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Several people in the Republican leadership are coming out today harshly against the President Trump's assertion of the United States is morally equivalent to Russia; Federal appeals court has denied an emergency request to resume the president's travel ban; Aired 4-5p ET

Aired February 5, 2017 - 16:00   ET


[16:00:00] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: If something happens, blame him and court system. People pouring in, bad.

Let's get to CNN's Jessica Schneider who is live outside of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Jessica, we know that Trump's lawyers at the department of justice have been careful to not mention or bring up some of his more inflammatory tweets in court. Clearly that is not stopping him.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. You know, President Trump's twitter tirade yesterday. It did raise eyebrows. It prompted condemnation. It was silent this morning. No tweets this morning. But just in the past few minutes, President Trump is back at it again, as you saw in that first tweet, once again targeting that judicial system.

Just a few minutes ago, he did put out a second tweet, once again, casting his ire out on the court and talking about homeland security. Here is what he said.

He said, I have instructed homeland security to check people coming into our country very carefully. The courts are making the job very difficult.

Of course Donald Trump referring there to the courts in general, but it was yesterday when he unleashed on twitter, specifically targeting the federal judge in Seattle, James Robart, calling him a quote "so- called judge," calling his ruling quote "ridiculous." Of course, this is unheard of, really, for a sitting president to be criticizing a federal judge. It's prompted a lot of push back, a lot of concern among both house Republicans and Democrats.

House speaker Paul Ryan now sort of dancing around the issue for choosing to stay above the fray, talking only about policy saying that he doesn't really pay attention to tweets and social media.

But earlier today we did hear from vice president Mike Pence and what he had to say about it, about this travel ban, about the executive order and about this legal process, he put a very fine point on it. Not elaborating much, but he said that he is confident that the travel ban would be upheld. But despite that, President Trump once again this afternoon taking to twitter and targeting the judicial system - Boris.

SANCHEZ: All right. Jessica Schneider, thank you.

Joining us now to talk more about this, CNN global affairs analyst Aaron David Miller and CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos.

Gentlemen, thank you both for joining us.

Danny to you first, the department of justice is trying to make the case that blocking the executive order immediately harms the American public. What evidence would they use to make that case, to make that argument?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The idea behind the DOJ's argument is that the executive branch has not only the inherent power under the constitution, but under federal law, and those things two vest the executive branch with the power to exclude people that it deems a threat from the United States, so who are seeking to come into the country. And they cite a number of cases and prior occasions where the president has exercised that power and has exercised it validly.

The plaintiff on the other hand argues in this case, the state of Washington, that these actions are racially motivated, religiously motivated, such as that they violate not only the constitution, but actual federal law which prohibits this kind of discrimination.

SANCHEZ: Aaron, to you, there has to be let's say apprehension among world leaders when it comes to dealing with the United States, when they see this legal battle that's unfolding here and some of the rhetoric that's come from candidate and then President Donald Trump. How does the world view what's unfolding with this travel ban right now.

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: You know, where you stand, Boris, has a lot to do with where you sit. So I'm sure there are certain world leaders that admire the president's tough muscular approach and which reflects a certain populist nationalism. And there are others, certainly, prime minister of Iraq, heads of many Muslim countries, the Saudis and the Egyptians, since they are not on the list of restricted countries of the seven, have said very little about this.

You know, I'm not a lawyer, Boris, and I don't want to play one on TV. But I think the central point about the executive order is this. Is it designed to actually make Americans safer? And the reality is the data simply doesn't support it. I mean, you don't have a single refugee admitted since 1980, under the refugee act that has been implicated in a fatal terrorist attack against Americans here at home. The seven countries, none of them, none of the citizens nor their parents of these countries have been implicated in here as well. The real threat we face is homegrown terror, and that is carried out largely by permanent legal residents or American citizens, some of whom have been in this country for many years. So that's - I think that is the real question.

I can't argue the point with Danny. He is a very talented lawyer. But I think in terms of the foreign policy implications, the data simply doesn't support the fact that this executive order is going to cause harm to the American public.

[16:05:04] SANCHEZ: And to be fair, Aaron, there were two Iraqi men arrested in Kentucky back in 2011 that were not planning a domestic terror attack, but they were aiding terror cells overseas and that's part of the reason that President Trump put that temporary ban on Iraqi refugees coming to the United States or at least having them be riveted.

To you, Danny, now the department of justice has revealed a little bit about how they plan to argue the case. Do you think one of their efforts is going to be to say that the judge in this case doesn't have the standing to execute this ordination nationwide?

CEVALLOS: Well, they are going to argue standing primarily in the state of Washington. That the state of Washington does not have standing on behalf of its citizens or other visa holders or Americans or any of the people they purport to sue on behalf of because the state of Washington simple doesn't have an interest in the outcome. It doesn't have the speculative effect of this order, doesn't rise to that legal level of having a concrete interest in the outcome, and that is standing. The idea behind standing is that you can't just have a theoretical interest and open the courthouse doors and start suing people.

Now, of course, the state of Washington says it has a very real concrete interest, because these citizens, these people are immediately affected by this executive order and they are immediately harmed. And the state of Washington is in a situation that it can bring this and have standing.

SANCHEZ: Now Aaron, you touched on some of this earlier, but I wanted to get your thoughts on this. Yesterday the president tweeted quote "it's interesting that certain Middle Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know some that certain people are allowed in, it is death and destruction."

First, do you know which Middle Eastern countries he is talking about?

MILLER: I mean, again, there are several obvious candidates, perhaps he was referring to. I mean, of the four countries that provided hijackers during 9/11, all four are not on the list - Lebanon, UAE, the Emirates, the Egyptians and the Saudis. And the Egyptians and the Saudis in large part because we have tremendous foreign policy equities in these two countries, both Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt and none of the Saudi royals have commented negatively on this even though many in the Muslim and Arab world considered this ban to be just discriminatory. So I suspect he was thinking about those two, I'm sure.

SANCHEZ: And from your perspective, why wouldn't they be included. There are 16 out of the 19 September 11th hijackers came from Saudi Arabia.

MILLER: You know, that's an interesting question. Why are the seven countries on the list? The Trump administration argued quite logically that these are the seven countries of concern that first emerged. Three of them, Sudan, Syria and Iran are classified as state sponsors of terror. Others such as Libya, Somalia and Yemen have lost control of their territory and transnational jihadi groups are operating and ISIS is operating. So there is a certain logic in referring to what the Obama administration has done, paradoxically, in some respects, to use the previous administration as cover for denoting these seven countries.

SANCHEZ: All right, Aaron David Miller and Danny Cevallos, we have to leave it there. Thank you, gentlemen for joining us.

MILLER: Thank you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Next, a Trump surrogate weighs in on the travel ban and the legal fight ahead. Can the Trump White House survive in court?


[16:11:43] SANCHEZ: Several people in the Republican leadership are coming out today harshly against the president's assertion of the United States is morally equivalent to Russia, saying that our country is not so innocent when Bill O'Reilly called Vladimir Putin a killer.

Ohio governor John Kasich tweeted this earlier today. America has been a beacon of light and freedom. There is no equivalent with the brutal regime of Vladimir Putin.

He echoed when Senator Marco Rubio tweeted earlier and he wrote, when has a Democratic political activist been prisoned by the GOP or vice versa? We are not the same as Putin.

And senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Ben Sasse also criticized Trump's comment. Listen.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MAJORITY LEADER: Putin is a former KGB agent. He is a thug. He was not elected in a way that most people would consider a credible election. The Russians annexed Crimea, invaded Ukraine and messed around in our elections. No, I don't think there is any equivalency between the way the Russians conducted themselves and the way the United States does.

SEN. BEN SASSE (R), NEBRASKA: I will be honest, I don't know what the president's trying to do with statements like he has allegedly had on O'Reilly on the super bowl tonight. So I have only seen a little clips of that. There may be a broader context. But let's be clear. Has the U.S. ever made any mistakes? Of course. Is the U.S. at all like Putin's regime? Not at all.

The U.S. affirms freedom of speech. Putin is no friend of freedom of speech. Putin is an enemy of freedom of religion. The U.S. celebrates freedom of religion. Putin is the enemy of the free press. The U.S. celebrates free press. Putin is an enemy of political dissent. The U.S. celebrates political dissent and the right for people to argue free from violence about places where ideas are in conflict. There is no moral equivalency between the United States of America, the greatest freedom loving nation in the history of the world and the murderous thugs that are in Putin's defense.


SANCHEZ: Joining us now to discuss is Pete Hoekstra. He is a senior fellow at the investigative project on terrorism and a former congressman from Michigan who once served as the chairman for the house intelligence committee.

Sir, what do you say to this growing criticism of Trump's stands on Putin and Russia from prominent Republican leaders?

PETE HOEKSTRA (R), FORMER CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, what I will say, number one is this clearly was introduced in the beginning of the segment. It is fake news. There was nothing in the comment that I have seen that Mr. Trump made to O'Reilly, and again, we have only seen segments of this. But where he is saying that there is a moral equivalency between Putin, Russia and the United States of America. That's just inaccurate reporting, and unfair to the president.

SANCHEZ: Sir --.

HOEKSTRA: Is the clip that I saw, the only thing that Trump said was, we are not necessarily clean, which is not a whole lot different from what Barack Obama said as he went around the world and apologized for the United States.

SANCHEZ: Sir, I actually have a transcript here and I will read it to you and we could play the clip again so you could see exactly what President Trump said.

Bill O'Reilly asks him about his respect for Vladimir Putin. He says that he respects Vladimir Putin. Then he says he is a killer though, Putin is a killer. Trump says, lot of killers. We have got a lot of killers. Boy, you think our country is so innocent, you think our country is so innocent.

Is he not putting us on an equal footing with Russia on a moral stance, a country that - I mean, you talk about authoritarian leaders. Vladimir Putin from a wide array of national or international agencies is considered an authoritarian dictator. Are you suggesting that perhaps he is not or that's what President Trump is saying?

[16:15:27] HOEKSTRA: I don't think that's all where he said. What he says, you know, and Trump has gone through and he has been criticized a number of times, (INAUDIBLE). What he (INAUDIBLE) used to say is that as a leader, Putin has certain admirable qualities, none of which are consistent with American values in American style government. But when you take a look at Russia's presence in the world, especially in places like the Middle East, where, yes, they negotiate a ceasefire in Syria, America sits on the sidelines, where they are reengaging with the Kurds in northern Iraq, where they are reengaging with the Egyptian government. All because the United States has been pulled back, Russia's leadership is ascending at the same time that America was declining. But he was not saying that Russia is superior or equivalent in terms of the way that they govern or the values that they have.

SANCHEZ: So essentially, what you are saying is that all these Republican leaders have somehow fallen for fake news when they distance themselves from the president making these comments. Are you suggesting that they have been duped or that they misinterpret that?

HOEKSTRA: No, I'm not suggesting that all. I don't know exactly what information was presented to them. I do know that they, as I do, we feel, you know, that there is no moral equivalency between the United States of America and Russia as I think a couple of these individuals said we have made mistakes.

But the bottom line is we each have our own opinions about the United States. We each have our own opinions about Russia and the evil dictators that are out there. And we are giving our points of view and we are defending our points of view.

I'm interpreting what I believe Donald Trump may or may not have in mind. But I also recognize that Donald Trump recognizes that a number one priority of the United States has to be to confront and contain the threat from radical jihadists with the ultimate goal of destroying that threat to the United States and to the west. And where we have evolved to, is that most likely, to shorten that fight and to get to a solution more quickly and more effectively. We may have to engage with the Russians at some point in time to see if there can be an agreement about how we share this common goal of defeating ISIS, how if there's any common ground for us to work together, recognizing that there's so much that divides us.

Our strategy in Syria, the strategy against Iran, the strategies and the activities in Ukraine and Crimea, those are all things that separate us. But in terms of at least confronting and destroying ISIS, there may be just a small slice of common ground.

SANCHEZ: Sir, I certainly sympathize with different interpretations perhaps of the president's comments. But to suggest that they are fake news when we play a video clip of an interview specifically using his words, I would have to disagree with you.

HOEKSTRA: No. Excuse me. You said it was moral equivalency. You took a statement that said, you know, America is not all clean or some clean, something like that and say that that now means that Donald Trump says it is moral equivalency. That's not what he said.

SANCHEZ: Well, he said that there are killers within the United States, that's unlike anything any president has really ever said before. And I don't really think it's fair to call it fake news when we present that to Republican leaders and they respond in a specific way distancing themselves.

HOEKSTRA: I believe he is not talking about killers. He is talking about killers around the world that in the past the United States has to do business with. Again, we have only seen a part of this transcript. And I believe he

is talking about people that the United States has had to partner with whether it's -- whether it's in Iran or the people that we engaged with in Libya and Syria to take down Moammar Gadhafi and who knows who we worked with in Syria to help create the kind of chaos that they have there right now.

SANCHEZ: It was in response to a question about Vladimir Putin.

But sir, I do appreciate your time. I would think that the Republican leaders would certainly disagree with you on that token as well. Thank you so much, sir.

HOEKSTRA: No. I think actually I agree with the Republican leadership and the statements that they make.

SANCHEZ: So you agree with them that they don't understand why Donald Trump is saying that?

[16:20:03] HOEKSTRA: No. I think that --.

SANCHEZ: And that's what they said.


HOEKSTRA: There is not a moral equivalency between the United States and Russia. And, you know, since I have not talked to Donald Trump and they probably haven't, we can't fully understand exactly what he intended to say, whether he misspoke or he said exactly what he had on his mind. But to describe it as moral equivalency, I think is going about three, four, five steps way beyond what he actually said.

SANCHEZ: Sir, that's what Mitch McConnell said. I mean, we can disagree on the interpretation perhaps of what the president said, but we are reporting what other Republican leaders are saying in response to the president. To call that fake news, is a joke.

HOEKSTRA: Well, the -- I'm sorry, I really do believe that your introduction was inaccurate, and was unfair to the president. It may have been fair in terms of what another Republican may have said, but we are talking about a statement that the president of the United States made. And I think the introduction to this segment would have been a whole lot fairer, if you had not described it as Donald Trump saying that there was a moral equivalency between the United States and Russia and our behavior in the world. We all approximate know that's not true and none of us here believe that to be true.

SANCHEZ: Sir, I want you just to listen --

HOEKSTRA: And I don't believe the president believes that to be true.

SANCHEZ: I want you to listen to this unedited, untouched sound from Mitch McConnell this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCCONNELL: Putin is a former KGB agent. He is a thug. He was not elected in a way that most people would consider a credible election. The Russians annexed Crimea, invaded Ukraine and messed around in our elections. No, I don't think there is any equivalency between the way the Russians conducted themselves and the way the United States does.

BASSE: I will be honest, I don't know what the president's trying to do with statements like he has allegedly has on O'Reilly on the super bowl tonight. So I have only seen a little clips of that. There may be a broader context. But let's be clear. Has the U.S. ever made any mistakes? Of course. Is the U.S. at all like Putin's regime? Not at all.

The U.S. affirms freedom of speech. Putin is no friend of freedom of speech. Putin is an enemy of freedom of religion. The U.S. celebrates freedom of religion. Putin is the enemy of the free press. The U.S. celebrates free press. Putin is an enemy of political dissent. The U.S. celebrates political dissent and the right for people to argue free from violence about places where ideas are in conflict. There is no moral equivalency between the United States of America, the greatest freedom loving nation in the history of the world and the murderous thugs that are in Putin's defense.


SANCHEZ: Again, this is someone that the president said he respects --


SANCHEZ: Pardon me, sir. This is someone who the president said that he respects. This is also someone who the ambassador of the United Nations Nikki Haley bashed in front of the United Nations just a few days ago and the president is seeming to say that the United States is not quite as innocent as we pretend to be, perhaps not quite as innocent as an equivalent to Russia in reference specifically to Vladimir Putin.

HOEKSTRA: Which is exactly what Senator Ben Sasse said that America is not perfect. And I don't think if you take a look at the president's comments, goes much beyond where Senator Sasse went which is that, you know, we are not perfect. We have made mistakes, and we have no moral equivalency with Russia. And I think Donald Trump would agree with that statement 100 percent.

And I agree with what both McConnell and Ben Sasse characterized Russia, their behavior, the activities of Putin, clearly, they are thugs. They have broken the world order in a number of different places, tens of thousands of people have died because of their behavior. And there is no moral equivalency between what they have done. But the key thing here is Donald Trump never implied that there was a moral equivalency between our -- between the United States and Russia.

You can take it wherever you want. You can call it moral equivalency. I don't believe that Donald Trump said that. And, you know, I believe characterizing that in that way is totally inappropriate and unfair.

SANCHEZ: We will make sure to ask him about it the next time he holds a press conference.

Mr. Hoekstra, I has been fun to speak with you. We appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

We will be right back after this.


[16:28:31] SANCHEZ: A federal appeals court has denied an emergency request to resume the president's travel ban. Thousands of people from several Muslim minority nations were blocked from returning to the United States after the ban went into effect.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has spoken with Syrian refugees living right here in Georgia. Here that report.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A search for refuge led Hasan and Lani (ph) Mousa from Aleppo, Syria to an Atlanta suburb. This is where the couple started their new life in the U.S. Away from the war zone that was their home fighting there, force them into neighboring Turkey.

HASAN MOUSA, SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translator): I didn't stay in Turkey because there's discrimination against Kurds and that forced me to apply asylum in the United States.

SANDOVAL: Months later, Hasan and Lani (ph) reached out to a refugee organizations within the United States. They were vetted and two years after fleeing Syria, admitted in as refugees.

Today, they make a living working in these aisles, and in the kitchen of this international market northeast of Atlanta. The Mousas are among six Middle Eastern refugees working here. The market's owner, a 22-year-old second generation of American of Jordanian heritage says it's about giving refugees a chance to ease into life in the U.S.

JORDAN A. SATARY, SHOP OWNER: I'm happy and pleased to be able to give them that opportunity to allow them to express all that they want to do and allow them to grow with us. And, you know, it's my hope that I can help train them and help them, you know, (INAUDIBLE).

SANDOVAL: Lani (ph) assessed life in America was hard at first but she is working to overcome language and cultural barriers.

RANIA MOUSA, SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translator): When I first arrived, I was a bit concerned, but after meeting some American friends they helped me, accepted me and helped me with the language and things are better for me now.

SANDOVAL: Though the White House executive order remains in legal flux, the Mousa's hope refugees will still be able to enter the U.S. allowing others to have the same opportunity as them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I did not communicate with anyone here about that ban. Yes I know about it but I hope that President Trump will revisit his decision and open the states again for the refugees, because the ones who are living as refugees, they are suffering, wherever they are, from any country they're in. They're suffering and they have the need and they have the right to live a good life with dignity.

SANDOVAL: And just like there Chris (ph), there is also some support among lawmakers, Republican lawmakers, not only Washington but also at the state level including from Georgia State senator Michael Williams who released a statement reading in part, "I absolutely stand behind President Trump's executive order. This is well within the constitutional powers of the president. Democrats and activist judges are playing politics with our national security force."

So clearly, one lawmaker here, his support is still steadfast with the commander-in-chief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but the whole story is really just the perfect microcosm to show just how we divided -- how divided we are as a country. There are some people that feel so strongly about having these immigrants come to our country on one side and there are so many people, many Trump supporters that felt safer when this ban was passed.

SANDOVAL: And Friday's decision by the judge just fuelling that debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

Coming up, the new controversial comments by the president. He compares the U.S. to Vladimir Putin's Russia. We'll hear the interview and discuss, next.


[16:35:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Donald Trump sat down with Bill O'Reilly for a pre-Super Bowl interview. He discussed nearly every executive action he signs since being sworn into office including this controversial travel ban which he says rolled out "smoothly." Watch.


BILL O'REILLY, THE O'REILLY FACTOR SHOW HOST, FOX NEWS: So anther big week for the Trump administration. Judge Gorsuch, that rolled out one very smoothly.


O'REILLY: But the refugee deal not so much.

TRUMP: I think it was very smooth. We had a 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.

O'REILLY: You wouldn't do anything differently if you had to do it over again?

TRUMP: Look, in life --

O'REILLY: Some of the people didn't really know what the order was.

TRUMP: Well, that's not what General Kelly said. General Kelly who is now Secretary Kelly, he said he totally. He was aware of it and it was very smooth. It was 109 people.

O'REILLY: Let's talk about Iran. Your assessment, do you think we're on a collision course we being the United States with that country?

TRUMP: I think it was the worst deal I've ever seen negotiated. I think it was deal that should have never been negotiated.


TRUMP: Absolutely. The deal that was made by the Obama administration, I think it's a shame that we've had a deal like that and that we had to sign a deal like that and there was no reason to do it. And if you're going to do it have a good deal. We gave them $1.7 billion in cash, which is unheard of and we put the money up and we have really nothing to show for it.

O'REILLY: Possibly you'll tear it up? TRUMP: We'll see what happens and then we're going to see what happens. I ca say this, they have total disregard for our country. They are the number one terrorist state. They're sending money all over the place and weapons, and you can't do that.

O'REILLY: Sanctions, that's how you're going to start with them?

TRUMP: Just started.

O'REILLY: But you're going to move in a carrier, right.

TRUMP: I never talk about military moves. I always criticize President Obama with it having announcement, that they're going into Mosul or they're going to someplace, they give the name, the date the time. I don't believe in that.

O'REILLY: So you're not bullish on Iran at this point?

TRUMP: No, I'm not bullish. I think they have total disrespect for our country. And I have said, that deal -- I would have lived with it if they said OK, we're all together now.

O'REILLY: But --

TRUMP: But it was just the opposite. It's like they're emboldened. They follow our planes, they circle our ships with their little boats and they lost respect because they can't believe anybody could be so stupid as to make a deal like that. O'REILLY: You talked to Putin last week. You had a busy week last


TRUMP: A pretty busy week. A busy week and a half.

O'REILLY: Do you respect Putin?

TRUMP: I do respect him --

O'REILLY: Do you? Why?

TRUMP: Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him. He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not. And ii Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world.

O'REILLY: Right.

TRUMP: Major fight, that's a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea. It's possible I won't

O'REILLY: He's a killer. Putin's a killer.

TRUMP: There are a lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What you think? Our country is so innocent? You think our country is so innocent?

O'REILLY: I don't know of any government leaders that are killers, I mean --

TRUMP: Take a look at what we've done too. We made a lot of mistakes. I've been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.

O'REILLY: Yet mistakes are different than --

TRUMP: There are a lot of mistakes, OK, but a lot of people were killed so, a lot of killers, around believe me.

O'REILLY: Let's talk about Mexico. There was a report you talked to President Nieto and you told him this was the report. I want to know if it's true or not, that if his army couldn't handle the drug cartels that U.S. Army soldiers would. Did you say that?

TRUMP: We have to do something about the cartels. I did talk to him about it. I want to help him with it. I think he's a very good man. We have a very good relationship, as you probably know. He seemed very willing to get help from us, because he has got a problem.

O'REILLY: He got a problem.

TRUMP: And it's a real problem for us. Don't forget those cartels are operating in our country and they're poisoning the youth of our country.

O'REILLY: At this point, do you consider Mexico a corrupt country because this stuff has been going on for decades.

TRUMP: I love the people. I really like this administration. I think he's a good man and we get along very well, but they have problems controlling aspects of their country. There's no question about it. And I would say the drugs and the drug cartels number one.

O'REILLY: Have you figured out what kind of a tariff you're going to levee on Mexico to pay for the wall?

TRUMP: Well right now, it's very unfavorable. Right now we're losing our jobs to Mexico. You look at the plants, you look a these massive plants, I have to tell you, I've turned it around already. I've turned it around, you see that. Ford has been phenomenal. They canceled the plant. They're building tremendous --

O'REILLY: You intimidated them. They're afraid of you.

TRUMP: No. General Motors has --

O'REILLY: They're afraid of you. You know this --

TRUMP: I don't know they're afraid. No, no, they want to do what's right. They're going to --

O'REILLY: They want to do what's right? Why didn't they do what was right in the past. They're afraid of you.

TRUMP: Because the wrong people spoke to them. But they're going to do what's right

[16:40:00] and they're bringing jobs back to Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and all the places that lost the jobs. So, that's already happening. I think you're going to see a tremendous job growth in this country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's discuss more with our panel. Back with me, Aaron David Miller and Pete Hoekstra, also joining us, Allan Dershowitz, he's a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School. Also joining us CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein and CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson. Peter, to you first, although they've never met, Trump seems to trust Vladimir Putin very much. Would you trust Putin to help us in the fight against ISIS?

PETER HOEKSTRA, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM MICHIGAN: I don't think I hear him saying that he trusts Putin at all. I hear what he says is that for what the leader of Russia is supposed to do for his country, he has respect for what Putin has been able to accomplish. But I don't see him at all, number one, saying that he trusts Putin, and number two, taking any actions at all at this point in time in terms of reaching out to Russia and indicating in any way that we're going into this, you know, naively, fully trusting Putin at all.

He just says, at least the clip that I heard said, yes, we really might be in a position where we have common ground with Russia and if we can get some common ground with Russia to wipe out the scourge of radical Islam, ISIS, ISIL, whatever you want to call it, that might be something that we should take a look at.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill O'Reilly several times pointed out some of the things that Russia is criticized for around the world and Trump remains saying that he was respectful of Trump -- something that he said many times before and it wouldn't be the first time that a president of the United States tried to be friendly towards Russia at the beginning of their administration and things didn't quite turn out the way that they perhaps expected.

Ivan, to you, how does this play in Ukraine or Poland or any of our NATO allies especially those that had felt direct pressure from the Kremlin?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's a fair amount of anxiety in some of these Eastern European countries, these small NATO countries that were occupied and ruled by Moscow during the soviet decades, from my previous reporting in Eastern Europe. I saw that firsthand in some of the small Baltic states.

It's interesting you bring up Ukraine -- Donald Trump called the Ukrainian president Saturday evening. They discussed the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine and talked about a possible U.S.-Russian- Ukrainian effort to try to bring an end to that conflict.

It's notable that the deadly fighting there spiked in the week after Trump and President Putin had their first phone call when they're both presidents basically, that was about a week and ad day ago, and suddenly you had this explosion of killing that was going on in eastern Ukraine with both sides accusing each other of this.

Here in Moscow, a lot of voices in the Russian government were basically claiming that the Ukrainians were escalating the fighting in an effort to look like the victims and to bring in the U.S. on their behalf. So this is going to be a very difficult tight rope for the Trump administration to walk when you've got this active war under way in Eastern Ukraine involving Russia, a country that Trump has repeatedly said he wants to cooperate with and repair the damaged relations between these two countries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron, to you now, something interesting that the president said is that he's not bullish on Iran. So far we've seen in response to ballistic missile tests by Iran, U.S. Navy drills in the Persian Gulf. We also saw the implementation of some new sanctions -- things that the previous administration did. We saw shows of force in the Persian Gulf under President Obama. We also saw sanctions in response to ballistic missile tests. So what do you see in your estimation is going to be different about this administration from the previous one?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean clearly they're determined. It seems to me to at least abide by the terms of the Iran nuclear agreement. I mean the background briefing the other day when Mike Flynn went on put Iran on notice, that background briefing went to great lengths to basically say that we're calling out Iran on a variety of other issues but not the nuclear agreement.

So the fact that the president blasted the agreement today but made no mention of trying to undermine it I think is point one. Number two, you clearly are going to see a toughening of the American response to Iranian behavior. Clearly on ballistic missiles, maybe they'll interdict Iranian arms shipments to the Houthis in Yemen.

They may challenge Iranian fast boats that are training on American naval vessels, training around them. So no, I think you will see a toughening. The question (INAUDIBLE) is to what degree those actions are going

[16:45:00] over time implement, excuse me, affect the Iranian nuclear agreement. The actual conundrum I think that the administration now faces

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alan, let's talk travel ban. The president here defended his decision. The Department of Justice is now trying to make a case that blocking the executive order immediately harms the American public. What evidence do you think they can present right now to make that case?

ALAN DERSHOWITSZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: It's going to be very, very hard. I think they made a real blunder, a legal blunder by asking two judges on the 9th Circuit to immediately overrule the stay. That was an unwinnable motion, and they should have known, a lawyer should have told them you can't win that and you're going to get very bad headlines around the world that you lost it.

They should have simply gone into court and said please give us an expedited schedule for briefing so that we can argue this thing on the merits, we can show that the state doesn't have standing, that a family in Yemen that wants to get a visa has no right to get a visa, that there may be distinctions between people with green cards that they've recognized.

But it was a real blunder to ask the 9th Circuit judges for a resolve that it was impossible for them to get. Now, we're going to see a briefing schedule setup and I think we're going to see a divided decision. I think we're going to ultimately see a decision that says some of the executive order is constitutional, even if it's bad policy, but some of the executive order is unconstitutional.

I was a little bit upset today when Vice President Pence on a television station said that I favored the deal. I'm strongly opposed to the deal, in fact, I've called for the president to rescind the deal and to go back to the drawing boards and try to create a new proposal that would survive constitutional tests.

So I think we're in for some days and weeks of litigation and in the end the president would be far better served if he withdrew the order and went back to the drawing table and with a consultation with lawyers, with national security people, came up with a compromise that kept the bad people out but let the students and the families in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And gentlemen, we're going to ask that you please stand by and stay with us. We need to take a break right now. When we come back, we'll continue the discussion including on why the president says that sanctuary cities breed crime. We'll be back in just a moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump once again taking in at sanctuary cities saying again that he might pull federal funding as "a weapon" by saying he doesn't want to defend the whole state of California even though it's considering becoming a sanctuary state. The president also refusing to budge on his debunked claims that millions of people voted illegally. Listen to this.


O'REILLY: Let's turn to domestic policy. I just spent the week in California. As you know, they are now voting on whether they should become a sanctuary state. So California and the USA are on a collision course. How do you see it?

TRUMP: Well I think it's ridiculous. Sanctuary cities, as you know, I'm very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime. There are a lot of problems. If we have to defund, we give tremendous amounts of money to California --

O'REILLY: So you're going to defund --

TRUMP: California in many ways is out of control as you know. Obviously the voters agree, otherwise, they wouldn't have voted for me.

O'REILLY: So defunding is your weapon of choice?

TRUMP: Well, it's a weapon. I don't want to defund the state or the city.

O'REILLY: But you're willing to do.

TRUMP: I don't want to defund anybody, I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state and they're going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.

O'REILLY: Is there any validity to the criticism of you that you say things you can't back up factually, and as the president, if you say for example that there are 3 million illegal aliens who voted and then you don't have the data to back it up, some people are going to say that's irresponsible for a president to say that. Is there ant validity to it?

[16:50:01] TRUMP: Well, many people have come out and said I'm right, you know that.

O'REILLY: I know but you got to have data to back it up.

TRUMP: Let me just say -- and it doesn't have to do with the vote, although that's the end result, it has to do with the registration. And when you look at the registration and you see dead people that have voted. When you see people that are registered in two states and had voted in two states, when you see other things, when you see illegals, people that are not citizens and they're on the registration rolls.

Look, we can be babies, but you take a look at the registration, you have illegals, you have dead people, you have this -- it's really a bad situation. It's really bad and we're going to correct them.

O'REILLY: So you think you're going to be proven correct in that statement?

TRUMP: Well, I think I already have. A lot of people have come out and said that I am --

O'REILLY: Yes, but the data has to show that 3 million illegals voted.

TRUMP: Forget that. Forget all of that. Just take a look at the registration and we're going do it. I'm going to setup a commission to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence and we're going to look at it very, very carefully.

O'REILLY: Well, that's good. Let's get to the bottom of this.

TRUMP: Yes, it's good.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, our panel has returned. We thank you for staying with us. Ron, to you, Trump has doubled down on his threats to pull federal funding from sanctuary cities. We've had mayors of several major cities say that they will openly oppose the president on this. What do you think is going to happen next?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there are a variety of ways which (INAUDIBLE) is going to pull. The first thing and I think Alan Dershowitz can probably add more to this than I can, in the key decision on Obamacare, the Supreme Court limited the ability of the federal government to withhold funds to coerce local governments to do what they want -- so, that was on the Medicaid portion of the decision.

So the best evidence is they could not sweepingly take away money from cities or a state. And California in fact goes all the way from becoming a sanctuary state that was unrelated to the purpose that the conflict is about. So it's a more narrow weapon.

Look, I think the broader point is that everything about the Trump administration in government is accelerating, widening, deepening all the divides we saw of Trump the candidate. I mean the core divide we saw above all was urban, nonurban in this election with Hillary Clinton went to 88 of 100 largest counties in America. Unprecedented even in red states -- dominated are the counties in Houston and Dallas and Atlanta. One of them got 30 million votes. Donald Trump won the election by beating her with (INAUDIBLE) by a thousand votes (ph) everywhere else. The policies and the kind of the tone and the posture of the administration I think just points toward a widening of those divides.

If you look at your poll, the CNN poll that came out on Friday, on all of these questions, the Muslim, the immigration limitations, building the wall, Donald Trump's overall opinion -- job approval -- very strong approval among non-college whites -- his core constituency -- very strong approval in rural America. Millennials, minorities, college educated whites in urban areas, very strong resistance to all of these ideas and I think this conflict over sanctuary cities is a perfect emblem of where we are headed in this widening divide between urban and nonurban America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Hoekstra, I wanted to get to you sir because there's something the president said during the course of the interview with Bill O'Reilly. He continues to make this assertion that there is somewhere between three and five million voters that voted illegally in the last election. It's something that fact checkers have debunked. It's something that he said he was going to create an executive order to launch an investigation on more than a week ago. That still hasn't happened.

Earlier today the senate majority leader Mitch McConnell actually said that the federal government should not spend any money on a potential investigation. Is it time for the president, if he's going to continue making that claim, to present his evidence to the American people to justify perhaps an investigation?

HOEKSTRA: Well, I think what the president did in the interview today is that forget about the 3 million, let's take a look at those people that are registered in multiple states, take a look at the illegals that may or may not be registered, dead people who still may vote. Let's just make sure that we've got integrity to the voting system.

I want to go back to what was just said that, you know, Trump's actions are dividing America and, you know, further dividing America. What divided America are the policies of Barack Obama that said we're not going to deal with border issues and border security issues. We're not going to defeat and put in place the resources to defeat ISIS and keep America safe.

Barack Obama got us going down this path of creating these divisions. Donald Trump is actually going to the American people, where Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, they talked about securing borders. They talked about defeating -- well, actually the threats that are out there, not calling it radical Islam. And they didn't do anything that moved us forward in addressing those problems.

Donald Trump is actually moving forward and carrying through on the promises that he made to those voters who voted for him, but he made those promises to all Americans that he would move forward and implement these things. He's not starting this division. It was started by Barack Obama.

[16:55:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ron, you can go ahead.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, look, I mean it wasn't started by Barack Obama. It's been going for decades and it's been widening under both Republican and Democratic presidents. That is undoubtedly true, but it is also an empirical fact that while there are many people who were excited about President Trump, he was the first president in the history of Gallup polling to come in with an approval rating from less than a majority of the country.

He reached 50 percent disapproval in Gallup eight days after he took office. For Barack Obama, it was about 600 days, for Ronald Reagan, 700 days, for George W. Bush, 1,200 days. There is a deeper level of division and resistance. There is excitement among as you see reflected from Mr. Hoekstra, you know, there is excitement among the Trump constituency about what he is doing.

But make no mistake, he is facing more resistance in public opinion than any newly elected president in the history of polling, and that is a reality that can't be explained away and it's something that is -- may not affect his course, may not affect the way the Republicans in Congress react to him. But undoubtedly it's compelling Democrats to take a more confrontational position than perhaps they originally expected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: last question to you Mr. Hoekstra. We are quickly running out of time. But I did want to ask, at this point, are we simply too divided as a nation for Donald Trump to bring us together?

HOEKSTRA: Well, I hope not. I think there still is tremendous opportunity for common ground. A whole --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- infrastructure program I think is something that typically appeals to Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do have to acknowledge though that every week so far of his presidency, every week, and we've seen tens of thousands of people in the streets, extremely vocal, extremely passionate against him and just about every promise that he made on the campaign trail, that you're right, he is now carrying out as president. How is he going to bridge the gap and convince those people that he's their president?

HOEKSTRA: Well, actually, it requires both parties -- both sides of this division to actually make an effort to come together in 2009 and 2012, those of us that, you know, supported John McCain or supported Mitt Romney, you know, we didn't go to the streets and protest. We gave Barack Obama a honeymoon.

The Republicans in congress approved his cabinet members. They didn't fight every step of the way on every single nominee. They actually tried to reach out and find some common ground. Donald Trump is not having the same honeymoon. The American people are sensing that. It's disappointing, but, you know, hopefully in the coming months we'll see a change on both sides.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. DERSHOWITZ: Can I talk about the street --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all out of time, sir, I apologize. We're up against the top of the hour. Alan, Peter, Ron, Ivan and Aaron, thank you so much for the time. We do appreciate it on this Super Bowl Sunday. We'll be right back.


HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, this is Hines Ward. I'm here in Houston for Super Bowl LI. The players have just arrived. The nerves have already bad (ph), but I could tell you that most players -- this is what most players dream about their whole lives and seeing your face plastered o the side of stadium. It adds a little question like Julio Jones and Matt Ryan to go out here and perform.

[17:00:02] Now, there are no words to describe the feeling of playing in one of the biggest games of your life.