Return to Transcripts main page


Report: McCain Spars with Trump Over Deadly U.S. Raid; Sessions Defends Trump's Travel Ban; AZ Woman Deported by ICE Back to Mexico. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired February 9, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: White House has touted the mission as a huge success of course acknowledging that the precious life lost in that Navy SEAL but also suggesting that any criticism of it is totally out of line. Senator McCain says he wouldn't describe the mission as a success because in part of what happened to Owens. He tells CNN's Phil Mattingly the senate foreign relations committee is not planning any public hearings on the raid


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senator in your role as chair, do you believe the committee should look deeper into the Yemen raid?

JOHN MCCAIN, SENATOR, ARIZONA: We had a good classified briefing just day before yesterday.

MATTINGLY: No hearings planned on that?



BALDWIN: President Trump tweeting today quote "Senator McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of the mission to the media, it only emboldens the enemy. He's been losing so..."

He goes on there are a couple of tweets there. Let me bring in specialist Perry O'Brien, a U.S. soldier who before the election co- organized a veterans-against-Trump protest. So, welcome to you sir. And Carl Higbie is back with us, former Navy SEAL and chairman of the George Washington Leadership Foundation, a big Trump leader. Gentlemen thank you for your service to this country but let's get to the matter at hand. Perry, press secretary, member of Congress, should anyone be commenting whether a raid is a success or failure, period?

PERRY O'BRIEN, CO-ORGANIZED A VETERANS AGAINST TRUMP PROTEST: I think it's our obligation whenever any service member is killed when an eight-year-old girl is killed, when we lose the right to conduct ground operations out of a country that has otherwise hosted special operations troops I think it is our obligation as Americans to ask what decision making went into this, particularly a person like Donald Trump whose judgment has been again and again been brought into question not just by the public by defense establishment leaders. BALDWIN: Carl, how do you see it?

CARL HIGBIE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: I would be curious if Senator McCain would -- from a Vietnamese prison camp if they were saved. We can have a successful mission if we have a loss of life.

BALDWIN: So, you think it's appropriate really since the beginning to push this raid out and tout it as a success despite the loss of civilian lives, despite the loss of Ryan?

HIGBIE: Can absolutely, if we got the information to move forward, absolutely it is a success, it's tragic, and I've been there and lost friends right next to me, and having served this country, I can unequivocally say I signed up to lose potentially lose my life for this country but if we received -- to it then absolutely.

BALDWIN: Should Senator McCain apologize?

O'BRIEN: I think it is shameful, absolutely not. I know there are many speaking out about this. Deferring foreign matters -- to Steve Bannon, it is an absolute betrayal.

HIGBIE: Perry, this is the issue, you ran an anti-Trump group, you got out when all the service members got in like myself to go to war you got out because of the war because you didn't agree with it, which is fine but to leave your friends and family stranded on the battlefield but to come back and slander Donald Trump and say is not an apology by a senator, come on that's ridiculous and dishonorable.

BALDWIN: Perry, do you want to respond?

O'BRIEN: Absolutely, that's why myself and so many other veteran family members came together to form common defense and launch a petition which tens of thousands have signed I don't think there's anything more honorable than taking a stand and persistently going after my own service record.

[15:35:00] I have treated special operations soldiers many of -- some of whom did not survive. I've treated Afghan civilians, I have the experience also of putting myself out there to try to care and do my best to care for fellow soldiers and I think it would probably be better if we kept this conversation about policy rather than making attacks on each other's service.

HIGBIE: I have a real problem with the conscientious objector that you got to get out of the military, so it calls into question accountability because you tucked tail and ran when others stayed and fought. I think it was dishonorable of John McCain too. He called it unsuccessful because of a plane crash. This is a guy that crashed an enormous amount of planes, it's --

BALDWIN: I don't like tuck tail, hurling insults at one another. It is on policy and may not be the end of clashes between Donald Trump and Senator McCain, I appreciate your service both Perry and Carl, thank you to both of you. We are waiting on an official ruling on President Trump's ban. Jeff

Sessions already defending the President's executive order but could the White House's own terrorism list actually undermine their case. We'll talk to Peter Bergen, he wrote all about it in a CNN opinion piece. We'll get his thoughts coming up.


BALDWIN: In a fresh round of defense Jeff Sessions just moments after being sworn in as the U.S. attorney general defended President Trump's travel ban.


JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: He's led this nation to say we're going to respond effectively to the threat of terrorism and you can count on your department of justice to do so in an effective way and you said something I believe and I think the American people believe that we need a lawful system of immigration, one that serves the interest of the people of the United States. That's not wrong, that's not immoral that's not indecent. We admit a million people a year plus, we need the end the lawlessness that threatens the public safety, pulls down wages of working Americans.


BALDWIN: So, the travel ban would bar people from seven Muslim majority nations from coming into the United States. Any moment the federal appeals court is set to rule on a temporary halt to that ban. But in the meantime, let me bring in Peter Bergen our CNN national security analyst who wrote this piece on

Peter wrote the White House has listed 78 major terrorist attacks, targeting the west is strikingly devoid of evidence to support President Trumps' halt to immigration from seven Muslim majority nations. How do you mean, Peter?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Earlier this week the White House as you recall, Brooke released a list of 78 terrorist attacks against the west on Monday. I analyzed the list, and I found something pretty interesting. One, of the seven countries that are the subject of this ban potentially, four of them didn't produce any of terrorists on the list.

There are ninety terrorists in total on this list in fact the biggest number are from France, and second biggest number from the United States and the third from Belgium. This kind of underlines the arbitrary nature of the ban. Of the ninety terrorists at the very most nine come from countries that would subject to the ban. And it underlines, Brooke, the problem is really a domestic terrorism problem, all the lethal attacks in the United States since 9/11 have been carried out by United States citizens.

Many of them born in the United States or by legal permanent residence or married to an American citizen. It's not a problem of people coming from outside, but a problem of people being radicalized here in the United States online. That is the major issue. So, I think the ban, let's leave aside the constitutionality question, the question really becomes is a ban really going to deal with a problem that it's supposed to deal with?

BALDWIN: It's lopsided according to you, right? It is lopsided when you look at the people they are banning from those seven countries versus the countries that are on the list.

BERGEN: Right. If indeed French terrorists are a real problem obviously, we have no fly lists. To me the list is like saying we have a problem with Central American gangs which is true and then saying as a result of which we're going to basically make it impossible for having people from Argentina and Chile to visit. It is shooting in the wrong direction. The real issue people radicalizing here, obviously, members of the Muslim-American community see potential radicalization to either intervene themselves or reach out to authorities or NGOs and that's the main problem. This ban is not going to really deal with the problem everybody is concerned about, which is domestic home grown terrorism in this country. We haven't been attacked from the outside since 9/11 which was 19 foreign-born Arab terrorists. That's the old view of how this thing happened. What happens now is people are radicalizing around the country, it has nothing to with immigration, you can't stop the internet with a visa ban order.

BALDWIN: Go read Peter's opinion on

Breaking news out of Arizona a mother of two who immigration case sparked angry protests overnight has just been deported back to Mexico, ICE agents

just wrapping up a news conference. We have the whole story for you next.


BALDWIN: We are follow breaking news, in Arizona this mother of two being deported back to her native Mexico, this happened a day after she appeared for an immigration check. I'm talking about 36-year old Guadalupe Garcia De Rayos who has been in this country illegally since 14 years of age. So back in 2008 she was arrested at a workplace raid she was convicted of felony impersonation. When she got out she appealed her impending deportation but lost, in the meantime she had to regularly check in with immigration officials, this was her eighth visit with them and had yet to be deported until now. Her arrest sparked angry protests last night as people tried to block her transfer van and actually drive her away. You see people sitting there hoping it doesn't move.

Let's begin with Jean Casarez who is on this. Explain to me, if she kept going back to immigration officials, was in this country illegally, they had not deported her until now. Why?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ICE tells me there's a list and once you have that permanent order of removal which she did gain in 2013, you then have an order so that you have to check in with ICE which they say she did. But they say that is to maintain accountability as they go through the list because there's a long list of then having deportation so it just happened it was her number up at this point. They also say they can't confirm she's been the first one deported since this executive order was put into place, but back in 2009 when she was charged and convicted with criminal impersonation, she had used a fake social security number.

She was convicted of a felony, a number 6 felony and her attorney says that does not bode well for her staying in the country, so at that point she was apprised at what was going to happen at some point in the future, she signed paperwork knowing she would be removed, didn't know when but was able to stay in this country until yesterday, deported this morning. ICE has released a statement and I think we do have a copy of that to show to everybody that Ms. Garcia who has a prior conviction in Arizona for criminal impersonation was the subject of a court order that became final in July 2013.

Ms. Garcia's immigration case underwent review at multiple levels of the immigration court system including the board of immigration appeals and the judges held she did not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S. ICE will continue to focus on identifying and removing individuals with felony convictions who have final orders of removal issued by the nation's immigration courts.

[15:50:00] Now her attorney also says that he does believe that this is directly because of the Trump executive order that is being put into action calling them enhancing public safety, attacking immigrant communities and people of color, and her family says she wasn't even allowed to get her belongings or her clothes when she went to Nogales, Mexico today.

BALDWIN: Stay on it for us please, Jean Cazarez, thank you.

Next more breaking news, backlash escalating against President Trump's senior advisor Kellyanne Conway after telling viewers on TV this morning from the White House to buy products from Ivanka Trump's clothing line. Two lawmakers no asking what should Kellyanne's punishment be? We're back in a moment.



BETTY WHITE, COMEDIAN: Literally, it's the precise moment when dog doo turns white.


BALDWIN: Betty White, I fell in love with her watching Saturday nights, she played Rose on "Golden Girls." Now at 95-years young the actress and icon is still booking gigs. I got to spend an hour with this amazing woman in LA, shared some French fries ahead of tonight's original series "History of Comedy." She told me she remembers getting her first laugh. She weighed in on Saturday Night Live and talked to me about the women who brought her here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BALDWIN: Do you remember the first time you got a laugh?

WHITE: I think when I came out of the womb. I'm not sure.

BALDWIN: That early?

WHITE: Yes. It was only my mother and dad who laughed.

BALDWIN: "Life with Elizabeth" was your first series and you also produced it. As a female did you know that was a big deal as a woman?

WHITE: Kind of yes, because there weren't that many other women around. Then Carol and Lucy came in and became huge stars doing that same thing. It was a little out of character, a little out of feminine to be -- you shouldn't be funny. I mean, you should be -- that's the guy's job. You come in and be pretty. No, it's so much more fun to get that laugh.

BALDWIN: What was that like, though, being a woman surrounded by so many men? So many years?

WHITE: I enjoyed that -- oh, no, that's another story. Oh, I do. I certainly do. Women are all right, but men are so much better.

"Golden Girls" was a big breakthrough as far as series were concerned. People didn't expect women that old to be funny. A situation comedy about old women? What is that? I think it changed a lot of the thinking and opened the way for a lot of older women.

BALDWIN: What do you think is lost in comedy today that was the magic of when you were coming along?

WHITE: Taste sometimes, I think. For me it stops being funny.

BALDWIN: Do you think that is an easy laugh when people just try to curse or talk about body parts?

WHITE: In a little shock wave in there. If you surprise people with an, oh, he's got a big, uh, career. It surprises them and they laugh.

BALDWIN: What was your time like hosting Saturday Night Live?

WHITE: Wonderful. Scary.

In the back of your head there's a little voice that says, you're on "Saturday Night Live" and it's just enough to close it right up.

BALDWIN: Do you have favorite comedians today?

WHITE: Oh, yes, Melissa --

BALDWIN: Melissa McCarthy?

WHITE: Oh, god, I think she's wonder. Tina Fey is maybe the best. They're craftsmen. They know what makes it work. They know timing. BALDWIN: She's made everyone laugh this week, including I think a

little bit Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, in this impression she did on Saturday night. You saw it?

WHITE: Oh, it made me laugh out loud. It was fun because it was so spontaneous.

BALDWIN: What do you think of the fact they got a woman to play him?

WHITE: I think it was hysterical.

BALDWIN: How many Presidents have you lived through?

WHITE: Lived with or through?

BALDWIN: Have you ever met a President?

WHITE: Yes, yes. I met the president of my senior class. I met Mr. Clinton, Mr. Obama was lovely. I had a lot of fun with him and his dog. I spent about an hour sitting with Bo on my lap in a room all by myself. It was just wonderful and I'd sit there and I'd think, I am sitting with the President's dog and I'm having a better time even than I would sitting with the President. I love the President.

BALDWIN: What advice do you have just in general, advice for young comedians coming up?

WHITE: Keep your sense of humor. Don't take yourself too seriously. And remember, you're in the funny business. You're not in the "me" business.

BALDWIN: Did you ever have any woman in particular pull you along, help you out, mentor you in this craft?

WHITE: Oh, Mary Tyler Moore, she was such a major part of working with somebody because of her talent, her basic talent. You could learn so much from Mary just by saying good morning.

BALDWIN: Have you had regrets or big disappointments?

WHITE: I am the luckiest old broad on 2 feet. I'm still able to get a job at this age. I'll go to my grave saying, can I come in and read for that tomorrow?


BALDWIN: Is that not just the best thing? Tonight, make sure you watch the history of comedy.