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New Travel Ban Details; New National Security Appointment; New Jewish Community Center Bomb Threats; Death of Russia's Ambassador To U.N. Sparks Turmoil. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 21, 2017 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:35] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: The White House is trying to ensure its new travel ban can survive in court. We have new details on what we'll see in this latest executive order.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: A new national security adviser is now in place. Ahead, the reviews for the outspoken Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

SANCHEZ: And, federal authorities are stepping in after another series of bomb threats at Jewish centers. What is the White House saying after criticism over the president's earlier answers on anti- Semitism?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Boris Sanchez.

CABRERA: And I'm Ana Cabrera. This show is by and by. Hopefully, your morning's off to a great start. It's 5:30 here in the East. This morning, the Trump White House is now putting finishing touches on a new version of the president's travel ban. We're learning about how this travel ban is being crafted to withstand the legal challenges that sank the first one.

Let's get the latest now from CNN's Laura Jarrett, live in Washington this morning. Good morning, Laura.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Good morning, Ana. So, the question on everybody's mind this week is what exactly is going to be different about the ban this second time around. Perhaps the biggest change that, at least we know of, is who is drafting the executive order. This time, sources tell us that the White House counsel's office, instead of the policy shop, is taking a lead role in the drafting.

We also heard from the head of Homeland Security over the weekend that the rollout of the travel ban will likely include a phase-in period instead of an automatic switch and that green card holders, as you say, will not be affected, as officials are clearly trying to avoid the kind of chaos that left many stranded in airports across the country last month.

One critical issue that remains unsettled is how the new order will deal with visitors, like student visa holders. Several of the current lawsuits that were brought by states argue that the travel ban was hurting student enrollment and also faculty recruitment at public universities from foreigners abroad. So if the visa holders are not protected this time around, like the green card holders, it will be very interesting to happen -- what happens -- to watch what happens in court -- Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Laura. We hear this order could come as soon as Wednesday but definitely, they plan to roll it out this week. Thank you so much, Laura.

JARRETT: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: No matter what the provisions of the new travel ban might be, President Trump will have a new national security adviser to help him navigate this rollout. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has been tapped to fill the opening created when Michael Flynn was forced out.

For the latest, let's bring in national security reporter Ryan Browne, live in Washington. Ryan, both McMaster and his predecessor Michael Flynn outspoken, but they both have some stark differences.

RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, that's right, Boris. I think one thing to note about McMaster is unlike Flynn, he's actually an active-duty military officer so he's had to operate within the chain of command. He's the first active-duty officer to take the job since Colin Powell did so in 1987 at the end of the Reagan presidency. So he could -- had to say yes, pretty much, when asked.

But I think another interesting thing to note is that McMaster is widely respected, both within military circles -- he's a decorated combat veteran. He is well-known for his intellect, having a PhD from the University of North Carolina. He's written famous books. But he's also -- on the political side, he received rapid endorsements upon his being named to the post from Republicans like Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, a sometimes Trump critic. But also, many Democrats lined up praising McMaster when he was picked.

Now, McMaster wrote a famous book called "Dereliction of Duty" where he slammed the top military leaders in America for failing to properly advise American presidents during the Vietnam War. In that book he was also highly critical of the National Security Council in the Kennedy and Johnson administration, saying it was way too insular, way too -- way too personal -- based on personal relationships.

So it will be very interesting to see how he approaches running that council's staff given the preexisting people that are already in there, including Steve Bannon, a trusted Trump adviser who is a permanent member of the National Security Council.

As you mentioned, despite all his praise and accolades, McMaster does have a bit of a reputation for being outspoken. He's been willing to criticize military strategy publicly in editorials and he's willing to kind of critique past military doctrines, something that's rankled feathers amongst his superiors in the past. So it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out. [05:35:08] He's a military man but he's someone who's willing to

speak his mind. He's going into a very new, different role as the national security adviser so it will be an interesting mix to see how he gets along with some of the other players in the White House.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it will be fun to watch the interaction between someone who is so outspoken --


SANCHEZ: -- and this White House. Ryan, thank you so much.

CABRERA: And multiple generals, also, who --


CABRERA: -- are now part of the national security team. Let's break it all down -- all the political headlines this morning -- with Ellis Henican. He's a political analyst and author of "Trump's America" and columnist for "Metro" papers. Thanks so much for coming on.


CABRERA: Good to see you again.


CABRERA: So, let's talk about this new executive order that could come any moment. Of course, we heard from Laura Jarrett that this time green card holders will not be affected. There's going to be a phase-in period. General Kelly saying it's going to be a tighter and more streamlined version of the initial executive order. What else will you be looking for to be changed in this new order?

HENICAN: Well, there are a couple of things. I mean, one is, clearly, they recognize that there will be court challenges to this, so some care was -- is apparently being taken now to try and withstand those challenges. And you remember what they are. Questions about whether is really a Muslim ban. Questions about whether they are really the predicates that make those nations allowed to be singled out as the only ones where this ban is in place. So they're going to try to do it in a way that answers those questions before they end up in court so maybe they have an easy case this time.

SANCHEZ: Yes. One of those methods might be limiting the language when it comes to religious minorities in those countries.

HENICAN: Good point, good point.

SANCHEZ: Would that help them shake the perception that this is a Muslim ban, though?

HENICAN: Well, it might. I mean, it was one of the arguments that was used against it.

SANCHEZ: Right. HENICAN: Well, if this isn't a Muslim ban how come there's this special red carpet path for people who aren't Muslims?


HENICAN: I mean, it was a -- it was a hard argument to answer. And, in fact, the fact that the spike -- assurances that they were going to -- they were going to bring this all the way up to the United States Supreme Court, they seem to be backing off of the old one --


HENICAN: -- and just saying just go with the new one now.

SANCHEZ: So is this an admission that the first one was kind of a flub?

HENICAN: A little bit. If it was so great why not be defending that one, right?

CABRERA: Talk about pressure to get it right this time. Hey, let's talk about McMaster, this new pick -- the president's NSA -- National Security Adviser. We heard from Ryan --


CABRERA: -- this is an outspoken man. A guy who is known for his intellect, his militarysavviness. But he's also known to kind of buck the norm or go against the typical perception of somebody in his position. How do you think that's going to jive with Trump and the many power players he has in his administration?

HENICAN: Well, I think it's fabulous. I think it will be very interesting to watch the clashes. This is not an administration, so far, that has welcomed a lot of dissenting voices, and there've been people fired already who expressed views that went against the orthodoxy, so it will be interesting to see. Is McMaster a strong enough character with enough credibility, the background that you guys just sketched out, in order to hold his own in that room? Boy, watch the clash with Steve Bannon. That's the thing you've got to --

CABRERA: That's a big challenge.

HENICAN: -- keep your eye on. Open-mindedness may not be his strongest trait.

SANCHEZ: How do you think this helps Trump politically to have someone in there that a lot of Republicans that opposed Trump -- John McCain comes to mind --


SANCHEZ: -- and even some Democrats who support that?

HENICAN: And, Dems.

SANCHEZ: -- support that.


HENICAN: Yes. Listen, it's welcomed and maybe there's a message here. Maybe it says that if you open up the field a little bit people will actually give you some kudos. We haven't had much of that yet but you know what, people do learn on the job. It's possible, I guess.

CABRERA: Well, when you talk about opening up the umbrella, so to speak --


CABRERA: -- to more people, we saw the protests yesterday -- the "Not My President" rallies --


CABRERA: -- that were happening from coast to coast. We have video of the one that was here in New York City. Do you get a sense that those people who are protesting are open to the president doing something that could earn their support or are they just digging in their heels?

HENICAN: Well, I've got to tell you, we're in a divided nation and it is pretty hard to flip someone totally from one side to the other. What I would focus on is whether that energy's going to maintain, right? If you have protests every week, will people keep coming? Maybe so. I mean, surely the healthcare issue -- keep your eye on that one. Is that --

CABRERA: And just how effective is it?

HENICAN: Well, you know, I think it's been effective already.


HENICAN: I mean, it's helped beat back the Muslim ban. It has certainly slowed down the repeal and replace Obama train -- Obamacare train. The wall, I think, is maybe being looked at in a slightly different light. Yes, you know what? If you feel something in this country you ought to get out and say it. That's what I'd do.

SANCHEZ: Now, we do have to ask you about these threats to Jewish centers.


SANCHEZ: There were 11 of them just yesterday --

HENICAN: Unfortunate.

SANCHEZ: -- after a series of them over the past few months. And then we had these tombstones knocked over in a Jewish cemetery in Missouri. Obviously, the White House has responded with a statement. We want to show it to you now. There is it. "Hatred and hate- motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom. The president has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable."

[05:40:13] Noticeably missing from this statement is the word "Jewish" or any reference to Jews, something that we saw during Holocaust Remembrance Day --


SANCHEZ: -- when that statement that they put out also didn't mention Jews. Why is this a recurring thing with this White House?

HENICAN: You know, I -- it's a little odd, isn't it? And when the president was asked twice in the past couple of days about these attacks he really didn't discuss them at all, but began focusing on the votes that he got in the election. You know, it's awkward. I don't want to -- I don't want to impose more severe motives on it but, yes, it's a little awkward, I would say.

CABRERA: We have the tweet from his daughter, who we also know converted --


CABRERA: -- to Judaism before she married Jarred Kushner. And she writes, "America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship and religious centers. #JCC." Is she playing clean-up duty?

HENICAN: Yes, a little bit and Donald says well, hey, how could I be anti-Semitic? I've got these Jewish grandchildren. Yes, I think -- you know what? Ivana's (sic) turning out to be a little bit of a plus here. I think she's at least steering dad --

CABRERA: Ivanka.

HENICAN: Ivanka is steering dad along in the -- in the right direction.

SANCHEZ: Now, we want to show you this response from Rep. Jerry Nadler, writing, "Very nice, but this should be coming from your father. @realDonaldTrump must directly condemn anti-Semitism and all those who espouse it."

We do have to ask. It seems like there's a lot of people playing clean-up for the president. Mike Pence was in Europe --

HENICAN: The cabinet, you mean.

SANCHEZ: Well, a lot of folks.

HENICAN: The cabinet? Is that who you're talking about?

SANCHEZ: The vice president was in Europe yesterday trying to assure our allies in Europe that the president will be strong when it comes to Russia. General Mattis was in Iraq, also yesterday, saying no, we're not here to seize your oil, something that Trump said on the campaign trail. Is this an issue of messaging or is it just that they have to go and try to fix things that he's said.

CABRERA: Or is this strategic?

HENICAN: Well, I don't think it's so strategic. I think Donald says stuff and then the grown-ups go out and try and clean it up, but it leaves the allies in a tough position. Who am I supposed to believe, right?


CABRERA: Well, we --

HENICAN: Which one? Is it the president or is it you?


CABRERA: The president likes to keep everybody on their toes and he's been --


CABRERA: -- you know, very clear about that.

SANCHEZ: Our NATO allies, though, have made it clear they want to hear that message of unity --


SANCHEZ: -- directly from the president. They're looking at what Mike Pence is saying with some hesitation.

HENICAN: Right. Thank you so much, Mr. Vice President, but where's the boss?

SANCHEZ: We've got to hear it.

CABRERA: Ellis, good to see you. Thanks for coming on.

HENICAN: Great seeing you guys, as always.

SANCHEZ: Thanks for getting up early for us. Well, the "Boogie" Demarcus Cousins is packing his bags for New Orleans with an emotional farewell to Sacramento. We're hitting him with the Hines Ward this morning in the Bleacher Report, next.


[05:46:55] SANCHEZ: You know, it was a scary moment in college basketball when West Virginia's coach collapsed on the court.

CABRERA: Hines Ward is joining us now. Hines, Bob Huggins, we know, has a history of heart problems. Is he OK? HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, he's fine. Good morning, guys. Yes, doctors had to give Coach Huggins a pacemaker after he suffered a heart attack 15 years ago. Now, right before halftime, Coach went down clutching his chest. He had to be helped by the trainers. He felt lightheaded after standing back up but the coach stayed in the game and got the win over Texas. Later, Huggins talked about what happened.


BOB HUGGINS, COACH, WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS: I was afraid the defibrillator went off. Yes, but I mean -- but that's only the second time it's gone off. What it is, is it just shocks your heart back into the rhythm. I'm like, you know, 99.9 percent of other guys my age in America. I've got a-fib.


WARD: The Kings and Pelicans made it official sending all-star big man Demarcus Cousins to New Orleans in a trade. Now, Cousins is known for being emotional on the court and he showed it while saying goodbye to his fans in Sacramento.


DEMARCUS COUSINS, TRADED TO NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: My love for this city has never changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Boogie.


WARD: Now, Cousins is expected to make his debut in New Orleans on Thursday against the Rockets.

And finally, a wild moment for Stetson leftfielder Austin Bogart. He runs through a wall trying to make a catch against Southern Illinois. He plows through the outfield fence but he couldn't come up with the ball. Luckily, though, he would be OK. This led to an inside-the- park grand slam as Southern Illinois wins 8-4 over Stetson.Now, I've taken a lot of hits in my day, guys, but I certainly never ran through a wall before.

CABRERA: And that is called giving it your all.


CABRERA: Leaving it all on the field.

SANCHEZ: That's some redecorating in the outfield there. Hines Ward, thank you so much. Appreciate the time.

CABRERA: Have a good day, Hines.

WARD: No problem. CABRERA: Well, if you think your morning commute is rough, think again. One city has now been labeled with having the worst rush hour traffic in the world. We'll take you there and show you the rankings, next.


[05:53:35] SANCHEZ: The sudden death of Russia's ambassador to the U.N. opening up a door, not only to grief but potentially also to turmoil. So what does this mean for relations between the United States and Russia? Where does this unexpected turn of events leave diplomacy between the two dueling nations? CNN's Clare Sebastian is live in Moscow this morning with the very latest. Clare, what's being said about his passing?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a lot of shock and sadness here in Moscow. He was a very well-respected, a very long-serving diplomat. President Putin said to be very upset by the news, according to his spokesman, saying that he greatly valued his professionalism and diplomatic talent. We've seen people leaving flowers outside the Foreign Ministry here in Moscow this morning. The foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, also leaving a message in a book of condolence that said, "Vitaly will always remain in our memories and the history of our country, people, and foreign policy."

But I think it's particularly worth remembering, as well, that he was also very much mourned by his colleagues at the United Nations, even those who he had publicly clashed with over issues of foreign policy on which they disagreed.

I want to read you a tweet from the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power. She said, "Devastated by passing of Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. Diplomatic maestro and deeply caring man who did all he could to bridge U.S.-Russia differences." They, of course, had a very public clash in the U.N. in December over Russia's actions in Syria. He accused her of acting like Mother Teresa and saying that U.S. actions in Syria also deserved scrutiny.

[05:55:08] And it's a very crucial time for this to have happened in Russia-U.S. relations. Vitaly Churkin was just starting to build a relationship with the new U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, and I think there will be a lot of scrutiny over who takes his place. Certainly, a very important job.

SANCHEZ: All right, Clare, thank you so much.

CABRERA: Investigators are trying to determine what caused a small plane crash in Australia. (Video playing) Take a look. This happened at a shopping center there. Officials say all five people on board were killed. The pilot was Australian, the four passengers were American. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Melbourne and the stores, fortunately, were not open at the time.

SANCHEZ: A tragic story out of California. A police chief there angry and grieving after one of his officers was gunned down, allegedly by a suspected gang member out on parole. Authorities say officers were responding to a traffic incident when a man driving a stolen car opened fire. Officer Keith Boyer, a veteran of the Whittier Police Department, was shot and killed. He was only 27 years old. Another officer was shot, though he is expected to survive. The police chief, Jeff Piper, was overcome with emotion while speaking to reporters.


CHIEF JEFF PIPER, WHITTIER POLICE DEPARTMENT: You know, it's really hard for me to hold back (crying) my tears because all of us have been grieving since 10 o'clock this morning and I didn't think I had any tears left. But everybody needs to know what these officers are dealing with out there on a daily basis. You have no idea how it's changed in the last four years. People don't want to follow rules. People don't care about other people and it's tragic. This is a senseless, senseless tragedy that did not need to be.


SANCHEZ: The suspect was wounded and police say he's expected to survive. They also believe he's linked to a deadly shooting in Los Angeles on Sunday.

CABRERA: Let's get an early start on your money. The record run for the stock market set to continue this morning. Stock futures are pointing higher after all three major averages closed last week at record highs. The market was closed Monday for President's Day.

Walmart shares are dropping in premarket trading ahead of the company's quarterly earnings report. Two things investors are focusing on at looking at this company and this stock. It's grocery business and has it improved, and how are online sales doing? How are they competing with Amazon? Walmart started a shipping war of sorts with Amazon when it began offering free, two-day shipping on orders over $35 earlier this month. Amazon quietly just lowered its minimum for free shipping to $35, down from $49, and it applies to shoppers without Amazon Prime. That membership is $99 a year.

Now, if you're dreading the traffic on your way to work this morning it could be worse. Bangkok, Thailand has the worst rush hour traffic in the world, according to a new list from GPS manufacturer TomTom. It's Bangkok's second straight year with that dubious ranking. Now, researchers say cities like Bangkok are victims of their own success. Says surging populations translateinto more commuters and more traffic. Mexico City and Jakarta, Indonesia have the same problem. They are both in the top five. The only U.S. city in the top 15 was Los Angeles at number 14.

SANCHEZ: Again, I think this is fake news. There's so many places you can drive here in the United States where it feels like a parking lot. It's hard to believe that L.A. was number 14.

CABRERA: Ah, take a deep breath. Practice patience. That's what I tell myself. Thanks for joining us. I'm Ana Cabrera.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez. "NEW DAY" starts right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: General H.R. McMaster will become the national security adviser.

LT. GEN. H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I look forward to advancing and protecting the interests of the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is not going to be anyone that speaks ill of H.R. McMaster.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have great confidence in the national security team going forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an upgrade over Gen. Flynn.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: The Trump administration is tweaking the president's executive order on immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a very fine line between keeping our community safe and taking away basic protection.

TRUMP: I am the least anti-Semitic person.

SANCHEZ: The White House responds to threats against Jewish community centers.

CABRERA: Has the administration done enough?


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're watching NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, February 21st, 6:00 here in New York.

Up first, President Trump naming Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser. The active-duty officer assumes the role as several foreign policy challenges continue to boil.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The first challenge will probably be the president's new immigration executive order which is nearing completion, we're told. So how's the White House changing the travel ban to address Federal Appeals Court concerns? Also, there are mounting questions about why the president hasn't directly condemned anti-Semitism in America.

It's day 33 of the Trump presidency. Let's begin our coverage with CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns, live at the White House -- Joe.