witnesses describe a coordinated assault. >> quebec city today has been hit by terrorism. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> welcome to your "new day." it is monday, january -- >> good catch. >> i'm not going to say june 30th. >> i almost called you frank earlier. >> president trump defending his executive order banning people from seven countries from traveling to the u.s. triggering lawsuits, protests in the street and worldwide condemnation. the white house claims this is not a muslim ban. >> even some of the top republicans are distancing themselves from the administration's move. they're slow to opposes and distancing may even be generous. we'll see if party or patism wins out. cnn's athena jones live at the white house. >> good morning, chris. after a weekend of confusion, the department of homeland
security said last night no one in the initial group of people affected by the ban remains detained. everyone has either been released into the united states or put on planes back home, but the firestorm over these measures isn't letting up. >> let us march, let us march. >> reporter: amid massive and growing backlash, president donald trump defending his immigration executive order, insisting this is not about religion, this is about terror and keeping our country safe. his administration pushing back at massive protests and claims of disorganization. >> this was an extreme vetting program that wasn't properly vetted. >> apologize for nothing here. >> asserting they're extremely proud of the order which bans travel to the united states from seven muslim majority nations for three months and suspends all refugee missions for four. syrian refugees barred indefinitely. the white house claiming the ban resulted in extremely minimal
disruption despite chaotic scenes erupting at airports around the world. the department of homeland security issuing one clarification late sunday night. green cardholders from these seven countries won't be denied entry into the u.s. but will face a secondary screening. the white house blaming mixed messages on the, quote, hyperventilating media. insisting the order was successful, citing only 109 travellers being detained in the first 24 hours out of the 325,000 who entered the u.s. in the same period and noting 392 green cardholders were granted waivers to center the country as 16 democratic attorneys general called the ban unconstitutional, un-american and unlawful. >> this executive order -- was mean spirited and un-american.
>> reporter: with a growing number of lawmakers criticizing mr. trump's ban. >> i think the effect will probably in some areas give isis some more propaganda. >> reporter: in a joint statement arizona senator john mccain and south carolina senator lindsey graham calling the travel ban a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism. tru trump lambasting the republican senators tweeting they are sadly week on immigration, the two senators should focus their energies on isis, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start world war iii. the white house facing mounting legal battles. federal judges in new york and massachusetts already temporarily blocking parts of the ban from taking effect. and world leaders are responding with concern. germany's chancellor angela merkel saying she told the president the ban on refugees is against the geneva convention.
meanwhile, the white house is asking foreign visitors to provide their social media and web surfing information as well as cell phone contacts. those who decline could be denied entry, citing one r social media posts of one of the san bernardino shooters even though the posts were written under a suit anymore and restricted by privacy settings. the administration has repeatedly cited attacks the ban would not prevent, including san bernardino, 9/11 and the boston bombings. all 23 people involved in those attacks were from countries not on the ban list or were u.s. citize citizens. >> let's talk with a republican lawmaker congresswoman from florida, illiana ross layton, also a member of the intelligence committee. why are you against the ban? >> i'm against this temporary ban on these seven named countries and on the suspension
for 120 days of our u.s. refugee program which hasn't gotten as much attention because i think we could have accomplished our objective which is a good objective of keeping our homeland safe if we had just implemented different screening methods, different vetting measures if that's what president trump wanted to do. >> that's what he says he's doing. >> that's right. >> he says he needs these stoppages in order to keep it safe while he's putting in new procedures. do you accept that? >> i worry this temporary ban may become a permanent ban. people will say, gee, we've had these 90 days, these 120 days and we've been kept safe, so let's keep it up, when, in fact, that ban and prohibition would have nothing to do with keeping us safement let's start a new vetting program, let's work with the different agencies, let's run these executive orders through the department of
homeland security, the agency that has to implement them, before they're written, before they're signed and then they're told, okay, do it. now, thank goodness weave had the head of dhs already say, oh, legal green card, u.s. permanent residents of the united states are allowed in. well, gee, that's an incredible clarification. yes, we are a country that honors the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. these are agreements that we've given to certain people, certain rights, and we shouldn't yank them away by fiat. >> it seems at a minimum it was certainly rushed. there are probably good and bad reasons for that. now, you are, as of yet, in the minority in your party. congressman nunez put out a statement why he supports this. i'll read it. in light of attempts by jihadist groups to infiltrate fighters into refugee flows to the west along with europe's traj iks experience coping with this problem. the trump administration's executive order on refugees is a
common sense security measure to prevent terror attacks on the homeland. how is he wrong? >> i like devin, he's my chairman of the intelligence committee so i value and trust his judgment. but i disagree on the conclusion. we could put a ban on every country in the world from coming into the united states, and that will certainly keep us safe. but when president trump cites 9/11 and certain attacks on our home land and says that's why i'm putting the temporary ban on these particular countries, how many of those individuals from those countries have committed in any of those acts, on 9/11 or the other terrorist acts? >> none. it doesn't seem to be the argument and the conclusion is just on a fine line. >> this isn't about the facts. this policy is about phobias. we do know to congressman nunes's statement, there is intel supposedly that supports
the notion that jihadis, isis, are trying to infiltrate refugee programs. we just haven't seen it made manifest here at home. you've had three people killed by refugees since 1975. you've had no citizens of these seven countries ever kill anybody in america since 1975. it's not about the facts. it's about the phobia. and this is something that president trump promised as a muslim ban during the campaign, and now he's going to make good on it. is that enough justification? >> i congratulate president trump for making good on his promises. i wish he wouldn't because some of those promises i don't like, like deporting the dreamers, et cetera. this is one of them. we need to have strict vetting criteria. we need to be tough on the people who are coming in. once you have your green card, once you're a u.s. permanent resident of the united states,
how can we say to you no, you don't have the right to come in when you've been already accepted as a refugee into this country. how can we say for no reason, no, you're no longer welcome, just an arbitrary broad brush. it's just not in the american way and i hope we take a step back. and i think the courts will review this for times to come. >> it gets tricky there. the executives given a lot of latitudes by courts, especially when it comes to keeping people safe. that's how senate majority leader mitch mcconnell couched his own statement. he said he won't apply a basic criticism. he basically punted and said let's see what the states do. you're on the intel community. the director of national intelligence was removed from the national security council in favor of steve bannon, a man with some military history. he served in the navy, but better known for his work with propaganda and breitbart, a
nationalist website, a site that puts out their propaganda very often. does that concern you? >> not so much concerned about a certain individual being allowed in the meeting as i am about certain individuals being pulled out of the meeting, head of dni, chairman of joint chiefs of staff. the president has a right to do that. but just because he has a right to put people in and keep people out, does not mean he should exercise that right. i don't know what intelligence expertise steve bannon would add to this mix -- >> isn't that a concern? if you don't know what he adds to it and you know what he does represent as a risk, right? this is a man who is a self identified right wing nationalist, doesn't that matter as part of your analysis of whether or not it's a concern? >> it does matter. i agree the president has a right to make these changes, that doesn't mean he should. i don't think that's a change that is in agreement with keeping our homeland safe, i
think he's mof of a political operative, could give sound advice. president trump is making good on his promises. let's tone it down both on reaction and as well as executive orders. let's try going to congress for a change and try to do it the old-fashioned way. we're the legislative branch. everything seems to be getting done through executive orders these days. we are a coequal branch of government. he's forgotten that. >> new administration, new rules, and to be fair, bannon is a political operative. he didn't go through any confirmation process with the senate. i don't know how he describes himself. he is described as a right wing nationalist. that's what his media propaganda site does. >> congresswoman, thank you for being with us. gunmen opening fire in worshippers at a mosque in quebec city, killing six people, wounding eight others. canned da's prime minister calling it a terrorist attack. two people are under arrest. let's get to paula newton in
quebec with the latest. what have you learned? >> reporter: good morning, alisyn. we're going to have a press conference within the hour with police, hoping to learn more about the two suspects who have been arrested. this is a continuing investigation. what they want to know is if they had any accomplices and how they got ahold of those firearms, firearms they believe are banned in canada. behind me, the forensics investigation continues. it's the ballistics experts they want to get in there. everyone trying to hold together here, alisyn. this has been a very unnerving event for many here. the coordinated style and the way it was done. again, really shaking to the core of what people believed was a very peaceful community. there were a few incidents at the mosque, talk of hate letters, but nothing they thought would materialize into any kind of violence. what's really telling here is there had been no extra security at that mosque or any others. that is not the same situation here this morning here as well as across the country.
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krig gering protests. chuck schumer called the executive order, quote, mean spirited and un-american. seth molten is a dem kuralt and iraq war veteran, a member of the house armed services committee. good morning. >> good morning. >> i read you said you believe this executive order puts u.s. troops' lives in danger. how so? >> it's not just u.s. troops. isis and other terrorist organizations are going to use this, in fact, isis already is in their propaganda. it gives ammunition in this idea that america is at war with the muslim faith. that's what they use to recruit terrorists and insight attacks against americans. the second thing, it's going to make it much harder to work with allies overseas. these critical muslims so important in the fight against terrors, our translators, sources, intelligence, these people i worked with every single day on the ground in iraq and we would be completely lost
without them. we made a promise that, if we put our lives in their hands, they could put their lives in our hands, and now we're abandoning them. >> congressmen, you know what you're talking about. you know the intricacies of this better than most anyone because you did four tours of duty in iraq. you did use one of those translators, you say he exemplified everything that are sort of the pillar of american values, and you put the money where your mouth was and welcomed him into your home. can you tell us a little bit about him and that experience? >> over the course of four tours, i worked with numerous translators and sources, but the one you're talking about is mohammed. we worked together every single day back in 2003. he was attacked by the terrorists, he was threatened, his family had to pick up and move to a different city because they called him a collaborate tore, called him a traitor for working with the americans.
he was able to come to the united states and live with my family at home in massachusetts while he was seeking asylum. he's become a great american citizen. he was one of the first arabic teachers at a local high school. he's done an awful lot to support this country and, in fact, now helps the state department. he wouldn't even be alive today if we weren't able to get him out of iraq. >> president trump says he's trying to keep america safe and what we need is extreme vetting of people coming in from these terror-prone areas. what's your response? >> he's not keeping america safe at all. he's making things a lot more dangerous. and that's the problem with this executive order. it's not just un-american and understand constitutional, which it is. it flies in the face of our values. but it absolutely is making us less staef because it's hurting our ability to fight the war on terror. when i was in the first marine division serving under general
mattis, a division motto, no better friend, no worsen me, the united states marine. everyone knows what the second part means, you don't want to be an enemy of the united states marines. the part that came first was no better friend. if you were willing, like my friend mohammed to put your life on the line not just for your country, but for ours, we will protect you. now we're abandoning these people across the globe. that's going to make it much harder to prosecute the war on terror. >> help people to understand, people who see what happens in san bernardino and with the -- one of the culprits of san bernardino who came in on a fiancee visa who obviously wasn't vetted enough. there were red flags on her social media. can you explain why you think that refugees are already vetted extremely well? >> we've actually had a lot of briefs. i'm fully supportive of anything to improve the vetting process. there's nothing in donald
trump's order that improves the vetting process. it just sets us at war with the muslim faith, and that is going to make us less safe. so if donald trump wants to have a comprehensive review of the vetting process, do something to actually improve it, then that's reasonable. but right now already today refugees go through the most comprehensive vetting of any traveler to the united states. frankly, if you're a terrorist and want to come to america, going through the refugee path is the worst thing you can do, the toughest vetting. it's much easier to come through other means. we need to stand up for american values. we need to show the world we can be allies to the world on terror. it doesn't make us less safe. it makes it harder to work with our critical allies overseas. >> congressman, how are you feeling about president trump on day ten of his administration? >> he's the most unpopular new president in american history.
not only did hardly anyone show up for his inauguration -- >> hold on. it wasn't that hardly anyone showed up. there were hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets. it might not have been as much as barack obama. >> not even close to barack obama's nomination. more importantly, there were far more people over the next few days protesting him. now we've seen an unprecedented spree of protests across the country. this past weekend it was at airports. before it was in city squares and on the washington mall and the women's march. hundreds and hundreds -- literally millions of americans coming out to protest this administration. that's never happened before in american history. it shows what he's doing is not acceptable to americans. it's not consistent with our constitution, and it's not just democrats who are standing up. it's democrats and republicans. these aren't democratic or republican issues. these are american issues. >> you think, congressman -- >> i've received so much
outreach from republicans saying, seth, keep up the fight. this guy is not representing our values. >> are those republicans in congress willing to stand with the democrats to overturn these executive orders or stop them somehow? >> that's a very good question. this weekend we saw some courageous republican, people like senator graham and senator mccain come out and sharply criticize this order and say the same things that i'm saying. but we need more people to do that. i've had republicans reach out to me on twitter and say keep doing this. but what we really need to see is republicans in congress, especially fellow lawmakers in the house of representatives being willing to join with me and other democrats on legislation to do the right thing by our constitution. >> congressman seth moulton, thank you very much for joining us on "new day." up next, we'll hear from americans who have worked alongside refugees about the impact they say the president's executive order will have. facts, not fear.
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time now for the five things to know for your new day. gunmen opening fire at a mosque in canada, six people lost their lives, eight others injured. two suspects arrested. canada's prime minister calling it a terrorist attack. the white house insisting president trump's seven-nation travel ban is not a muslim ban. the controversial executive order triggering nationwide protests and chaos at airports. demonstrators outraged over mr. trump's travel ban, expected to protest for a third straight day. this as senator chuck schumer announces senate democrats are introducing legislation to overturn the ban. delta canceling another 80 flights today. the airline working to get back on track one day after a computer outage forced the airline to ground 150 domestic
flights. hollywood and politics colliding again. stars at the s.a.g. awards blasting trump and the travel ban. denzel washington won for lead actor in the movie "hidden figures" taking the big price for outstanding cast ensemble. for more on the new things to know, go to newday.com. >> we've been talking about the legal fallout, but of course a human toll. we want to talk about that now. brandon freeman worked with hamid dharweesh. we have kate mccaffrey and wilma mccall, both who helped refugee families assimilate into the u.s. >> lieutenant, i want to start with you. i want to hear your personal
story about the interpreter that you worked with who was detained this weekend at an airport and what happened. >> i worked with hamid dharweesh in 2003 in iraq. he was one of the first iraqis to sign up to help us. this is when we were doing patrols all the time. it was very dangerous. this is a guy absolutely fearless. he would have done anything for us. to see him to finally get the opportunity to come here with his family after everything he had done for us and to see him almost get turned away, it's astonishing we could treat someone like that, who had done so much for this country and our service members who served overseas. >> was he detained for 19 hours? what happened while he was at the airport? >> i don't know everything that happened. i think it was about 17 hours, might have been 19. i'm not sure. when he got into the airport,
they allowed his family to leave after a short time. they kept him. for a long time we didn't even know what was happening. a lot of groups got spun up and tried to get him out of there which is what he was entitled to, he e deserved to come out. >> what did he tell you after this experience? what were his thoughts? >> he's pretty upbeat about it. he's been through a lot, his family has been through a lot. he's very glad to be here, appreciative. handled it with a lot more grace than probably i would have. >> kate and melina, i want to bring you guys in. the last time we saw you we visited with a syrian refugee family in new jersey, we went with you all to visit with miriam and fidel. they made us a delicious lunch. they are here after suffering the horrors of syrian war. they have their four young sons who were traumatized in syria. what has their response been to
hearing that now syrian refugees are banned? >> well, i think one of the things that the family draws our attention to is the fact that this is a refugee -- this is a situation that affects refugee families. the family has four young children, they were displaced. they fled bombings, sniper fire, they were in jordan for a number of years. when we talk about banning syrian refugees, really we're talking about kids. there's about 50% of the global refugee population are children. in the united states it's proportionally more because our refugee policy emphasizes families. in our experience on the ground in elizabeth, we see probably about 75% of the refugees there are children. >> look, you both have so much experience with this because you have dedicated much of your -- all of your free time to taking care of these folks and helping
them get situated here in the u.s. when you hear people say, i'm worried about the vetting, we don't know who is coming in, what's the response? >> the vetting that the refugees undergo is some of the most stringent vetting of anybody that enters this country. it can take up to two years of vetting, not only by the united states, should they be coming here, but also the unit nations high commission. they have to provide paperwork, if possible. and to get through all of that and then come here is quite a feat of itself. >> what do the families think now that the u.s. has changed its policy towards them? >> these are families that have been through an awful lot already. what's really hurtful is feeling unwelcome here and secondly that this is a policy that is dividing families. everybody we know has family, has relatives back in syria, jordan, and they are devastating
because this will undermine efforts to reunite families. >> have you talked to miriam and fidel who we came to know so well? how are they doing? >> we saw miriam over the weekend. she was helping provide food for a celebration at our local synagogue. >> you have a whole interfaith community. it's muslim, jewish, christian, everybody there together all eating dinner -- you all break bread together. it's a beautiful experience. >> it is. the faith that we're looking for is the faith in humanity. you don't need to subscribe to any particular religion to join and participate in our events. we're looking for people to connect. >> lieutenant, what do you think the answer is here? >> well, the president needs to rescind the executive order. right now this is a moral failing on our part. it's not what america is all about. in fact, it's making us less safe. >> how so?
we keep hearing that, it's making us less safe. obviously the terrorists don't care about executive orders. why do you think that this is actually heightening -- >> they do. it's a propaganda tool for them. they can use it to go back into their communities in syria and iraq and tell people in those communities that americans don't like muslims and we're waging a war on their religion. that's not what we're doing at all. that's the message this sends. also, this hamstrings american troop's ability to work with people on the ground there because when they don't feel like we're going to have their back which this executive order implies we don't. when they don't feel like we have their back, they have no incentive to work for us or help us. that makes our troops less saech. if our troops are not safe overseas, we're not safe here. >> what message do you think this sends to the syrian families you work with? >> that they're not welcome,
that we're not a land of liberty. they live within miles of the statue of liberty. that's our national identity. yet they're being told they don't belong. >> kate and melina, thank you very much for all the work you do, thank you for sharing the stories with us. lieutenant, thank you very much. obviously we will be following all the developments over the course of this week. chris? >> alisyn, a lot of people say they don't like this executive order placed by the president. democrats say there's something they can do. they believe they can draft a bill to reverse the ban, but can they pass anything like that? we'll get the bottom line with david gregory next.
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senator chuck schumer announcing he's planning to ask for a voted to repeal the executive order tonight. will that work? let's get the bottom line with cnn political analyst david gregory. the president of the united states just tweeting, if the ban were announced with a one-week notice -- this goes to criticism that this was done rashly and
you wouldn't have gotten people caught in the air -- the bad, in quotes, would rush into our country during that week. a lot of bad dudes out there. his choice of words aside, david gregory, that is not how the immigration vetting works. you don't get a free pass if you act quickly. >> exactly. the idea there are vetting procedures in place for people that pose a threat is, of course, fiction. there's not blanket racial profiling. there are measures taken if you have hits in the system based on a composite that would be a threat. that has been the case since 9/11. the idea you can come from a country that poses a terrorist threat and waltz into the country is not accurate. he's putting a blanket on syrian refugees which you've touched
upon all morning long, doesn't speak to any particular nature -- >> then he said christians from syria would be given preference and he questioned statistics that cloud the reality about christian immigration into the country, but then says it's not a muslim ban, even though he says he would give priority to christians. >> there's another point, too. look how rashly this was put into effect. it's not about warning potential bad actors who want to come into the country. it's your own government, your own advisers. it's border patrol, everyone who executes on this policy. not just democrats, but republicans who say this is a vetting system that wasn't properly vetted. so part of this was a rush to fill a campaign promise. tom friedman said earlier, to create a buzz among supporters. that's not good policy and not consistent with american values. >> david, let's talk about the democr democrat's plan. we heard from chuck schumer and
dianne feinstein who will be introducing legislation. we know the numbers and the math. can democrats do anything? >> they'll make an argument. the president has wide discretion here in terms of determining what is a national security threat. i can tell you that the legal community in washington and around the country is mobilized to protect refugees, protect those who are caught up into this and to make legal challenges. the courts may pick apart part of this ruling. i think the role of congress is to make an argument. i think democrats feel they'll get some republicans on their side to reverse all or part of this, or to take a stand on what exactly we're trying to counter here. what is the threat that you're trying to counter? it seems to me that this was a rash decision and order that doesn't speak to the nature of the terrorist threat that the country actually faces. >> this is about fear, not facts. that is clear. david gregory, what do you think
is going to happen with the scotus nominee? >> we've seen from the trump team going back to the campaign, they like to do a lot, they don't work off a script. if they want to change the subject, they know how to do that. we can certainly see that coming to play this week with a supreme court pick. they're ready to do it this week. they like the flurry of activity. there's no question. president trump said i'm going to come in and get stuff done. he's been doing that, every time he ticks off the media or the democrats or even the international community, i think he likes that. those around him like that. i think we get a conservative pick this week, as i've talked to people in the judiciary and people who know supreme court justices, there's a view that he's got a strong stable of picks here and he's even apparently getting advice not to pick too much of a fight with democrats here and to go with a good, strong conservative choice who can be confirmed. >> david, this just in. president trump tweeted he will
be announcing his pick tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. >> there you go. >> any wagers on who he will be naming? >> i wouldn't, because i don't know enough to pin it down other than some of the reporting out there that's indicated that pryor might be seen as too conservative. note, too, the timing, the fact he wants to make this in prime time. so this will be -- this is a major presidential decision. this affects the future of the court for a generation a at least. this is a big decision and something he can do to really court the conservative base, that part of his base that got him here. >> a big deal, a nice distraction from this. the media will certainly cover this. this was a good distraction from his voter fraud executive order he was going to do last friday when we had the man on supposedly the basis for his opinion, who did not hold up
very well under scrutiny. >> look to see what democrats do? they're still stinging from the defeat of garland because he never got a hearing. do they really want to mount an opposition? my view is that democrats want to fight everything right now, and it may force mcconnell's hand to try to get rid of the filibuster and make it a simple majori majority. >> david gregory, thank you very much. an actor who put his career on hold to work in the obama white house is taking a stand. up next, cal penn talks about how he turned a racist message into a fund-raiser for refugees.
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actor and producer cal penn is one of many voices speaking out against the trump travel ban. over the weekend penn who also worked in the obama white house, he received this message on instagram telling him basically he did not belong here in america, but i'm phrasing it in a much more delicate way than that person did. he responded by raising more than $500,000 for syrian refugees. cal penn joins us now. hi, cal. >> hi. thanks for having me. >> somebody tweeted you a disgusting -- put on instagram a disgusting message. how quickly did you decide, i can work with this? >> well, people tweet ridiculous things all the time or comment on instagram posts. i kind of said we're all feeling inspired to do the right thing,
and the women's march was a great example of coming together and standing up against the attorney any we're experiencing now. i'm a pretty privileged guy. what about the 14-year-old me or the kids who look like me who don't have the luxury of this platform. maybe we can raise $2500 to show guys we're better than this. i set up a page and the next thing you know it goes to $25,000. all i did was put up a page. it speaks to the tens of thousands of people who felt like i did and let's help refugees. >> at last count, $516,000. >> the money is necessary. so feel good about that. the need is still very great. let's take off your actor hat and put on your policy wonk hat for a second because you worked in this area and did work in the obama administration. the president of the united states just put out a tweet
that, one, calls this executive order a ban. we've been getting a lot of push back from trump supporters. >> he just called it a ban. it's a ban. it's not a moratorium, it's not just a delay. call it what it is. the bad would rush into the country if he had given any notice that bad dudes, as he calls them, would have rushed in. that's not how our vetting works. how do you feel the misinformation should be dealt with in terms of helping people deal with the real fear about muslim extremism? >> you had service members who i think articulated this really well. i think what the president is saying and doing is completely ridiculous. who are the bad dudes miraculously coming in with ten hours' notice? is it the army interpreters we detained over the weekend, the folks that saved american soldiers' lives. are those the bad dudes? i find that insulting as an american citizen that you would
infer that anybody who helped our soldiers stay alive are somehow bad dudes. we have a vetting process in place. america has been a place that welcomes people around the world. we do it safely, do it well. none of the countries in this ban are countries involved in 9/11. egypt and saudi arabia were not included. it happens that the president has property investments in both these countries. you don't have to read between the lines to find out how ridiculous this is. it makes us less safe. thankfully you have tens of thousands of people saying this is not who we are as americans, we're not standing up for this. i'm hoping what the senators are doing on the hill will help get rid of this executive order. >> last night at the s.a.g. awards this came up. there were lots of various celebrities who used their platform to talk about this. maybe we have a clip that we can show you. i hope so.
>> good evening fellow members and everyone at home and everyone at airports that belong in my america. >> this immigrant ban is a blemish and un-american. >> this story is about what happens when we put our differences aside and we come together as a human race. >> a lot of people are saying right now that actors shouldn't express their opinions when it comes to politics. but the truth is actors are activists no matter what because we embody the work and humanity of all people. >> kal, what do you think about that? does it help or hurt when privileged celebrities take a stand on these awards shows? >> i don't know. a reality tv celebrity tweeted about a supreme court pick. i feel like that conversation has shifted significantly now that we have one as a president. but i think everybody should speak out. if you just go back to as an actor, setting up this crowd rise page for syrian refugees, we have people from all 50
states, 44 countries, everybody has a voice. you have people participating in the women's march, people congregating at airports to support the folks being detained over the weekend. it's a beautiful thing an an opportunity for everybody, whether a celebrity or not, frankly, to raise your voice and make sure we don't stand for what's happening in our names right now. >> kal, what's your message out there to, as you said eloquently earlier, people who look like me who say, wow, they hate me in this country, they really do believe i'm a terrorist and that's it, just a function of my faith. that's it. i don't care how they word it. that's what's going on. what do you say to them? >> well, it's not true. that's not the america i grew up in and not the america we have. if you look at -- mentioning kind of this donor page alone, most of the donations were small dollar donations from, like i said, all 50 states. these are americans coming out and saying i want to show with ten bucks that this is not who we are. i want to show with a $25
donation this is not who we are. if you're in one of those small towns, you're finding a lot of comfort online in a place where we're used to seeing negatives like bullying and things like that. you're turning on the tv seeing millions of people showing we're much greater than that. pretty inspiring. >> i don't suppose you've heard back from the guy who said you didn't belong in this country. >> no, no. i think i'm instead focusing on the 12,000 amazing people who brought the pot up to $500,000. i like to focus on the positive. i think this is one of the lessons we learned from bar ram and michelle obama, when they go low, we go high. there's so much power and beauty in turning something hateful into love. that's what we're surrounded with. it's amazing. >> kal penn, thanks for joining us. "newsroom" with carol costello is going to begin right
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