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Trump Doubles Down on Travel Ban in Tweetstorm; British PM: Police Know Identities of London Attackers. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired June 5, 2017 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We welcome viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY.
[07:00:04] We begin with President Trump doubling down and making something very clear. His executive order on travel has always been a ban, and that's what he wants it to be. He has gone on a Twitter tirade this morning, making that 100 percent clear.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: This comes as the president is being criticized for stoking fears with his initial response to the London terror attack, and he went after the mayor of London, suggesting that the mayor is somehow soft on terror. All this as the investigation into the terror attack intensifies.
CUOMO: Here are the facts. This is a statement of policy. Yes, they're tweets. But we can't get any real clarification from the press office. They are often at odds with the president, because he has his own message; and here it is, in his own words.
First, "People, the lawyers and courts can call it whatever they want, but I'm calling it what we need and what it is. A TRAVEL BAN" in all caps.
Remember, the press secretary scolding the media as fake for calling it a ban. Remember that. Now here is the reality. "The Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban" -- the one that made a carve-out for Christians, the one that clearly targeted Muslims -- "not the watered-down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C." Supreme Court.
And then this one. "The Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered-down travel ban before the Supreme Court and seek much tougher version. That doesn't make sense legally or from a policy security perspective. In any event, we are extreme vetting people coming into the U.S. in an order to keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political."
Is that true? We were told there'd be a 90-day review; there'd then be a report. We would be told what measures would be taken to increase vetting. Did it happen and we weren't told? Or is the president saying there's extreme vetting when there isn't? We're going to break this down all with the panel in a moment. Right now, we do have other news, as well.
CAMEROTA: OK. So a lot is happening this morning, Chris. British Prime Minister Theresa May says that police do now know the identities of the three terrorists that carried out the deadly London attack that killed seven people and injured 48 others on Saturday.
Senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward is live from London with all the latest for us -- Clarissa.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alisyn.
Well, as you can see behind me, there is still a significant police presence here at Borough Market. This is the site of one of the main attack areas on Saturday night. We've just seen a forensics team heading back there.
And we know from authorities, as you said, 11 people have been arrested. We know that four properties have been searched. There have been a couple of raids. Authorities warning people that those will continue.
And this seems to be a little bit of a contrast to what we were hearing yesterday from authorities, which was that they did not believe there was any larger network at play here beyond the three attackers. They say that they know who those attackers are, but that they're not telling the public for now. Take a look.
WARD (voice-over): British authorities are scrambling to determine if the three attackers are connected to a foreign terror network. London's Metropolitan Police carrying out a number of raids and arrests as ISIS claims responsibility for Saturday's attack. Although no evidence currently exists to back up the claim.
Neighbors at this raided apartment complex stunned after recognizing one of the dead attackers, who they describe as a quiet family man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man I know is -- he was a wonderful guy.
WARD: One woman, however, did have concerns, which she claims she brought to police.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden, we saw this gentleman -- individual speaking to the kids and cuddling (ph) them for the last -- it was three afternoons already, and speaking to them about Islam. And showed them how to pray.
WARD: Locals showing CNN the mosque they believe one of the attackers attended, though authorities have not confirmed his identity.
London police say the three attackers began their killing spree using a rented white van that sped across London Bridge around 10 p.m. Saturday night, plowing into pedestrians.
MARK ROBERTS, EYEWITNESS (via phone): He knocked over several people. Came within about 20 yards of where I was. It knocked somebody nearly 20 feet in the air. WARD: Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene as police responded to
more violence at Borough Market, where the attackers had driven, before getting out of the van, wielding knives and randomly attacking people inside restaurants and cafes.
JACK APPLEBEE, EYEWITNESS/LOCAL RESTAURANT OWNER (via phone): There were these three -- three men standing there, one of which with a machete. And this one girl was, like, saying that "They're stabbing everyone. They're stabbing people."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He only stepped outside the pub for a second. And a man run up to him and said, "This is for my family for Islam." Looked him straight in the face and -- and stabbed him.
WARD: These patrons hunkering down, fearing for their lives as others fled the scene.
LUKA MILACIC, WITNESS/CANADIAN VISITOR: People were just literally running away as fast as they possibly could.
WARD: Minutes after the first calls for help, London Police say eight officers shot 50 rounds, taking down all three attackers. One bystander was shot in a hail of bullets.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There is, to be frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.
WARD: Britain's prime minister condemning the three recent terror attacks, vowing a sweeping review of the country's anti-terror laws.
MAY: Enough is enough.
MAY: A lot of people here are hailing the heroism of the British police, several of whom were quite seriously injured attempting to fight off the attackers and also because the time it tookm from the moment when the attack began, to the moment where those three attackers had been shot dead by the police. It was just eight minutes. That really is an extraordinary rapid response.
And part of the reason they were so quick to use lethal force was because the attackers were wearing fake suicide belts. Of course, at the time, of course, police could not have known that those were fake suicides belts -- Chris and Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Clarissa, thank you very much.
CUOMO: A lot to discuss. Let's bring in CNN political analyst David Drucker; CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank; and CNN law enforcement analyst James Gagliano.
Let's begin with the president doubling down on the travel ban, although that's probably not an accurate assessment, James, because it's not doubling down, because he said it wasn't a ban. Scolded us. Called us fake media for saying it was a ban, said it was just extreme vetting. Now this. The hypocrisy, but also the truth. It's a ban, and he says he wants the original -- that means the one with the carve-out for Christians, the one that included Iraq. And just to be clear -- just to be clear, just to remind people, this is Sean Spicer addressing the media that was reporting that this is a ban. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is not a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban. It's a -- it's a vetting system to keep America safe. That's it, plain and simple. And all of the facts and a reading of it show it is what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Except for one fact. The president of the United States saying it is a ban. Now that we know that, what does that mean to you?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Chris, I think you have to look at this across the continuum. And I put London Mayor Sadiq Khan on one end with the people that kind of look at this as a nebulous, shapeshifting, ambiguous threat; and the president, who's now come out, as you pointed out, and said this is a travel ban, which basically confirmed what a lot of us have already, you know, felt.
I watched -- I watched the British P.M. I watched Theresa May. And I thought wow. The defiance, the resolution. Just so classically British and how she came out and said, "Here's what we need to do. We're going to confront this. We're going to call it what it is, but we're not going to go to the extreme fringe." And I thought her plan, how she laid it out, calling it what it is, concerning ourselves with the cyber sphere, which ISIS has manipulated and used to their benefit, and reaching out to the Muslim community and saying, "Listen, this is not targeting you. This is targeting the extreme element."
CAMEROTA: That is interesting, and I do, Paul, want you to comment on this, before we get to the travel ban -- back to the travel ban. And the president, just because James brought it up, when she said that the Internet has provided safe haven to terrorists. And in fact, the big companies, she said, that provide Internet based services have been complicit in this. What does she mean? What policy is going to change?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, she means that there is extremist content on YouTube, Facebook, Telegram, all sorts of other channels. I mean, ISIS put extremist context everywhere that they can online in order to get that to their followers. And the Brits want these companies to crack down to remove content faster.
And of course, you know, they could be doing more. But even if they, you know, did all that much more aggressively, ISIS would still find ways to get a lot of their contest online. And if you don't want to sort of shut down the Internet, you will still have the problem with a lot of this content being on the Internet. The bigger problem is the fact that there are a community of people
who are receptive to this ideology. And it's not so much, perhaps, that the medium, the Internet that's been the big root cause problem here, but it's the fact that there is this ideology, which far too many people now subscribe to in Europe and other parts of the world.
CUOMO: So now we have, David Drucker, this clear declaration of policy from the president of the United States. Tweets are as good as we get. The White House, words from the press conferences, they are all over the place. He often contradicts them. How big a deal is this, that he says, "It's a ban. I want it to be a ban, and I want it to be the original ban."
DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it sort of depends on what the lawyers make of it and whether he follows through with the Department of Justice and says, "This is what I want."
I mean, what was most striking to me is he seems upset with the DOJ. They work for him. He's the boss. So they will do whatever he tells them to do, within reason. And on -- as a matter of policy and what to prosecute in the courts, they should listen to him.
What I find most striking about all of this is that, broadly speaking, the president has a good point to make about the need for the U.S. to beef up security and beef up vetting, because there are parts of the world that are in tumult, and it's hard to actually do the normal sort of vetting.
But he's been in office now four months. The travel ban, the Muslim ban. It was all supposed to go into effect rather immediately to give the administration time, they said, to develop a stronger kind of vetting to make sure that the wrong sort of people didn't get into the country. It's been four months. So where is the new vetting?
CUOMO: He says it's happening right now. This may wind up being one of the biggest problems he just caused for himself. "In any event, we are EXTREME VETTING," all caps, "people coming into the U.S., or order to keep our country safe."
Are you aware of new policies and procedures that have been put into place? Are you James? Is anybody?
DRUCKER: There's been no announcement. As we discussed before, there have also been no detail of the beefed-up aggressive plan to combat ISIS. I think his top-notch national security team, and they do know what they're doing, are probably doing something. The president has not communicated any of this to us. And I think he'd actually be more effective and get more of what he wanted if he did that, which is why I mentioned it.
GAGLIANO: I think, Alisyn, as ISIS begins to -- to lose grounds in Iraq, Syria, the Levant, they're now going to start hyper-focusing on this -- on this radicalization through laptop computer. And I think we've got to be careful about it in the west, is there are
no crimes here about thought or about what you are viewing, per se. There are some limitations on that. But in the west, we don't want to have a system of jurisprudence, where if somebody thinks something, we're going to arrest them for their thought. And that's the danger here, because the ideology is so perverse, and it attracts disenfranchised, disaffected youngsters that are just seeking to be a part of something bigger than themselves and blowing themselves up to martyr themselves. Is that drawing an attraction?
CUOMO: This is a bigger danger, though. Right? There's a bigger danger.
CAMEROTA: Well, just that -- I'm so glad Paul is here. Because Paul, you always give us such great context. These -- having to report on these attacks over and over in such rapid fire, three in the past three months, in Britain, is obviously demoralizing. It is wearing, having the public have to hear about them and, God forbid, live through them.
But give us context. Is the west winning? Are they losing -- is ISIS losing ground? Because you know, it's hard to sometimes know when you see the horror that they are still able to perpetrate.
CRUICKSHANK: Yes, ISIS is losing a significant amount of ground in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, other places where they had made gains in previous years. They're on the ropes in Mosul. They're in just a very small part of that town now. They still have some presence in various parts of Syria and Iraq.
And of course, they still have control over Raqqah, that de facto capital of Syria. And that's where they've been plotting all these international terror attacks from. That's where a lot of foreign fighters have been congregating, reaching out over the Internet from there to sympathizers in the United States and Britain and Europe to try to provoke them and encourage them to carry out terrorist attacks.
So ISI is really pressing the accelerator right now in terms of trying to get plots through to change the conversation away from the fact that they have been losing territory at an increasing rate.
CAMEROTA: All right. Thank you for that perspective. Thank you, gentlemen, for all the information.
So we have much more on President Trump confirming that his travel policy or immigration policy is a travel ban. So we will get reaction from a Republican lawmaker here next.
[07:18:22] CUOMO: President Trump confirming his executive order halted by federal courts is a travel ban in a series of tweets this morning. Here's one. "People, the lawyers and courts can call it whatever we want. But I'm calling it what we need and what it is. A TRAVEL BAN. The Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban. Not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C." Supreme Court. "The Justice Department should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered-down travel ban before the Supreme Court and seek much tougher version. In any event, we are extreme vetting people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political."
Let's discuss with Republican Congressman Scott Taylor of Virginia, a former Navy SEAL and Iraq War veteran. Yes, they're tweets, but I don't see them as that. I see them as policy of the United States of America, directly from the head and heart of the president.
This is a travel ban. It's always been a travel ban. All of the chiding of the media, calling us fake for saying it was a ban, was untrue, Congressman. It's always been a ban. Isn't that the truth?
REP. SCOTT TAYLOR (R), VIRGINIA: Well, good morning. It's great to be with you again.
But I understand how you guys can be frustrated that -- that you have had some chiding, of course, when they said it was a travel ban or was not a travel ban. But I don't think that changes the legality of it. I just don't.
And I understand the frustration that you guys may have. And I understand it. But I don't think it changes the legality of the president's ability to control immigration via the law.
CUOMO: There's no question that there is a very strong constitutional component and an authority component to the president's wide-ranging powers over immigration.
[07:20:04] The question for the courts is going to be whether this is a rightful application of this, and are you concerned that the original order was fairly clear in its intent to target Muslims and even had a carveout for Christians, further emphasizing that focus on keeping Muslims out of the country. Do you like that, and do you think the court will?
TAYLOR: Well, let me preface it by saying I was very clear, and I've probably been on your show before.
TAYLOR: I do not agree with the rhetoric before, before the campaign, at all. Listen, I've been -- I've had my life in Muslim hands many times in the middle of the Arabian Desert. So I don't agree with that, that rhetoric whatsoever.
That being said, I think it will ultimately be upheld. I just do. I believe that there's certainly debate on the policy itself. But I don't think the legality...
CUOMO: Let's address that, Congressman, because just because it's -- just because there is a legal right that may be found. And again, I'm not disputing that. There is broad authority. But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. And the president, in the wake of what we just saw in London -- and
let's leave sensitivity aside. Clearly, he didn't get any points for that. But in terms of making sense, do you think a travel ban of Muslims is the right way for America to go, on the record?
TAYLOR: I've already said on the record that I've been to many of these countries and that I do agree that there should be tougher vetting. That I don't think it's unreasonable for an incoming administration to say we want to stop and we want to look at these countries specifically, because that's their opinion that they're a higher threat.
I don't think it's unreasonable. I think there's a ton of rhetoric out there sort of on both sides that I agree with or don't agree with. But the actual policy. I trust the national security adviser. I trust General Mattis and those guys to makes these decisions to look at these countries. I just do.
And like I've said, I've personally been to these countries. And you mentioned Christians. But I've seen what happens in some of these countries with Christians. So I get it. I get why they want to have elevated status to -- to at least to look and try to get some of these folks who in some countries there's been genocide committed against them.
So I don't disagree with an incoming administration looking at these policies and looking at these countries to figure out. And you mentioned extreme vetting and whether or not the president is doing it or conducting it or not. I don't know if that's the case or not. In some instances, we may not want to know. We may not want to say what is -- what are more policies for extreme vetting in these countries to not let folks get around it.
But I will tell you, countries like Libya, which by the way, the first terror attack in written, of course, they went back to Libya for suspects. In some of these countries, there are government institutions to be able to properly vet folks. It will be very, very difficult to vet someone in the Shabwah region in Yemen. It's just because there aren't -- there's not information about them, and then there's certainly not a government system that will help us, as well, too. I think it's responsible to look at some of these countries and have tougher vetting in there. I just do.
CUOMO: Everybody agrees.
TAYLOR: And that's from personal experience.
CUOMO: They want to be as safe as possible. Your service to the country is well known. Thank God you made it back home, and now you can try to help others even more.
And you make a strong point about Christians being targeted. It's true. It's under-reported. But do you think they should be given a preference to Muslims when it comes to travel? And do you believe that targeting Muslims from those countries will make us safer, even though statistically, that's not suggestive? TAYLOR: Well, let me -- let me say again, I'm not -- I don't believe
in targeting Muslims.
CUOMO: That's what this does, Congressman.
TAYLOR: Hold on.
CUOMO: That's what this does.
TAYLOR: Hold on a second. Hold on a second. Because if that was just strictly the case, then you would have a lot more countries in there. And with more populous countries, quite frankly, with Muslims.
But I will tell you, some of the biggest victims of terror, of course, are Muslims in these same countries.
CUOMO: No question. Overwhelmingly.
TAYLOR: There's no question that -- overwhelmingly. Absolutely.
So again, the rhetoric I don't agree with. I don't agree with the pre-campaign rhetoric. So but I do think it's responsible for an incoming administration. If they believe that they need to look at tougher -- tougher vetting procedures and specific countries that, quite frankly, are from the less -- from the previous administration of having a higher risk, I don't disagree with that on its face. I absolutely disagree with rhetoric during the campaign, saying -- you know, calling for a Muslim ban. I don't agree with that. I think it's unconstitutional, but I don't -- I think ultimately the Supreme Court will uphold. I just do, from a legal standpoint. Not an emotional or a policy standpoint but from a legal standpoint.
CUOMO: We will see, but that doesn't make it good policy, but we will see.
Congressman, thank you for laying out the case. I appreciate your service and appreciate your arguments, as always. Thank you, sir.
TAYLOR: Thank you, sir. Good to be with you.
CAMEROTA: Chris, how are police around the world going to tackle low- tech attacks like the one we saw in London this weekend with the van and knives? And how would they stop the Internet from being a safe haven for terrorists? We ask a counterterrorism expert next.
[07:29:05] CAMEROTA: President Trump made many statements this morning. He sent out a flurry of tweets, and he called his immigration order a, quote, "travel ban." After months of his administration insisting that it is not a travel ban. This comes after the president was criticized for appearing to push his political agenda in response to the London terror attack. Let's discuss it all with CNN national security analyst Lisa Monaco.
She's also a former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President Obama. You are the perfect guest to have this morning, Lisa, on all of these many threats.
Let's start with the travel ban, because I know that you have been an outspoken critic of even the revised travel ban, the second one. In fact, you sent a letter to President Trump back in March with a bipartisan group of senior officials.
So let me tell you what he says this morning so that you can comment on this. "People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is. A TRAVEL BAN." He then said, "The Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban. Not the watered-down, politically correct version they submitted to the Supreme Court."