back as its soldiers go forth and die on the battlefield in the fight against is.
And here in Europe it is a similar tone that you are hearing, profound anxiety, European leaders want to understand what is the future of NATO? President Donald Trump called it obsolete before and previously those world leaders didn't necessarily think that that really meant much. But now as they see these promises being made into policy there is a real sense of anxiety about this new world order that is taking shape, Brianna.
KEILAR: You look at the countries, Charissa, that are affected by this ban, and none of them have produced terrorists who is have killed Americans on U.S. soil. You can't say the same when you are looking at gulf states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar and United Arab Emirates. They have been largely silent on this. That's important to note. Why is that?
WARD: This is the thing that sort of beggar's belief about this whole ban, Brianna. Because the U.S. has been hit by Saudi Arabia. It has been hit by the Pakistanis, it has been hit by the descendants of people from Afghanistan -- not that that would make the ban acceptable, per se. But at least it would seem more logical. But in this instance the very countries that are chosen as you rightly point out have never actually executed attacks on U.S. soil. Now the reason that countries like Saudi Arabia are being quiet are perhaps for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I would say that they value the relationship with the U.S. the rest of the world looks to America for leadership. The bilateral relationship that most countries have with the U.S. is widely considered to be the most important, whether it's Saudi Arabia, whether it's Qatar, whether it's the United Arab Emirates. These nations look to the U.S. for leadership. They don't want to jeopardize the relationship by coming out and criticizing the U.S. but I can assure you behind closed doors they have a real sense of anxiety and fear for the unknown, what does this portend of the future of the U.S. and the Muslim world.
KEILAR: Thank you for that insight.
Right now, at least 16 Republican lawmakers are outraged over President Trump's travel ban, some blasting it as unconstitutional, unpatriotic, un-American. Senator Lindsey Graham warned Donald Trump of accidentally starting World War III.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY GRAHAM, SENATOR, SOUTH CAROLINA: Mr. President, I'm not trying to start World War III. I'm trying to win the war we are in. We had eight years of Barack Obama who did not understand how to defeat radical Islam. You need Muslims on your side. Your executive order was too broad. You didn't vet it, take the time and attention that you need to execute something that you agree with. I'm not trying to start a war. I'm trying to win the war we're in. You are not going to win the war by lumping everybody into a big pot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: The White House argues that the list of seven Muslim majority countries banned from traveling to the U.S. was based on President Obama's 2011 Iraq refugee policy, I want to bring in Congressman Dan Donovan. The only Republican representing a district in New York City. Congressman, we are glad you here because you bring this perspective of support for Donald Trump's executive order. You also took issue with detaining legal residents with green cards.
So, tell us what you like about this. And also, there are some things you seem to think were executed too quickly or not clearly enough.
[15:45:00] DAN DONOVAN, REPRESENTATIVE, NEW YORK CITY: First of all, there is a lot of hysteria, panic about what has taken place over the weekend. If you look at it, it's just a pause. President Obama's secretary for homeland security who is a good friend of mine testified before my committee, I'm on homeland security in the house and said we don't have a vetting process in place right now that would assure the safety of the American people. So, what the President did over the weekend is he put a pause on it for a short period of time.
KEILAR: A vetting process for whom?
DONOVAN: For refugees coming into the country.
KEILAR: Do you mean FBI Director Comey's testimony? Or this is the homeland security director's.
DONOVAN: Both testified before us. If you saw last night, secretary Johnson was on 60 minutes. And he even said we have a good vetting process, but he didn't say that we have one that's going to assure the American people of their safety. So, this is just simply a pause. The President has been in office eight days now. He is allowing his secretary of state and his secretary of homeland security to come up with a vetting process to make sure that the people -- and we are a compassionate nation, Brianna.
We help our fellow mankind who are in need. The Syrian people certainly need the United States' help. But he is just saying tell us a vetting process, come up with a vetting process who ensure the people who deserve our compassionate come into our country and make sure those who will threaten our nation stay out. Is has said they are going to put their agents in with the refugees and Americans are not going to able to tell who is observing refugee and who is an agent of ISIS.
There are 250,000 Syrian passports missing right now. We know the government sells credentials as a way to generate revenue. When people flee the oppression, they don't grab their papers. Many who applied for refugee status don't have any documentation to prove they are who they say they are. When our enemy tells us they are going to use that system to hurt us I think it's just the President's duty and responsibility to take a pause right now, let his experts come up with a system that he's comfortable with that will allow us to help those Syrian refugees and at the same time protect our nation from our enemies.
KEILAR: But I want to ask you about -- I think it is a good point that you make that -- certainly I think people are worried this is a system that could be exploited even though there is a lot of vetting that already goes on. But we've heard people say this is not without risk. But this policy coupled with the rhetoric that we heard from Donald Trump on the campaign trail promising a Muslim ban. And for instance, what Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News about how the President decided on these countries in the travel ban -- here's what he had to say in his own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR, NYC: When he first announced it, he said Muslim ban. He called me up, said put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally. I put a commission together with Mukasey, McCall, Pete King a whole group of other very expert lawyers on this. And what we did was we focused on instead of religion, danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: He is sure, especially coupled with the rhetoric we've heard Congressman making it sound like a Muslim ban?
DONOVAN: And it's not. I think what Mayor Giuliani said, the focus is on danger. When there was first rhetoric about banning people from our country because of who they pray to. Our country is based on religious freedoms. Our forefathers were smart enough to put it in the first amendment. It is the foundation of our country. We are never going to ban people because of who they pray to. But we are going to ban them if they are a danger to our nation. I think when Mayor Giuliani said this was going to be based on danger rather than people's religious beliefs I think he was right.
KEILAR: Why on the fourth page of this order does it talk about prioritizing refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious based persecution, provided -- and this is the important part -- that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality. I mean, if they are persecuted against and they are not in a minority religion how are they then getting less preferential treatment than in this case if you are looking at Syria, we are talking about Christians here?
DONOVAN: Well, I think if you look further in the document it allows the secretary of state and the secretary of homeland security to on a case by case basis make an exemption from the ban and allow people into the country who they believe are in danger or --
KEILAR: But this is the ban, and it's spell out when we are talking about Syria that Christians get preferential treatment?
DONOVAN: Any minority religion. It doesn't specify Christians. If there is people of other religions who are persecuted they would be included too.
[15:50:00] KEILAR: You know when you are talking about the demographics in the region you are talking about small slivers of other religions besides Christianity?
DONOVAN: They may be, but they are included as well. And Muslims who are persecute ready also going to be able to apply to the secretary of state and the secretary of homeland security for that exemption that's in that document. So, I wouldn't take -- again, this is based on.
KEILAR: But they require an exemption, right?
DONOVAN: They require an exemption, yes, they do. They do. But it's there for them.
KEILAR: Congressman Donovan, thank you so much for being on. We appreciate your time. Next the CEO of Ford Motors joins a growing chorus of business leaders speaking out about President Trump's travel ban. His exclusive interview with CNN just ahead.
KEILAR: Some of the country's biggest companies and business executives are speaking out against President Trump's travel ban. Among them Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Amazon, Starbucks, Netflix. The latest is the CEO of Ford Motor Company. Ford CEO Mark Fields talking just a short time ago to CNN's Poppy Harlow in this exclusive interview.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Beginning with the travel ban, signed, the executive order by the President. Does Ford support President Trump's travel ban?
MARK FIELDS, CEO, FORD MOTOR COMPANY: Well, core to our values as a company is respecting all people. And the policies throughout our company really support an inclusive and also a very diverse work force. When we see policies that are counter to our values, we don't support. In this case we don't support the President's policy. There are a number of other policies the President has which we do support. In this case, we do not support this one.
HARLOW: Two weeks ago, you told me on this network that ford's decision to cancel plans to build a plant in Mexico and instead create 700 U.S. jobs in Michigan was a, quote, vote of confidence in the President and in his agenda. Confidence in the President and his agenda now, given this travel ban?
FIELDS: We still have a lot of confidence in the President and his policies, particularly around the economy. You know, the --
HARLOW: This doesn't make you question -- question anything?
FIELDS: Well, overall when you look at it from an economic perspective, he is focusing on the economy. He wants to make sure that the economy is vital. His first couple meetings were with manufacturers and with the auto companies. From that standpoint I am hopeful. In this case, in this particular policy, obviously he wants to secure the country, he wants to have more security in the country. As he is going about it, it's just against our values as a company, and we're going to live by the values of our company.
HARLOW: I should note so people out there understand that Dearborn, Michigan, where Ford is headquartered is home to one of the biggest Arab American populations in the country. A third of the residents are Arab American. How much does this have to do with your public statement?
FIELDS: As a company, we have to live by our values. To your point, in our hometown there is a large population, many of our employees. We're going all the way back to henry ford. He was all about giving people upward mobility and opportunities. That's what we stand for as a company. That's why we are coming out with this statement around this particular policy. It's also in our hometown where there is a big population.
HARLOW: What would henry ford have said about this?
FIELDS: I think he would be applauding that as a company we are going out with candor and with respect at the same time.
HARLOW: What will you do as a response?
FIELDS: As a response, we'll run our business. First and foremost, one of our top priorities is the well-being of our employees. None of the employees are directly affected by this, but indirectly with families and things of that nature, we want to make sure that they have the support of us, et cetera. Also, at the same time, we're going to continue to run a successful global automotive maker around the world.
HARLOW: Will you accept a meeting at the White House with the President while this ban is in place?
FIELDS: I think it's been very encouraging, I have had a couple of meetings with the President, and I have been impressed with his ability to listen and to learn in these meetings. And in our next meeting, just like we did last week, we will be open, honest, state our view and provide some input and move on.
HARLOW: So, you will meet with him. Will you tell him you think this is a bad idea?
FIELDS: We'll always be straightforward. As a company and we'll continue to do that. We were straightforward last week when he asked us for opinion on how to drive growth, economic growth and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. we'll do it with candor and we'll also do it, poppy, with respect.
HARLOW: Does this hurt that growth? I kept thinking over the weekend, Steve Jobs' father was a Syrian immigrant. Without him, we may not have apple. How have immigrants, refugees helped Ford.
FIELDS: The history of our country. First off we're all immigrants into this country. Secondly, as a company we have grown from over the last 114 years in a major automaker, by the great people who would worked after the company over the year. From all races, creeds, nationalities. That's what's makes us great as a country and makes us great as a company.
HARLOW: The Trump administration says this is not a Muslim ban. How does Ford see it?
FIELDS: Well, we just view this as against our core values as a company. As I mentioned, poppy, we're a company that leads by -- lives by our values, and when we see something that's not aligned with that, we'll call it out.
HARLOW: Does this seem like a Muslim ban, in part, to the company? You have Muslims that work for Ford.
FIELDS: You'll have to ask the administration and the President that question. From our standpoint, it's simply that it's not aligned with our values and, therefore, we are taking a stand on this.
HARLOW: The President is following through on his promise during the campaign to build the wall. Does ford agree with that policy?
FIELDS: Overall from a policy standpoint it's important to make sure that we the right to immigrate into the country. In terms of the wall we haven't taken a position. We want to make sure the borders are secure and also as a global automaker make sure we can ship our products and components back and forth to drive our economic growth in the United States.
KEILAR: We are moments away now from the closing bell. And stocks are having the worst day since President Donald Trump took office. Much more on that from my colleague Jake Tapper on "The Lead."