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6 Dead, 8 Wounded in Mosque Shooting; Trump's Travel Ban Triggers Global Condemnation; Democrats Fight Against Travel Ban. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired January 30, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, January 30, 6 a.m. in New York, and we do begin with breaking news for you.
Deadly gunfire ringing out at this mosque in Canada. Police say six people were killed at the Islamic Center of Refuge and Worship in Quebec City. Canada's prime minister calling this a terrorist attack. Witnesses describe a coordinated assault.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We do know that police have made two arrests. They say the situation is now under control. But what do we know about who did this and why?
Let's get the very latest from CNN's Paula Newton live in Quebec for us -- Paula.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
The main piece of the investigation the police are looking into is the fact that this was a coordinated attack. They're talking two attackers and weapons. Weapons that they believe are, of course, banned here in Canada.
As you were saying, six and eight people in the hospital. Six critically injured. Authorities telling us those people are fighting for their lives right now.
The mosque here, the Islamic Cultural Society saying, look, they are completely stunned. While they have had some issues at this mosque behind me in the past. In fact, during Ramadan in June, they had the head of a pig left in front of their mosque. They not think it was concern for any kind of violence.
Needless to say, the community is completely shocked. And as investigators try and piece this together, they are going through the city right now, conducting raids and searches. What they really want to know is if they had co-conspiracy -- co-conspirators -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: All right. Thank you very much. Bring us all of the developments as soon as you get those. Now, to President Trump's seven-nation travel ban that has triggered
nationwide protest and global condemnation, not to mention lawsuits and airport chaos. The White House pushing back, defending the action, insisting it is not a Muslim ban, as top Republicans, some, distance themselves from this executive orders. CNN's Athena Jones is live from the White House.
I know you had a very busy weekend, Athena. So what is the latest on this?
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very busy. Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, after a weekend of confusion, the Department of Homeland Security said last night that no one in the initial group of people affected by the ban remains detained. Everyone has either been released into the U.S. or put on planes back home.
But the firestorm over these measures shows no sign of letting up.
JONES (voice-over): Amid massive and growing backlash, President Donald Trump defending his immigration executive order, insisting, "This is not about religion. This is about terror and keeping our country safe." His administration pushing back at massive protests and claims of disorganization.
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Apologize for nothing here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was an extreme vetting program that wasn't properly vetted.
JONES: Asserting they're extremely proud of the order, which bans travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations for three months and suspends all refugee admissions for four. Syrian refugees barred indefinitely.
The White House claiming the ban resulted in extremely minimal disruption, despite chaotic scenes erupting at airports around the world.
The Department of Homeland Security issuing one clarification late Sunday night. Green card holders from these seven countries won't be denied entry into the U.S. but will face a secondary screaming. The White House blaming mixed messages on the, quote, "hyperventilating media," insisting the order was successful, citing only 109 travelers being detained in the first 24 hours out of the 325,000 who entered the U.S. in the same period and noting 392 green card holders were granted waivers to enter the country.
All as 16 Democratic attorneys general called the ban unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: This executive order was mean-spirited and un-American.
JONES: With a growing number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle criticizing Mr. Trump's ban.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think the effect will probably in some areas give ISIS some more propaganda.
JONES: In a joint statement Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham calling the travel ban "a self- inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism."
Trump lambasting the Republican senators, tweeting, "They are sadly weak on immigration. The two senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration, and border security, instead of always looking to start World War III."
The White House now facing mounting legal battles, federal judges in New York and Massachusetts already temporarily blocking parts of the ban from taking effect.
JONES: And world leaders are responding with concern. Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, saying she told the president the ban on refugees was against the Geneva Convention.
Meanwhile, the White House is discussing asking foreign visitors for their social media and web surfing information and for their cell phone contacts. Those who decline could be denied entry, an official citing the social media posts of one of the San Bernardino shooters, even though those posts were written under a pseudonym and were protected with strict privacy settings.
In fact, in justifying the ban, the administration has repeatedly cited attacks that the ban would not have prevented, including the San Bernardino shooting, 9/11 and the Boston bombings, even though all 23 people involved in those attacks were either from countries that aren't on the ban list or were U.S. citizens -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Right. And therein lies a lot of the confusion. Athena, thank you very much.
We have a lot to discuss with our panel. We want to bring in CNN political analyst David Gregory; senior congressional correspondent for "The Washington Examiner," David Drucker; and CNN political commentator and political anchor at Spectrum News, Errol Louis. Gentlemen, thank you very much for being here.
Let's put it up one more time on the screen for people, exactly what is included in this executive order. It suspends admission into the U.S. for two months from these 7 majority Muslim countries: Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria. Suspends for four months the American refugee policy, suspends admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely. It caps the total refugee intake to 50,000 in this year; gives entrance priority to religious minorities, such as Christians. Green card holders will face secondary screening. [06:05:09] Errol, this is a very aggressive solution to a problem that
critics say doesn't exist.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: That's correct. And I think that is part of where a lot of the protests were coming from. That -- not as if it were clear and present danger, none of this would have stopped the administration as the reason for this new policy. So we're going to see this play out not just in the streets but also in the courts.
CUOMO: The idea, David Drucker, of calling it a ban, the administration says that's not fair. But let me play you a piece of sound of the president, where he talks about preferencing Christians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do?
TRUMP: Yes, they have been horribly treated. If you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, very, very -- at least very, very tough to get into the United States. If you were a Muslim you could come in, and I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: David, as you know, there's no question that Christians are having a hard time in Syria and elsewhere, but if it's not targeted at Muslims, how do you explain giving Christians a preference?
DAVID DRUCKER, SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER": Well, I think part of the problem gets back to the campaign in November of 2015, when the president proposed a Muslim ban from all countries, specifically targeting Muslims, whether or not we had any knowledge that they were involved in Islamic radicalism or not. And I think that's why people jump to conclusions when the executive order came out.
I think another reason they jump to the conclusion is because of the interview clip you just played and the fact that the administration did very good explanation when it came to what this executive order was about.
And as it turned out, we had green card holders that were subject to the executive order until the administration revised itself and pulled back on that.
And so I think a lot of the uproar coming in on the heels of what the president is trying to do to solve what many Americans do want solved, which is this fear that terrorists will use the refugee program to infiltrate the United States and that there's not proper screening in certain parts of the world, is that they did not do a good enough job of targeting this and then explaining.
So for instance, even though Saudi Arabia isn't on the list where the 9/11 attackers came from, the reason we're targeting Syria and Yemen is. And then going through that with the American people. And we saw the administration on the defensive late yesterday with a statement from the president that sounded much more in line with American presidents past, both Republican and Democrat.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, let me just add that the president wasn't right. When he talked about Christians not being allowed into the country. That's not right. The same number of Christians as Muslims got in in the past year, and that was a fact that was put to Kellyanne Conway on another network yesterday during an interview.
So all of this goes to what is good politics for the Trump administration, which is getting up there and acting fast, acting hastily but to crack down on sources of terror without really having good policy about whether this does that.
What it is does is harken back to a really dark period of American history during World War II, when Jews who were trying to flee Nazi Germany were not allowed into the country for fear that they were a threat or that they were spies. And I don't think that's a part of our history that America wants to return to.
These Syrian refugees, imagine. So many of them who are coming out and fleeing violence and want to come to America for the reasons that everyone wants to come to America. And the notion that they'll be turned away, does the Trump administration think that that makes America safer, because they'll be in a war zone and exposed to other influences? And he thinks that's going to reduce the specter of terrorism?
So that's where I think a lot of the opposition is coming from. The hasty manner in which it was done. The lack of coordination; having to, on the fly, make sure you're exempting green card holders, legal residents, including those who have protected our troops in Iraq, like interpreters for our soldiers. So it lead to this kind of chaos.
CAMEROTA: You know, Errol, the Trump administration team that were out this weekend, basically said, "This is what President Obama did. This is what President Obama identified in 2015. We didn't come up with this list of terror-prone countries. This is the Obama administration's."
But it's different than what the Obama administration did.
LOUIS: Oh, yes, fundamentally. I mean, they also talked about the backlog in visa processing that happened under the Obama administration back in 2011. It couldn't have been more different.
I mean, this -- that was a case where, you know, they had proof that their vetting process maybe wasn't as good as it should have been in a particular case. And they went back and sort of revetted tens of thousands of people that had already been admitted to the United States.
[06:10:12] So I mean, when the Trump administration wants to sort of act as if this is normal or this is a continuation or an extension of the prior administration, I mean, that's when I think they are on the shakiest ground. This is entirely new. It stems back to the statement that he made when he said he wanted a complete and total ban on Muslims entering the United States, and they clearly seem to now be reverse engineering some kind of a rationale for it. The problem, of course, is that the facts don't support it.
And never did the Obama administration tell people that who were green card holders, "You've got to go back." Never did they say...
CAMEROTA: Never a total ban.
LOUIS: There was never a total ban saying we will not even process visa applications.
And of course, the refugee question which, you know, Angela Merkel brought up, I mean, this is U.S. law. You know, you sign a treaty. It becomes U.S. law. And you don't discriminate against people based on their country of origin, and you don't just send back refugees. All of it is going to end up in court. All of it, I think, is going to get litigated.
GREGORY: Right. Let's just remember, these terror attacks...
CUOMO: David, just one thing that's important to note is that one thing that is the same are the seven countries. The -- this current ban does derive those countries from the Obama executive actions, so that, they felt, gave them a little bit of political cover on it.
But David, go ahead, but just make sure that you reiterate the idea that this is about phobias, not facts, in terms of threats that the United States population faces.
GREGORY: Right. I mean, I think that's what's important. Look, I'll go back to this being good politics and, certainly, a president making good on a campaign promise. But I think you have to look at what's behind that. Is it stoking fears?
I mean, there's lots of things that are good politics that's stoking fears. America has been targeted in some of the recent examples, San Bernardino by American citizens. We are a free society, and we have individuals who become radicalized.
There are existing protocols for profiling. If there are certain triggers that anyone presents at our border, whatever border that is, that would lead to further screening that is totally appropriate. And I think legally, of course, Errol is right. There's going to be a lot of, you know, vetting going on here legally. The president, as we know, have a lot of aggression when it comes to determining what is in the country's national security.
DRUCKER: Look, I think two questions have to be answered here. One is a policy constitutional. The other is, is it effective? And there are questions about whether or not the way in which the administration went about this is going to damage our relationship with Muslims and the Islamic community that we need to give us the first read on intelligence to stop attacks.
CAMEROTA: We'll be speaking about all of these angles throughout the program, and we'll be talking to our panel shortly. Thank you guys.
CUOMO: So the Democrats are stomping their feet, but what can they do about it? Can they undo the travel ban? Legal challenges are mounting. We have a New York congressman who spent part of the weekend at JFK Airport. There was a big protest there, fighting for the release of detainees. He's next.
[06:17:11] CUOMO: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer got emotional while denouncing President Trump's travel ban. He had some Muslims standing behind him when he did it. He said that this ban makes Americans less safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUMER: This executive order was mean-spirited and un-American. It was implemented in a way that created chaos and confusion across the country and will only serve to embolden and inspire those around the globe who will do us harm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Democrats are vowing to fight the president's action. What can they do?
Let's bring Democratic New York Congressman Jerry Nadler. He's a member of the Judiciary Committee. He also went to JFK Airport, John Kennedy Airport this weekend to try to gain the release of refugees detained there. It was a big protest on the spot there.
Congressman, thank you for joining us. I know you had a long weekend. The administration says this is much ado about nothing. This is a manifestation of us versus them. And the United States against the terrorists and the people of America against the left. Here's what Reince Priebus, aide to the president, said about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRIEBUS: The fact of the matter is, 325,000 people from foreign countries came into the United States yesterday, and 109 people were detained for further questioning. Most of those people were moved out. We have a couple of dozen more that remain and I would suspect as long as they're not awful people that they will move through before another half a day today.
And perhaps some of these people should be detained further, and if they're folks that shouldn't be in this country, they're going to be detained. And so, apologize for nothing here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Reince Priebus, descendant of Greek immigrants himself, apologized for nothing. Your response?
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: There's a lot to apologize for. Andy Villacsese (ph) and I helped get the release of Darwish (ph) -- Hamid Darwish (ph). This is a fellow who came to this country. He worked for the United -- he worked American troops for ten years. He was targeted. There were several assassination attempts against him, and he almost was sent back to likely face more assassination attempts. There are other people like that.
This is -- this policy is unconstitutional. It's illegal, because the law very clearly says you kind of discriminate against people in immigration based on their national origin, what country.
CUOMO: Even temporarily? Does it matter that it's temporary?
NADLER: No, not if you're doing it on the basis of national origin.
CUOMO: So the duration is irrelevant?
NADLER: As far as the law is concerned.
CUOMO: And the idea that that it was only 100 people?
NADLER: Well, it's 100 people caught at the border. I mean, this was a transition phenomenon. In other words, the 100 people or 200 people we're talking about are people who were in the air when the policy was signed.
[06:20:12] I mean, when you go to put in a new policy, you presumably should let people who are in the air come in under the old policy. They were put on planes. So that was just a transition for that day.
But the point is, it's also really stupid, because all this policy will do; and it's directed against 7 countries. Not -- there hasn't been a single fatality in the United States from terrorism from any person that came from those seven countries.
So what are you attacking? And all you're doing, as former CIA head Michael Hayden, said yesterday, all you're doing is sending a message to Muslims that we are at war with Muslims, and this will simply increase terrorist recruitment.
CUOMO: The president says it only takes once, and the immigration vetting is sloppy and porous, and this is us getting stronger and tighter.
NADLER: Well, the immigration vetting is the tightest vetting we have. It takes an average of two years for an immigr...
CUOMO: A refugee.
NADLER: A refugee to be vetted. If you're worried about potential terrorism, by the way, the terrorist incidences we have here have been from home grown American terrorists. People who live here, are born here and are radicalized. But if you're really worried about people coming into the country, take a look at the 20 million tourists who come in every year, some of them from European countries who have a terrorism problem. They're hardly vetted at all.
CUOMO: The president says also this is false outrage by the Democrats, because you did the same thing with President Obama. Here's an excerpt of the statement from President Trump.
"My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the executive order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror." Fair pushback?
NADLER: Well, "The Washington Post" gave that statement two Pinocchios as basically untrue today.
What happened in 2011 was there was an attack by an Iraqi on Americans, and what they did then, they determined that their vetting was not sufficient. They did not ban Iraqi refugees. They did not stop immigration from Iraq. They put additional vetting into place which slowed down the process for about six months as they put the additional vetting into place. But they never banned it; they never stopped it.
CUOMO: So what do you say to the American people who feel something very deeply, which is there are extreme Islamists out there that want to kill me and I want them stopped at all costs.
NADLER: Absolutely. And the American people that say that are absolutely correct. But you have to do something, A, that's legal and, B, that's intelligent. And you have to direct it at the real threat.
The real threat here so far is homegrown American terrorists and not people from these countries, these seven countries. And you have to get the confidence of Muslim communities in the United States and in Europe and elsewhere and get intelligence from them to identify the threats. And this policy will shut that off to a large extent. It's extremely counterproductive, as former CIA director Michael Hayden said yesterday.
CUOMO: They keep saying San Bernardino, that woman had all those crazy messages on Facebook. You couldn't even pick it up. She killed all those innocents.
NADLER: She wasn't an immigrant from Iraq or from any of these countries. She was here.
CUOMO: But she had come in through a system that didn't pick up her obvious evil intentions.
NADLER: Whether it was obvious when she came in, I don't know. But if you say you should have better vetting, no one can object. CUOMO: Arguably, it wasn't obvious, because there were messages
written under pseudonyms, and that gets to privacy laws and what you can do, basically, with social media. That's another discussion.
NADLER: We ought to have very good vetting. Right now, we have very good vetting for refugees, much more than for anybody else.
CUOMO: Quick last thing. What can you do about it? You don't have the votes. How can you stop this policy?
NADLER: I think the courts will stop it. It's clearly illegal and unconstitutional. I think the courts -- the court in New York that stopped people from being put on planes to go back said, before they issues a temporary restraining order, it's because the plaintiffs have a likelihood of success of the merits after a closed-door hearing.
I think the courts will put a stop to this. It's clearly illegal and unconstitutional. And in Congress, there are not just Democrats who are objecting. It's the Republicans, too. So maybe we'll be able to do something legislative. Although it's hard to draft legislations that will obey the law.
CUOMO: Congressman Nadler, thank you very much. Appreciate it -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Ahead, Chris, next we're going to get a reality check on the president's travel ban. What exactly does it do? Who does it effect?
[06:28:37] CUOMO: President Trump's executive order on refugees and foreign travelers has sparked a lot of emotional reaction. But let's take a step back and break down the facts. Not just deal with phobias.
The order suspends the refugee program for 120 days. OK? It caps refugee admissions at 50,000 a year. That will be a major drop from the almost 85,000 refugees who entered the U.S. in 2016. It also cuts the Obama administration ceiling of 110,000 a year in half.
President Trump's executive order also bars citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from entering America for 90 days, three months: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In 2015, about 84,000 people from these countries entered the U.S., mostly on tourist business and student visas. The majority traveling from Iran and Iraq. All right. Those look specifically at Syrian refugees.
President Trump went a step further there. There's an indefinite ban on anyone fleeing persecution in Syria. Last year the U.S. accepted around 12,600 Syrians, second only to refugees coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
You will hear that Christians can't get out of Syria, but Muslims can get into the U.S. That's not true. Equal amounts of each got into the U.S. last year.
So how many terror attacks have refugees actually carried out in the U.S.? According to the conservative-leaning think tank the Cato Institute, of the more than 3 million refugees admitted from 1975 to the end of 2015, 20 were terrorists, amounting to .0062 percent.