Return to Transcripts main page


Waiting for Decision on Travel Ban; Senate Shuts Up Elizabeth Warren; Jake Tapper Grills Kellyanne Conway; Waiting for Decision; Whipping the City; Defender of Trump; Stress-free Life. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired February 8, 2017 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Waiting for ruling. Three judges will decide whether President Donald Trump's travel ban can go back into effect.

MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Silence in the Senate. Why democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was ordered to take a seat.

CHURCH: And taking on the troops. CNN's Jake Trapper grills White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway on the falsehoods President Trump is spreading.

FOSTER: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Max Foster in London.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church at the CNN center here in Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom.

Washington State Solicitor General says reinstating President Donald Trump's travel ban would throw the U.S. into chaos. That was just one of the arguments he made to a U.S. Appeals Court on Tuesday, but the Justice Department attorney countered that national security decisions belong to the president and not to courts.

He faced intense questioning on whether the president's executive order amounts to a Muslim ban.


WILLIAM CANBY, SENIOR JUDGE, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS NINTH CIRCUIT: Could the president simply say any order we're not going to let any Muslims in?


CANBY: Could he do that? Could he do that?

FLENTJE: That's not what the order...


CANBY: Would anybody be able to challenge that? FLENTJE: That's not what he ordered us here.


CHURCH: Washington State Solicitor General argued a Muslim ban was the exact intention of the order.


RICHARD CLIFTON, SENIOR JUDGE, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS NINTH CIRCUIT: He infer that desire if in fact, the vast majority of Muslims are unaffected.

NOAH PURCELL, SOLICITOR GENERAL, WASHINGTON STATE: Well, your honor, in part, you can't infer it from intent evidence. I mean, there are statements that we've quoted in our complaint that our probably shocking evidence of intent to discriminate against Muslims given that we haven't even have any discovery yet to find out what else might have been said in private.


CHURCH: The court is expected to rule this week on whether to restore the travel ban.

FOSTER: Joining me from Avon here in England is associate professor of law, the University of Warwick, Markus Wagner. Thank you very much for joining us. Just explain why the legal voices there very much focusing on this issue about whether or not Muslims are being targeted here.

MARKUS WAGNER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK: Well, the executive order issued by President Trump late -- in late January barred entry into country for a number of -- for individuals from seven countries at the -- initially also, those who held legal permanent residence also known as green card holders.

And so the question that Washington State and Minnesota, the State of Minnesota raise was whether that order was constitutional.

FOSTER: And that so, blocking entry for a group of people would be unconstitutional, which is why they're focusing whether or not it's a Muslim ban or whether it's a ban from particular countries.

WAGNER: Well, the Appeals Court audio that you played focused in part around the question of, sort of procedural questions around what's called standing whether Washington State and Minnesota were allowed to bring the claim on behalf of its citizens to begin with, and then secondarily revolved around the question of whether that is substantively constitutional, namely whether the president has the right to do so.

And part of that second question focused then on the question whether the ban was discriminatory against Muslims.

FOSTER: And just explain why that undermines the Constitution. WAGNER: Well, the arguments made by Washington State and Minnesota were basically threefold. One was that by focusing on Muslims. The order violates the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution namely, the establishment clause which prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another.

The second argument had to with questions of equality. And the third argument was one of due process or lack thereof.

FOSTER: So, having these arguments right now and you see the judge in this particular case will deliver his findings but it's not going to be the end of it, is it, because ultimately, the losing side will take this to the Supreme Court and that's where the real argument will be on that.

[03:05:03] WAGNER: I think that's right. This is likely complicated by the fact that at the moment the Supreme Court is short by one justice. And as you reported, President Trump has nominated Judge Gorsuch in order to fill that seat.

The question for the government at this point, for the federal government that is, is whether they want to do so immediately, bring the case forth immediately should they lose in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals where the hearing was held last night, or whether they want to sort hold off until such time as Mr. Gorsuch is confirmed.

FOSTER: OK. There's lots of questions open to date but we're trying to keep on top on all of this legal movements. Thank you very much, indeed, Markus Wagner at the University of Warwick.

CHURCH: Well, the confirmation debate for Mr. Trump's nominee for attorney general took a stunning turn with an extremely rare Senate rebuke. While explaining her opposition to the nomination of fellow Senator Jeff Sessions, democrat Elizabeth Warren read a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King, the widow of Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. was opposing Sessions' nomination to be a federal judge.

The presiding senator warned Warren she was violating a rule that prevent senators from impugning another senator. But Warren continued speaking. Then Senate republican leader Mitch McConnell said she violated the rule.


ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) UNITED STATES SENATOR: Now I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate. I ask leave of the Senate to continue my remarks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there objection?


WARREN: I appeal the ruling...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection is heard. The senator will take her seat.

MCCONNELL: She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.


CHURCH: Republicans to silence Warren and she is now prevented from speaking on the floor of the Senate until the debate on Sessions ends.

Well, Scott Lucas joins us now from Birmingham in England. He is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham. Good to talk with you. So, did you saw democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren by the Senate for quoting from a 30-year-old letter from Dr. Martin Luther king's widow, Coretta Scott King?

Why would the Senate rebuke Senator Warren like this given republicans already have the numbers to vote for the confirmation of President Trump's attorney general nominee, Jeff Sessions, why go this far?

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM SHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS PROFESSOR: Well, I think for two reasons. First, we're in a very charged political situation where there are number of issues regarding the Trump administration as you've just been discussing, for example, around the Muslim ban.

I think the Betsy DeVos vote which was a 50-50 vote yesterday which Mike Pence had to break to get her confirmed reflected some of this political tension.

But I think then this the second question, the specific one about Jeff Sessions and that this there are questions about his record when he serve in Alabama in 1980, where I'm from. Coretta Scott King raised these issues specifically about whether he had failed to defend and indeed might have entrenched on the Civil Rights of utterly black people.

And republicans simply drew a political line that this could not be discussed, whatever else you discuss about Sessions, the idea that Martin Luther King's widow might have raised these issues tend that Elizabeth Warren would bring them up that he just simply were not going to tolerate that from the process.

CHURCH: All right. I want to turn now to a Quinnipiac University national poll released Tuesday that shows most American voters opposed President Trump's immigration ban, and more specifically, 70 percent of voters opposed his order suspending all immigration of Syrian refugees to the U.S.

The numbers are staggering here. Most Americans don't support the travel ban, particularly when it affects the most vulnerable. So, why is the Trump administration ignoring this message, do they care what most Americans think on this issue? LUCAS: Well, I think the Trump administration or rather certain key advisers, such as Steve Bannon, the author of the executive order, they're gambling. They're gambling that a significant enough amount of Americans would put a priority over what, how they frame national security, which is effectively keeping Muslims out of the country over the traditional Americans terms about freedom, tolerance, and compassion.

[03:09:59] Now, as you have heard, you know, from numerous commentators the country is very split over that question of, quote, "security versus our values." I think what the poll reflects is that more and more Americans are thinking, you know, if the Statue of Liberty says we welcome people who are pouring downtrodden; do we really shut the doors completely?

That will be an increasing political problem for the Trump administration whatever the outcome of the legal decision in the next few days.

CHURCH: All right. So much more to talk about. We'll have to leave it there, though. Scott Lucas joining us from Birmingham in England.

(CROSSTALK) Many thanks to you.

LUCAS: Thank you.

FOSTER: And the revelation from President Trump's top adviser, Kellyanne Conway, CNN isn't fake news.

Our Jake Tapper asks the tough questions. he got some answers that you got to hear as well. The interview is coming up next.


DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hey, I'm Riddell with your CNN World Sport headlines.

Luis Suarez scored and was also sent off as nine man Barcelona held on to reach the Copa del Rey final with a thrilling aggregate win against 10-man Atletico Madrid.

Suarez scored just before halftime before Barce's Sergi Roberto and Atletico's Yannick Carrasco were sent off for two yellow cards. Substitute Kevin Gameiro missed a penalty before equalizing. Suarez was then shown a second yellow, but Atletico couldn't force extra time.

Barce City have given their, quote, "unwavering support" to manager Claudio Ranieri despite their winning Premier League champions being just one point above the relegation zone. The Italian is under pressure after run of just two wins in their last 15 league games.

In fact, Leicester over that league wins this year and have yet to score a goal. The folks have said in the stadium that the entire club is and will remain behind its manager. The U.S. City of Boston loves throwing a parade for its sports teams

who have given them very good reasons here in recent times. The latest example of course, the New England Patriots led by quarterback Tom Brady fresh off their comeback victory against the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots set off on a very familiar route on Tuesday, piling on to those iconic duck boat and showing off the Super Bowl trophy to hundreds of thousands of fans who never seem to tire of seeing it.

That's a quick look at your sports headlines. I'm Don Riddell.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, one of President Trump's closest aides, Kellyanne Conway has been one of her boss' staunchest defenders. For many months now she's become synonymous with the administration's contentious relationship with the media.

My colleague, Jake Tapper spoke with Conway one on one earlier Tuesday, and here's their exchange.

[03:15:03] JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Joining me now live from the White House counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne, thanks for joining me and congratulate...



TAPPER: Congratulations, the president's Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos was confirmed today.


TAPPER: Vice President Pence had to be the first V.P. ever to cast the tiebreaking vote on a cabinet nominee. And now the reason that happened is because two republican senators opposed soon-to-be Education Secretary DeVos, the first time any republican senators have voted against Trump nominee.

Can you understand their stated concerns, these republican senators about what they perceive to be a lack of experience with the public school system?

CONWAY: Yes, I respect that their concern and I'm glad that they made them transparent in public. I think that's part of healthy democracy. We ran a very big tent party here in the Republican Party, Jake. There will be disagreements.

Very pleased that Vice President Pence cast the tiebreaking vote and that Secretary DeVos will be sworn in just across the way here in the vice president ceremony -- vice president ceremonial room at 5 p.m. today.

And that she'll get on with the business of executing on the president's vision for education. He's made very clear all throughout the campaign and as president he wants to repeal common core. He doesn't think that federal standards are better than local and parental control, for example.

And he respects the fact that, although public education works for many children in this country, including mine, it doesn't work for everyone. And that, children should not be restricted in terms of education opportunity just by their zip code or just by where they live.

We got to look at home school, and charter school, and school choice and other alternatives for certain students. And so, I think Secretary DeVos will be a very credible voice in that progress.

TAPPER: A lot of republicans on Capitol Hill were also upset when President Trump was asked about Vladimir Putin being a killer and the president said, the U.S. has, quote, "We got a lot of killers. Do you think our country is so innocent," unquote. And then he explained he was talking about U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq.

Now, to be clear, Vladimir Putin is a human rights abuser, responsible for deaths in Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, and not to mention curious murders of his political opponents and journalists. Is President Trump really equating the war in Iraq with what Vladimir Putin does?

CONWAY: No. He's just answering the question he's asked. And I think a lot of this stems from the fact that there's -- it just seems to be charge and accusation after charge and accusation that somehow President Trump and Vladimir Putin are BFF. That is not true.

He made very clear, I think most recently and most visibly at his joined press conference with the Prime Minister of the U.K., Theresa May, that he, President Trump probably knows Vladimir Putin.

And he said that day, Jake, and I think that's what we show was referred to here, he said that day that perhaps to have a positive -- it's possible to have a good relationship with Vladimir Putin, it's possible that he won't.

But if we can come together on big issues vexing this world like defeating radical Islamic terrorism and pushing back ISIS, which is on the events, then he will join with other countries that wish to do that including President Putin.

And they have a couple of phone calls since he was elected president and he will continue to speak to many leaders around the globe.

TAPPER: But in that interview he seems to be suggesting moral equivalence with Putin's Russia and the United States.

CONWAY: No, I don't think it's a moral equivalence, Jake. And what it is really is stating two different, you know, two different opinions on two different matters. He was making the point to Bill O'Reilly and I think that you're characterizing it correctly. That he was thinking about the war in Iraq and in that regard, I think people should make the judgment for themselves.

TAPPER: Have they spoken again since last Saturday?

CONWAY: Not that I'm aware of. No, I don't believe so.

TAPPER: I want to play that clip again in which President Trump yesterday was talking about media coverage of terrorist attacks. Let's roll the tape.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You've seen what happened in Paris and Nice, all over Europe it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.

TAPPER: After he said that the White House released a list of the attacks that he was supposedly referring to as, in his words, not even being reported. I want to put up some footage of CNN reporters covering the attacks on that list.

I spent two weeks in Paris in 2015 reporting in the attacks. We also see on the screen dozens of my colleagues, Alisyn Camerota covering the bombings in Brussels. Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper reporting on the supermarket attack in Paris, Brooke Baldwin covering the attack in Nice. Victor Blackwell reporting on the shootings in San Bernardino.

Kellyanne, CNN and other media organizations cover terrorism around the world all the time saying that we don't cover terrorism. That's just false.

CONWAY: What the president is saying there, Jake, is that there are attacks that don't get as much as coverage. Obviously, the very sad incidents that you related were frankly, CNN did amazing coverage for weeks at a time. I saw you all there on the ground doing that and telling the human interest stories and the tragic stories, and frankly, the involvement of the terrorists in those brutal attacks.

Those get coverage. The other ones in the list not so much, I think his point is twofold. One...


TAPPER: Those ones were on the list.

CONWAY: Right.

TAPPER: But the ones I just recited for you were on the list.

[03:20:01] CONWAY: Absolutely. No, what I'm saying the ones that have high casualties like Nice and Brussels and certainly Paris and the like, those are covered extensively by all media outlets as well they should be. It's the other ones on the list, I think he's making two points here.

One is that we just can't allow ourselves to become immured to terrorist attacks to see it as the normal. And so, if we're not covering all of the now many different attacks then that they're all ISIL-inspired attacks in this case the ones the he was referring to in the list that was generated as I understand, Jake. Then we don't want -- we don't want -- we want people to realize that

then that's what we attempt to one extreme vetting from seven narrowly prescribed countries in a very temporary way.

Number two, the point that he is making is, according to the Tyndal Report and other sources, we have in order that coverage on president -- on excuse me, candidate Trump during the republican primary, 333 minutes on him and really, I mean, five times as much coverage on him as the terrorist attacks, and frankly, more coverage by the major networks that at the very least on Prince's death, the artist named Prince. Then this...


TAPPER: Tyndall covers the evening -- the three network evening broadcast that's not reflected of the...

CONWAY: That's right. They do.

TAPPER: ... that's not reflected of the entire media.

CONWAY: No, I understand. But I'm trying to tell you, you're asking me why he said this and I'm responding the question.

TAPPER: Well, you spin me about the idea that we don't want to be immured to that. That's a lovely spin, but that's not what he was saying, Kellyanne. He was saying the media does not cover the stories because we don't to cover them because we have some sort of agenda.

That's what he was suggesting. And it's offensive given the fact that CNN and other media organizations have reporters in danger right now in war zones covering ISIS. And I just don't understand how the president can make an attack like that.

CONWAY: There's no question about that. Well, first of all, I want to tell you I don't intend to spin. I'm crediting the coverage of CNN and your colleagues across the media gave to these high profile and high casualties and very vicious attacks.

TAPPER: They're on the list of under covered attacks.

CONWAY: As more dozens and dozens of others. But I do know what the president's point was because I've discussed it with him directly. And it's that we need to make sure that people understand that what was stated by Hillary Clinton, Secretary Clinton, her convention speech that these are determined enemies is a really light way of referring to radical Islamic terrorist. And he's willing to name it.

And it was a big piece of his campaign. And frankly, Jake, if you look at the poll including CNN's poll, national security and terrorism were important issues to many Americans. He made it a point to show real distinction there. And he wants to show a point as president in the real distinction.

Because there seems to be some coverage these days, maybe not, but definitely elsewhere, that somehow terrorism is not -- is not a big problem or somehow national security (TECHNICAL PROBLEM).


CONWAY: ... was an incredible tragedy, 49 innocent lives taken at the Pulse nightclub. But I'm glad there were all at least an agreement it seems that this is an issue that we'll continue, that this president says.

And whether it's the lawsuits currently pending, the hearing tonight or really litigation on the merits ultimately, that he believes his executive order is not just within his authority but also his duty and responsibility to do what he seized us to try to protect the lives and the safety of Americans.

But temporary it's narrowly prescribed there are some 43 or more countries that majority Muslims that are not on the list and this is a list that was put forth first by the previous administration and Congress.


TAPPER: No, by the Obama administration and Congress, absolutely.

CONWAY: Well, so only because they thought that you needed, you know, quote, I think it was quote, you know, "stricter screening" or some words.


TAPPER: Right. But they didn't -- they didn't say shut down immigration from those countries. They just said they needed stricter screening and they put stricter screening measures into place.

I guess what I'm getting on here is there is a larger campaign being wage by President Trump and by the White House to undermine the credibility of everybody in the news media except for certain supportive outlets.

And, for instance, earlier today, President Trump made a, quote about "the murder rate being at the highest level it's ever been in 47 years." He said that and he said, "Nobody in the media reports on that. There's a reason that nobody in the media reports on that."

It's not true. The murder rate is not at the highest rate it's been in 47 years. It spikes a little, it went up a little but it is still much, much lower. It's a -- it's a 4.9 people per 100,000. That's dwarfed by the murder rates in the 1990's, and before that the 1980's.

Facts are stubborn things. And to say that we're not reporting something that happens not to be true, therefore we're not to be trusted. That's a problem.

CONWAY: Well, Jake, if I can take that broader issue of our relationship with the media, I mean, I'm among if the most open press person in the White House, I'm not being attacked by the media including networks that are familiar to you. And I'm just going to keep soldering on.

I mean, I came to this White House to serve this president who is serving people. I have in my portfolio here veterans, I have women and children, I have opioid abuse and we're working on all of that.

I sat in on the sheriff's roundtable today, sat in on the Veterans Affairs and I know that that is something near and dear to your heart. Because they see you often give voice and visibility...



CONWAY: ... like considerable platforms to our fallen soldiers and to our brave men and women in uniform. On that we agree. And if we can find areas of agreement give me a call, because I sat in on that, I sat -- I sat in on a similar meeting in Mar-a-Lago over the holidays at working session.

We had some of the top minds, the top minds and leaders in health care here to the White House today so they can advise specifically on Veterans Affairs issues.


TAPPER: You're not...

CONWAY: Not a single person there said, you know, President Obama -- nobody said that. It was basically how do we move forward so that the structure is better, the responsiveness is better. I can imagine anybody disagrees with President Trump when he says if we don't take care of our veterans who are we really as a nation. So, if we can find areas of agreement...


TAPPER: It's not addressing what I just talked about. What we're talking about is the fact that the White House is waging war on people who are providing information sometimes risking their lives to do so. Saying that nothing we say is true. All of it is fake.

I would much rather be talking to you about veterans issues. In fact, I would -- when it comes to the Trump administration I would be much rather be covering immigration, I would much rather be covering trade and I would much rather be covering the swamp and counter terrorism.

But instead, every day, there are these sprains of attacks and sprains of falsehoods coming from the White House. It would be better if they were not covering from the White House for me and for you.


FOSTER: And we're going to get you Kellyanne Conway's response to that after this short break.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) [03:30:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: A warm welcome back to viewers here in the United States, and of course, all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church.

MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: And I'm Max Foster in London. Let's update you on our top stories this hour then.

A U.S Appeals Court is expected to rule this week on whether to restore President Donald Trump's travel ban. The judges heard arguments on Tuesday from the U.S. Justice Department that national security is at president's responsibility.

Washington State solicitor general says reinstating the ban would throw the country into chaos.

CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump has discussed the creation of terror-free safe zones in Syria. In a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump has long suggested that safe zones would be part of his solution to the refugee crisis.

Turkish state media reports they also discussed working together in towns that ISIS strongholds.

FOSTER: A powerful tornado touched down in New Orleans on Tuesday. Louisiana is under state of emergency. Thirty one people were injured. The tornado flipped cars, damage dozens of homes. It destroyed everything some families had.

CHURCH: Now before the break, you were watching CNN's Jake Tapper interview counselor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway. Here is the rest of that conversation.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: What we're talking about is the fact that the White House is waging war on people who are providing information, sometimes risking their lives to do so. Saying that nothing we say is true. All of it is fake.

I would much rather be talking to you about veterans issues.

In fact, I would -- when it comes to the Trump administration I would be much rather be covering immigration, I would much rather be covering trade and I would much rather be covering draining the swamp and counter terrorism.

[03:34:58] But instead, every day, there are these sprains of attacks and sprains of falsehoods coming from the White House. It would be better if they were not covering from the White House for me and for you.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Agreed. And let me just say it has the noblest ways. I mean, I do, Jake. I sincerely don't see a lot of difference in coverage from when he was a candidate. And when he became the republican nominee the president- elect then it would be the president.

Some outlets, some people cover him the same way and it doesn't have great deal of respect I think for the office of the president, its current occupant. All I would say is, you know, bias coverage people talk about. I think bias is easy to detect and it's really in the eyes of the beholder.

What I would -- what I would put an olive branch out to you and your network is, how about more complete coverage. In other words, he's issued 20 or 21 executive actions since he took office and it seems like we're covering one of them most days.


TAPPER: What are some...

CONWAY: I would love to talk to you about the human impact of opening up the Dakota keystone pipeline of taking the...


TAPPER: It costs -- it costs tremendous chaos and confusion at airports all around the world. There's now a court case with your Justice Department, it's probably going to take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, it's a huge story.

CONWAY: I know it is. But there are other stories. I'm just trying to again, reach out and say when we start doing opioid use, you know, in a very meaningful way along with the legislatures and law enforcement, the governors talk about a bipartisan, if not non-partisan issues, the veterans.

Then I really feel like, you know, my big comment is that this White House and the media have joint custody of our country for perhaps the next eight years. And count me as somebody who very much wants to find way to make that work.

But at the same time, I do have to say when we read certain words being used to describe the president of the United States, it's never been done, it wasn't done about President Obama. It wasn't done about either President Bush or President Clinton. Because people have a certain respect for and recognition of the dignity for the office of the president.

And so I am besieging everybody to cool it down a little bit here and there. There are -- look, there are some stories that are false. There are some stories -- I read them like, where -- who are they talking about, where does it happen. You know, we're here serving in the White House...


TAPPER: Have you or President Trump ever said anything incorrect?

CONWAY: Absolutely.

TAPPER: Have there any false -- faults that's coming from your mouth?

CONWAY: Well, I did this past weekend. I regretted it tremendously because I used the wrong word to describe something several times. And I'm sorry because I've spoken literally millions of words on TV I'm sure. I've been on CNN over a thousand times in my career I'm sure. And...


TAPPER: You're referring to the Bowling Green massacre.

CONWAY: Yes. I am, because I felt really badly about that. But I am glad that I -- I felt badly about that and I apologize and I rectify. But I want to say something else about that.

I'm very happy to have raised awareness. I'm told by colleagues at ABC that by Friday the highest trending article there was an article from three years ago on because it was what I was referring to. And I was referring to two Iraqi nationals who came to this country and are still in jail and they're part of Al Qaeda. We -- I'm glad to have raised awareness. I'm sorry that I did and I fully never meant to mislead the...


TAPPER: You cited a massacre that didn't happen. You said the...

CONWAY: That's right.

TAPPER: You said the media didn't cover it.

CONWAY: No, no. What I meant is the media didn't cover the mastermind. The massacre happened in Iraq. The mastermind for sure.


TAPPER: The media did cover the masterminds.

CONWAY: A little bit at that time. But again, when you're -- we're not covering it in terms of the extreme vetting. In other words, the judge, you know, this judge, and this is an important point.

Yesterday the A.P. had a fact-check story; I thought it was really well done. And I'm sure CNN covered it, Jake. But it's really important because the judge in the Seattle case, Judge Robart, asked the attorney, hey, how many -- how many people have been arrested since 9/11 from the seven countries.

You know, it would have been subject to this is she meeting. And she said I don't know. And he said, I'll tell you the answer, zero. That's false. It is not zero. The two guys at Bowling Green I call, it's not true.

TAPPER: But, Kellyanne, I guess the problem is it is very difficult to hear criticisms of the media for getting -- for making mistakes. And certainly the media makes mistakes. But it's very difficult to hear those criticisms from the White House that is such little regard, day in and day out for facts, for truth, and who calls us...


CONWAY: That's not completely fair.

TAPPER: ... and who calls us fake news for stories that they don't like.

CONWAY: Well, Jake, let me just say, we have a very high respect for the truth and I can only speak for me. And I'm sorry that I misspoke. It wasn't like I was trying to get people to believe something existed that didn't. That's easy to figure out, even though the network I was on...


TAPPER: You cited it a couple times before that one interview. You know that.

CONWAY: Yes. Well, I was misquoting, I should have said mastermind. And I've talked about all that. But let me just say on the broader point that we have a high regard for the facts that I want you to see some of the other facts that we're doing.

I mean, the wages that are being listed, the jobs that are being created, the people that text and write and e-mail and stop us everywhere just to say, thank you. It's a big country, you know that. You've covered it. It's a huge country out there of people who not just voted for him but believe that he is going to improve their lives.


[03:39:58] TAPPER: Sure, millions of Americans, absolutely.

CONWAY: That I believe -- I believe when you and I perhaps sit down, view the first 100 days, the first six months, the first year i office, you will find very quickly that there are people in this country who feel like their lives have improved because Donald Trump was the President.

That's how presidents are judged overtime. And that's how, then that's how I think it's just based on the accomplishment. We're here, I'm personally here, and not a lot of other places because of those people.

And so, look, I hear you completely. And Sean Spicer is out there every day doing his press briefing. I'm happy to have the platform in CNN and other places to explain and to talk about what we're trying to do inside the White House.


TAPPER: Are we fake news, Kellyanne? Is CNN fake news?

CONWAY: No. I don't think CNN is fake news. I think there are some reports everywhere in print, on TV, in conversation, that are not well researched and are -- and are sometimes based on falsehoods.

All the past intrigue stories, I can even tell you. Think about how small our staff or how small our budget was for presidential campaign, Jake, that succeeded. And saw things that other people didn't think -- we breathe each other's oxygen in the fox hole. We are all very close.

And all the past intrigue stories for a White House that's just constant action, constant movement, they're just not true. And they are actually beside the point and hurtful. But I just -- I do want to say this.


TAPPER: Have you say people behind you don't leak, I'm sad, I'm sadly disabuse you of that notion.

CONWAY: No. I'm sure -- I'm sure that's the case. But let me say something I think more importantly since you're talking to me. And I'm taking responsibility for something I said. And I'm trying to reach out and say I am open press. I've put out the olive branch. I'm on your show, very much appreciate you having me and invited me to be here.

Just last week, just last week, while I was surrounded by a firestorm, a very prominent editor, very prominent editor who's a contributor on different cable news station, a very prominent editor of a left leaning site, outlet, e-mailed me and said I'm about to run a story about your tweet on the Holocaust remembrance day.

Remember I want to give you an opportunity to response. And I literally, I was at my daughter's play, she was with a nanny, she was very good. And I e-mailed back and said, did I tweet about that? And then he e-mailed back and he said, "I'm so sorry, I'm hanging my head in shame. You carry on helping to run the country. That was a fake account." There was like, I'm told there's 10, 12, 15 parody accounts on Twitter about me and people, you know, respond. Now, I could have let him out...


TAPPER: So, it did never air? It never ran?

CONWAY: Right. But remember, because...

TAPPER: The bigger issue with the Holocaust remembrance statement of course was that it didn't mention Jews.

CONWAY: Well, no, but now you're talking about fake news. It's the presumptive negativity about us. It's always believing there is something negative. There is some nefarious...


TAPPER: It didn't run. I can't really -- I can't really work out much about a story that didn't run. CONWAY: It didn't - but, hold on. It didn't run because I got in the

middle of it. But I'm not revealing his name because I know firsthand what's it's like to have all the haters to send upon you. And I didn't...


TAPPER: I'm glad that reporter did his job and reached out to you before publishing anything. But I mean...

CONWAY: Well, not everybody does. There's an article in the Daily -- there's an article in the Daily Caller this week that I recommend everyone which basically says, "The media's errors are piling -- are starting to pile up."

And the Trump administration at least six or seven things that were said is fact that are just wrong. And people had to retract. And they seem the nature but it has to...


TAPPER: How about president's statement, Kellyanne? How about the president's statements that are false like the murder rate is the highest it's been in almost half a century. False. How about the fact that the media doesn't report on terrorist attacks? False.

I mean, you can talk about some jerk with some web site making a mistake, or almost making a mistake. This is the threat...


CONWAY: Well, it's not a jerk. He's the friend of ours.

TAPPER: All right. He's a very sweet guy. But you can talk about somebody make, almost making mistake and not doing it.

I'm talking about the president of the United States saying things that are not true. Demonstratively not true. That is important. And arguably, more important than whoever reached you at your daughter's play.

CONWAY: Well, are they -- are they more important than the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people's lives. I just think we won't cover that as well.


TAPPER: They distract from them. They distract from the things he says.

CONWAY: Yes, they're covered, they do. And I think, look, I think I was handed a fact sheet that perhaps the president was referring to when he talked about that today with the sheriff, which by the way was unbelievably productive moving listening section that I attended. When he talks about the 47 years and the raid, I'm handed in information I think you referred to it as well, that we have had an increase from 2014 to 2015...


TAPPER: Yes, I said that.

CONWAY: ... in rapes and murders and assaults. I'm probably looking at the same data you are. And so he may have heard that about a particular city.


TAPPER: It's FBI -- it's FBI crime reports. But it's FBI -- it's to say that there was a spike in murder rates between 2014 and 2015 is true. To say, and to say we need to bring that down and we need to have law and order. All that fine.

He said it's the highest murder rate in 47 years and the media doesn't report it. And again, Kellyanne, the media doesn't report it because it's a lie, because it's not true. And for the president to say that is, I can't even -- I can't even wrap my head around it. I'll give you the last word and then I know you have to go.

[03:45:00] CONWAY: Well, I'm fine. I'm having a good time. Thanks again for having me. I think that -- I will discuss it. But I think he is relying upon data perhaps for a particular area. I don't know who gave him that data.

But I will tell you about the sheriff's roundtable, I mean, this is a part where I'm talking about complete coverage, that was just an amazing -- some of those sheriffs is it was -- we allowed the media in their entire time, it was the president's idea.

He even invited the media into the Oval Office while the sheriffs came in there to take some pictures. But at the actual listing roundtable just the most important piece of this, we heard from sheriff's who said they sat in those exact seat six months ago in a different administration and they felt this time there was a president who actually asked them, what do you need, what is wrangling you in your community.

And we heard to a person everything from asset proliferator to opioid use, probably the most commonly stated thing which of course I'm happy to have a piece of that in my portfolio here. We're going to be rolling that out very soon. It's something the president made a centerpiece of his campaign. he's greatly concerned about it.

We'll be working with law enforcement people on both sides of the aisle, families who have victims who have about issues...


TAPPER: I would love to cover all of that, Kellyanne.

CONWAY: Thank you.

TAPPER: I would love to cover all of that. The attacks on the press, the attacks on judges, the falsehoods, all of that makes it very difficult but I would love to -- I would love to cover all of that with you.

CONWAY: Thank you.

TAPPER: Kellyanne Conway, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it.

CONWAY: Thank you.


FOSTER: All right. Great intro they've run last night and we're really running the game in full.

Now Iran is continuing this war of words meanwhile with the Trump administration. This time, from their very top as well. In an address to military leaders, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thanked the new U.S. president for exposing America's shortcomings and damaging its place on the world stage.


SAYYED ALI HOSSEINI KHAMENEI, SUPREME LEADER OF IRAN (through translator): He made it easier for us to reveal the true face of the United States. Something we have been saying for more than 30 years about political, economic, moral, and social corruption within the U.S. government.

He came out and exposed it during his election campaign and after the election. Now with everything he is doing he is showing the real America and the true meaning of American human rights.


FOSTER: And joining me now is Los Angeles Times Ramin Mostaghim who is live in the Iranian capital for us. Thank you so much for joining us.

What's interesting about this is the, you know, these words from the Trump administration are actually emboldening the hard liners in the country who are against that nuclear deal in the first place.

RAMIN MOSTAGHIM, LOS ANGELES TIMES REPORTER: It is emboldening the hard liners or what they call themselves principally. They are now bragging about strengthening Iranian military power. But on the other hand, the reformist and moderate through government through President Rouhani are interpreting it as a taunt.

They say what supreme leader has advise them is following up the taunt and avoiding tensions, and avoiding raising war. As Defense Minister General Dehghan said, that Iran is persuading us before, quote, "effective deterrence."

So, for them, for the reformist it means that they have to follow up that effective deterrence, strengthening that defense - defense system. But for the hardliner it's the good -- golden opportunity to be ready for any confrontation. So, tensions is simmering up from the reformist and at the same time but the advice is effective deference for hardliners is be ready for the war.

FOSTER: And who is winning the argument then in the public, how the public responding to all those political messages coming from the capital?

MOSTAGHIM: It's a very good question. There are many extreme based on my watch popping its concern. They are deeply concern. There are many stream of society is deeply concerned who will start the war and they are anticipating bad days to come.

Some of the people are getting ready for just get out of the town if anything goes wrong. At the same time some people wishful thinking they are trying to say nothing happens. Trump is businessman, he will deal finally with us and make a wheeling and dealing behind the curtain.

FOSTER: OK. Ramin Mostaghim, thank you very much indeed for joining us for your perspective there in Tehran.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. But still to come, Barack Obama finds a new hobby. More on what the former president is up, so there is a little hint there. And who he is spending time with on vacation.

Back in a moment.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Weather Watch. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri for you right now.

And show you what's happening around the United States where we have cold air across the northern tier of the U.S. And a dramatic shift here going from winter to spring-like conditions in the next couple of days. And then putting back and forth as we go temps it's the 20's around Atlanta, down to about 11, back up to 21.

Look at Washington, D.C. at 16 degrees dropping off sharply down to around 3 there. So, warming back up. And New York City in store here for a significant snow storm in the forecast as the storm system comes in and initially giving you that southerly flow which brings you the warm air.

And then the snow showers back behind us as the air flow becomes more northerly and we see the cold air filtering. We could see as much as about 37 meters or so. Snow fall in the forecast across parts of New York over the next several days and that could come actually at Thursday morning commute time, so we're watching that very carefully.

Now this could be the heaviest snow that for some major cities of the northeast for the first time of the season of course. But also one of the first ones to come in and quite a while for a weekdays. It could have some impacts across that area. We'll go with 4 degrees in Montreal, 15 today out of New York City. Temps in Los Angeles getting showery, up to about 19 degrees. And tremendous rainfall in the forecast from parts of northern California in the next several days. Down in the Caribbean, Amigo, Havana at 31, Kingston, also at 31 degrees with dry conditions.

CHURCH: Welcome back. Former U.S. President Barack Obama seems to be adjusting quite well to life after the White House. He is taking up a new hobby, kite surfing with billionaire friend Richard Branson.

Here's Jeanne Moos with that.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He waved good-bye flew away in a chopper, next thing you know he's flying a kite. Kite surfing actually in the Virgin Islands with the smile so big. One poster commented, "He looks younger already." How is your weekend" was the caption comparing Obama's face to President Trump's.

Tweeted another, "Wait, he's having fun. Is he allowed to have fun? Why isn't he saving us? He can't save himself from the golf course." Where even an ex-president gets teased for missing puts.

In the Virgin Islands, Obama kicked back with his hat backwards in photos obtained by the Daily Mail, Obama got his hat to the back like it's 1990 and Trump isn't president. Get your (muted) back here with respect, sir.

But Obama's (muted) kept falling in the ocean as he and his host Richard Branson learned new water sports. Branson learned foil boarding while Obama kite surf.

[03:55:01] And when the two competed to see who could stay up longer, the former president won.

If you're missing Obama and looking for the next best thing to a hug, here it is. Dreamed up by an inventor in New Hampshire.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 28 inches fingertip to fingertip and it will literally hug you.


MOOS: Like many hugs it can be awkward. Where exactly do you put the hand painted illustration?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And of course you can do that bag in the hug, right around the neck, in the arm.


MOOS: Peter Connors says he was devastated when Donald Trump won. he launch Obama Hugz and he's now developing an app that lets you turn your own image into a hug back and front, and while many maybe missing Obama. Does he look like he is missing them?

Jeanne Moss, CNN, New York.

FOSTER: People comparing it to those post-break up pictures, Rosemary, when they say, I'm great. Everything is fine. Anyway, that's it from us.


FOSTER: I'm Max Foster in London.

CHURCH: It is hugs to everyone. I'm Rosemary Church at CNN center. That does it for me. Early Start is next for our viewers here on the United States.

FOSTER: And for international viewers, I'll be back with more of CNN Newsroom after the short break.