hello. i'm wolf blitzer. from wherever you are watching from around the world, thank you very much for joining us. right now we're keeping an eye on two events during this hour. the first is over at the white house. the daily white house press briefing. you are looking at live pictures coming in. left part of your screen. the white house press secretary sean spicer will be answering reporters' questions about the temporary travel ban involving seven muslim majority countries and the indefinite ban on the united states taking in syrian refugees. we're also watching for an announcement from the council on american islamic relations, care, as it's called, which is planning to file a lawsuit to stop president trump's immigration orders. we're going to bring you both of those events once they happen. this morning during a meeting with small business leaders, president trump gave his
impression of the implementation of the immigration orders so far. >> actually we've had a very good day yesterday in terms of homeland security. someday we had to make the move, and we decided to make the move. >> the white house also changing the conversation by moving up the announcement of the president's supreme court nominee. today the president tweeted, "i have made my decision on who i will nominate for the united states supreme court. it will be announced live on tuesday at 8:00 p.m." that would be 8:00 p.m. eastern. originally president trump said the pick would be revealed on thursday. moved it up two days. let's get more on the fall-out from the executive orders on immigration and travel to the united states over at the white house. cnn's jeff zellaney, our correspondent, is standing by, and phil mattingly is up on capitol hill. jeff, we're going to hear shortly from the white house press secretary sean spicer.
lots of questions coming up looking at live pictures from the briefing room. what will be the reaction to all the protests at airports around the country? >> wolf, certainly so many questions for press secretary sean spicer, but the mood and the posture of this white house is exactly what you heard the president saying this morning. they're not apologizing for the roll-out. they're not apologizing for the substance. even amid deep and serious questions across washington if it other representatives were informed of this order. if the department of homeland security was informed, if the joint chiefs were informed, and, wolf, our reporting is suggesting that they simply p were not. this was a very closely held white house document here. sean spicer is going to be asked many questions here, but the white house is not apologizing. is moving forward with this saying it's a review that's absolutely unnecessary, and they're not addressing these protests in this the street here. wolf, that is something that we
are definitely keeping an eye on, and it cannot be something the president enjoys seeing his first week of office. >> i'm sure you're right. stand by, phil. members of congress on both sides of the aisle, democrats and republicans, they've been very critical of the order. what can they do at this point if anything? could they block the actions? >> they certainly have the power on capitol hill to do it. what they don't have, according to really aides in both parties, wolf, is kind of the willingness to do just that. this is a republican controlled congress. house and senate. while certainly they've been frustrated over the course of the weekend, they're more kind of broadly supportive of the idea of what the white house ended up doing. now, democrats, wolf, are going to try and throw up roadblocks kind of every step of the way. they are going to try and get a floor vote tonight on a bill to rescind the executive order. very unlikely. almost impossible. that will move forward, and they're also going to attack president trump's nominees, both cabinet officials and his likely supreme court nominee coming tomorrow night on this issue specifically. trying to pin them down on it.
republicans, though, really likely to go along with the white house, but, wolf, i think you made a crucial point. there's a lot of frustration about how this rolled out. a lot of frustration that leaders, relevant committees, both staff and members were simply not in the loop on this. one of the reasons why given this morning by white house advisors, wolf, was they needed to move quickly and not loop these people in for national security reasons. i want to quickly read an e-mail i got unsolicited from a well placed republican source. when that was said. said "that's an absurd half-baked excuse, and it clearly shows these guys are just winging it." while they might not take action to stop the executive order, there's clearly a lot of frustration on the republican side, wolf, and that could have wide-ranging repercussions going forward on capitol hill. >> stand by. i want to get back to jeff for a moment. jeff, a lot of discussion of the role of steve bannon. he is the chief white house strategist, special counsellor to the president. we know he also has a new very detailed role on the national security council. clearly he has a lot of
influence. >> wolf, he has more influence than virtually anyone else inside the white house, inside this west wing. this news came out over the weekend in a presidential memorandum on saturday that the president was sort of clarifying who was going to be on the principle's committee of the national security council. steven bannon, his chief strategist, who, of course, worked with him the last six months or so on the campaign is a member of that principles committee. now, wolf, a lot of republicans on capitol hill and beyond are raising questions about this. particularly because two people were on the so-called principles committee. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the director of national intelligence. this is something that is going to be one more controversy, if you will, that is happening here at the white house. steven bannon, without a question, one of the most influential important voices. six months ago he was leading the britbart news political
website. now he is in the white house. >> thanks to you as well. president trump is brushing off the criticism of his executive orders, and he blames the chaos, the confusion on the senate's top democrat. this is what he said about senator chuck schumer's emotional criticism of the executive orders. >> i noticed chuck schumer yesterday with fake tears. i'm going to ask him who is his acting coach because i know him very well. i don't see him as a crier. if he is, he is a different man. there's about a 5% chance that it was real, but i think they were fake tears. >> let's discuss that and more. our justice correspondent pamela brown is with us. jonathan turley of the george washington university law school, and our chief political analyst gloria borger. what do you make that the strong statement 5% chance those tears were real on the part of the democratic leader in the senate. he did get emotional. we all saw that. >> he did. i don't know how you can make
that charge. it's kind of ridiculous, and we should sort of move on from it. chuck schumer did what he did, and i think it was heart felt, and, you know, the president also said that the confusion was not only because of chuck schumer and the misinformation coming out of the democrats and the fake tears, but it was also because delta airlines had an outage and let me just point this out. the executive order was friday night. delta airlines' outage was sunday night. the two things have nothing to do with each other. there was a huge public outcry that the president didn't want to address as either relevant or real in his little press appearance today. >> delta had a computer outage. that was sunday night. a lot of those problems were already well, well underway. >> exactly.
>> jonathan, you have taken a look at the law very closely on this. care, the council on american islamic relations is about to issue a lault. there have been judge's rulings, federal judges' rulings in new york, boston, washington state. how strong of a legal case does the president have right now? >> i think he has a very strong case. i think people are kidding themselves when they call this a muslim ban. it's one thing to deal with that as a rhetorical issue. another to deal with it as a legal issue. i don't see how a federal judge could view this as a muslim ban. it's technically not a muslim ban because most muslim countries are not covered, but more importantly, you have to keep in mind what you are asking a judge to do. you are asking a judge to eight is side a national security administration by the president, and she's going to ask what's my basis for doing that? how am i to tell the president this is not valid when i don't have that information? historically the courts have given great deference. the president's authority at our borders said -- the reason i say
this, i don't like this executive order. i think it's a mistake. people are talking about something that's not what's going to be the thing under review in court. that judge has a very specific task to do, and she's not going to be looking at this as a muslim ban, and she's not going to substitute her judgment for the president. there may still be grounds, but he has the advantage historically. >> pamela, there's been a lot of confusion, chaos, and the way the orders were implemented over the weekend. rob portman told cnn, this was an extreme vetting program th that -- this was so tightly held that those in charge of the implementation of this executive order, including the new homeland security secretary, were not involved with this or even briefed on the final details until friday, until the president was signing this executive order, ask then at that point some of these officials within cvp who were in
charge of enforcing it scrambled to figure out what the executive order meant. how it would impact those newly banned passengers on u.s.-bound planes on the way to the u.s., how it would affect green cardholders in those seven countries, and there was a lot of confusion over the weekend without very much clarity, frankly, and i just spoke to the former chief of the cvp who i believe will be on your show later. >> that's customs and border protection. >> customs and border protection, and he said he left office january 20th. no one ever said anything to m him. his staff did meet with the transition team. it was never mentioned where, for something like this, for an economic stif order lixecutive t this scale, it would take weeks to prepare. >> i want to go to the care news conference right now. the council on american islamic relations. they're announcing details on their lawsuit. >> make a few remarks on an incident that happened yesterday in quebec, canada.
we have been receiving a lot of requests, what is from the community in the u.s. and in canada. we offer our thoughts and prayers to those that were killed and those who were injured in quebec mosque and also we are monitoring the situation surrounding the recent fire at the islamic center of victoria and texas. we do not know what were the motives that caused the mosque to be destroyed. as you can see, the muslim community is a little bit anxious about the recent developments. not only since donald trump became the president. since donald trump announced his candidacy our committee has been very concerned. our community is not alone to be concerned about his dangerous policies. many americans are very, very concerned about the direction in which he is taking our country.
millions of people who love america, individuals and countries are concerned and worried what this president is doing. unconventional. we understand. creative maybe. also, dangerously making policies and statements that we believe undermine our national security, our values, and our standing in the world. also, his policies are threatening who we are as americans. we know that this country was founded by immigrants. the founding fathers fled religious persecution from europe and other countries. this country was built on the shoulders of african-americans who were brought against their will, but also so many
immigrants who sought freedom and freedom of expression and freedom of religion, which is in the first amendment of our constitution. to me -- >> we're going to continue to monitor this briefing by the executive director of cair, the council on american islamic relations. we'll update you on the specifics of the lawsuit. stand by for that. it's not just cair. a lot of people are criticizing the actions taken by president trump. john mccain, lindsey graham, both republicans, they issued a statement jointly saying this executive order sends a signal intended or not that america does not want muslims coming into our country. this is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security. you're hearing that a lot from those involved. especially in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. >> this coming from john mccain who was not known as a dove on capitol hill, but you're hearing if it from democrats as well as
republicans. the truth of the matter is, though, wolf, that even though the democrats are going to try and get a bill on the floor tonight that would rescind the executive order, which probably won't be brought up anyway because the republicans have control of the floor, there is very little they can do about this right now other than through lawsuits, but there is very little that congress can do about it, but you're going to hear this again and again, and this goes to the point of consultation. if if the president and his staff had reached out to people not only within their own administration like the department of homeland security as pamela points out, but also republicans if they're only talking to republicans with expertise on these matters before this order was issued, perhaps there wouldn't have been the chaos and the confusion that there was airports, about the question of green cards, and
also the chaos and confusion that there was on capitol hill. you can't oppose it, and you can support it, but not to know what is in it is a different matter entirely. >> he didn't want to give bad dudes advanced word to rush into the united states before it was all about to be implemented. everybody, stand by. we have a lot more coming up. the iraqi parliament itself now recommending that its government act reciprocally with the united states when it comes to the travel ban. take a look at this. live pictures coming from inside the white house right now. taking reporters questions and there will be plenty. people confuse nice and kind but they're different... nice tells you what you want to hear. but kind is honest. this bar is made with cranberries and almonds. so, guess what? we call it cranberry almond. give kind a try.
asmy family tree,ing i discovered a woman named marianne gaspard... it was her french name. then she came to louisiana as a slave. i became curious where in africa she was from. so i took the ancestry dna test to find out more about my african roots. the ancestry dna results were really specific. they told me all of these places in west africa. i feel really proud of my lineage, and i feel really proud of my ancestry. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story, get started for free at ancestry.com ...another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works... ...in one week. with the... fastest retinol formula. ...to visibly reduce wrinkles. neutrogena®.
it's about moving forward not back. it's looking up not down. it's feeling up thinking up living up. it's being in motion... in body in spirit in the now. boost. it's not just nutrition. it's intelligent nutrition. with 26 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. all in 3 delicious flavors. it's choosing to go in one direction... up. boost. be up for it.
welcome back. remember, we're standing by. sean spicer, the white house press secretary, fairly soon will step up to the microphone there in the briefing room and answer reporters' questions. we'll have live coverage of that coming up. in the meantime, cnn has obtained a draft of an internal memo from state department diplomats that criticizes president trump's executive order temporarily banning millions of people from seven muslim majority nations bans them from coming to the united states. the draft says that the ban will sour relations with u.s. allies in the war on terror and, "will have little practical impact improving public safety." let's bring in tony, a cnn new global affairs analyst, the former deputy secretary of state under president obama. tony, thanks very much for joining us, and welcome to cnn. >> good to be here. thanks, wolf. >> first of all, on the -- these are mostly clear state department diplomats. foreign service officers.
there's been a longstanding tradition when they disagree with the policies of the administration they have a way to express that disagreement. is this appropriate? >> it is. we've had a longstanding -- in the state department. it's been used under every administration. >> was it used against the obama administration? >> exactly. >> on what issue? >> there were a number of issues that came up in the administration where people used that channel. it's entirely appropriate. i think there's a new level of concern, consternation, particularly because on this issue the immigration executive order apparently the state department played no role. its advise was not sought. is its expertise was not engaged, and a lot of the repercussions that we should be concerned about the state could have warned about. >> when the president, president trump says we had to keep it small because we didn't want "bad dudes" to get advanced word. there would have been leaks. they could have rushed into the united states and done harm to the american people. you heard that explanation why it was so limited in terms of
who was involved and how quickly it was implemented where. >> for someone who was part of the team when president obama brought osama bin laden to justice, we have meeting after meeting for months on end with all of the relevant cabinet officials, subcabinet officials who needed to be part of that decision. that didn't get out, and similarly, when we've looked at immigration issues in the past, there's been a very deliberate process, and everyone has been in on the decision. >> when -- do you believe what the president has now done, the temporary ban on people coming from these seven predominantly muslim countries an indefinite ban on syrian refugees coming to the united states is going to do any negative damage, harmful damage to u.s. national security? >> i do. look, it's understandable. the president is right to be focused on job number one for a president. that's the security of the american people. there's no argument about that. he is taking a sledgehammer to
the wrong problem. the number of americans killed by citizens from the seven affected countries since 1975, zero. we have put in place a very effective vetting system for immigrants, for refugees. refugees, by the way, the least likely group that a terrorist would try to infiltrate. it takes on average twoers yoo to get into the united states as awe a refugee. this is the wrong problem. unfortunately, what this is going to do is exacerbate the problem that does exist. right now the islamic state isil is on its heels. this is going to be a recruiting bonanza. it plays into their story that we're engaged in a war against the muslim world. >> the argument that you hear from trump advisors is that maybe that's true. there were no terrorist incidents from those seven predominantly muslim countries in the united states, but look what's going on in europe right now. in france or belgium or germany. the united states is taking
preemptive steps right now to prevent that kind of situation from developing here in the united states. >> look, it's totally a different situation. what you see in europe are people showing up literally in the countries in question without any kind of screening, without any kind of vetting and looking for asylum. in the united states anyone who gets here is a refugee has to go through an extraordinarily laborious process, first through the united nations and then our own system. on average it takes two years. the obama administration had some concerns about these seven countries, but what we did was not a ban with congress. we worked very carefully, and we -- >> let's talk about that because there has been a lot of the other trump people that have been making the point that president trump is following an example of what president obama did in 2011 when there was a temporary, you know, ban, iraqi refugees coming to the united states. listen to kellyanne conway, the counsellor to the president.
>> president obama certainly had a ban on the iraqi refugee program for six months, which is double the time it's contemplated under president trump's executive order. these are 90 days, three months that president obama had it for six months suspending -- banning the iraqi refugee program. >> i believe that in 2011 you were still at the white house working for -- as a top national security advisor to vice president biden. then you went over to the state department in the second term. is she right when she says that president obama certainly had a ban on the iraqi refugee program for six months? >> no, she's not. >> explain what happened because there was an incident in kentucky. two iraqi refugees who did get through were then discovered. they were in the united states to have planted bombs, killing american soldiers in iraq. they got through, and at that point the president said there's going to be new restrictions on iraqi refugees coming to the united states. >> you are exactly right. two people had come in through the program, iraqis, in kentucky and were picked up because we had concerns that they might, in
fact, be engaged somehow or connected somehow to terrorism out of a couple of hundred thousand that came in. there was never a ban. the president ordered a review. throughout the review process, which did take six months, brought in all the relevant cabinet agencies and officials, a dozen meetings of the deputy committee, the major decision making bodies in the administration. throughout that entire time, iraqis continued to come into the united states as refugees. there was never a ban. the review process led to some added measures taken to make sure that we had the most -- the toughest security possible. >> if you read that washington post fact check on the whole thing, i'll just read to you a couple of sentences from an article contemporaneously back in 2011 that the economist magazine reported. all the refugees in america, reportly comparing fingerprints and other records with military
and documents from archives. soon to be immigrants in iraq were told that they would not be allowed to board flights already booked. some were removed from planes. thousands more iraqi applicants had to restart the immigration process because their security clearances expired when the program stalled. men must now pass five separate checks. women four and children three. is all that accurate? >> that sounds accurate. very important. there was no ban. we didn't stop the process. we slowed it down. we reviewed it. we made sure we had the toughest measures in place, and that was all done with every responsible official. the state department, the defense department, the intelligence community. all of these agencies at the table making sure that we did it right and that all these different equities were taken into account where. >> those tougher restrictions, did they last for six months? >> the tougher restrictions were put in place -- >> within six months? >> within six months. >> during those six months it was more difficult for iraqis to come to the united states. >> it was more difficult. things slowed down.
>> when the trump administration now says the seven countries listed as -- there will be a temporary ban, those individual -- people from those countries coming to the united states, they also say those were the seven countries listed as hotbed of potential terrorist attacks by the obama administration. that's how they came up with those seven countries. is that true? >> yeah. what happened with those seven countries, working with congress closely with congress, is because of security concerns from those countries, they were removed from the so-called visa waiver program. that means that if you are part of that program, you can come to the united states without a visa, and without the checks that go along with getting a visa. we along with congress reinstituted the visa requirement, but we didn't stop
people from coming from those countries. >> i quickly want to get your thoughts on the sort of restructuring of the national security council, the principles, the top national security advisors, at least removing formally, although they can participate, the chairman of the joint chiefs, the director of national intelligence steve bannon, top strategist in the white house. he is now going to be a permanent member of the security council. you were a member of that national security council. were you one of the principles? >> i was at one point. as deputy secretary of state i was written into the order as someone who participated in all the meetings. >> was david axelrod who was a strategist during the first term, did he participate in those meetings? the administration seems to suggest that he did. >> it's wrong. i mean, what happened at the beginning of the obama administration is that certain other officials, including david axelrod, robert gibbs at the very beginning -- >> robert gibbs was the press secretary. >> they were not -- >> did they participate from
time to time? >> the first few months of the administration they back benched where. >> what does that mean? >> you got a table in the situation room. the white house situation room. around the table behind it are seats for folks who are not usually directly participating in the deliberations of the conversation. that's where they were. >> do you have a problem with steve bannon, top strategist, a top add vieds viesor to the president, participating in the -- >> i think it sends exactly the wrong message to have the president's top political strategist, be made a permanent member. president bush was very careful and very deliberate about not having karl rove be a member of the nsc, and he was very clear about why he didn't want that. he thought it would send a message that he was politicizing national security decisions. we did the same thing. we did not have any of president obama's top political strategists formally part of the national security council, and indeed, they were rarely, rarely present over the eight years that i took part in those meetings. >> tony, we have more to discuss. i want you to stay with us. we have a special guest joining
us. i want to bring in dr. -- a member of iraq's parliament. a former iraqi national security advisor. thanks so much for joining us. i quickly want to get your answer to what is going on with these new executive orders. lawmakers in iraq -- when lawmakers in the iraqi parliament heard what the u.s. was doing, there was a resolution to move reciprocally against the united states. first of all, do you support that? should the iraqi government do to american citizens what the u.s. government is doing to iraqi citizens? what is that exactly mean? >> it could be quite honest with you, it's disgusting and disgrace. this ban. it's a humiliating. it's like spitting in the face of he iraqis. we thought that we are strategic
ally to the united states of america. now we have signed with the u.s. strategic framework agreement a few years ago, and, fortunately, obama administration did not do anything to implement that strategic framework agreement, and now we are having this slap on the face by the senior administration. we were hoping this administration would sit down with iraqis and work out how to implement -- it's an action plan to implement the strategic flame work agreement. now, what do we have? is it we have this ban. it's totally irrationale. totally -- well, not reasonable decision. it's going to increase the anti-american sentiment, whether in the country in iraq or in the region in general.
i think the decision of the council of representatives today has decided that the government of iraq should retaliate and should make -- while the ban on the americans to come to this country, there are hundreds of americans in this country living peacefully doing a lot of business and a lot of money and there are several thousand, 6,000 plus, of military troops that are doing fantastic job in helping iraqis in defeating isis in the north of the country and in the west. now, i don't know what's their position going to be. it's going to be untenable for the military americans who are doing a very good job in this ks, but, unfortunately, this ban -- this executive order is going to make life extremely difficult for them. >> doctor, do you want -- tony, the former deputy secretary of
state is with us as well. he is going to participate in our conversation, but do you want if this u.s. ban at least the temporary ban on iraqis coming to the united states stays in effect, do you want those 6,000 american troops who are currently serving in iraq. do you want them out? >> before i answer your question, wolf, how many iraqis has committed a terrorist act, crime in the u.s. in the last ten or 20 years? i can tell you, zilch. big fat zero. i don't think this ban, this executive order can be justified, and they're leaving the unimaginable thing is they're leaving the saudi, the
americans out of this group. 11 out of 19, for those that are committed 9/11 a few years ago are from saudi arabia, says and two or three from united arab emirates. these two countries have sent their citizen all over the middle east doing with the car bombs, doing suicide bombs and road mines and all sorts of killing over the last 14 years in my country at least. now, i think this is going to make life extremely difficult, and for those that are people like myself who defend andmented the american to help iraqis in defeating isis in this country were going to make our lives going to be difficult to defend the cause of the reason behind the americans -- american troops
staying in this country. >> doctor, thank you so much for joining us. i know we're going to continue our conversations. you'll be in baghdad. i'll be here in washington. thanks so much for joining us. the former iraqi national security advisor, tony blanken is still with us. former deputy secretary of state. you heard what he said. i'm sure he represents a wide group of iraqis right now who are deeply worried about the state of u.s.-iraqi relations in the aftermath of president trump's executive orders. >> this is exactly why it's so important when decisions like this are made that all of the experts in the government, all of the stake holders in the decision are part of the decision. the state department could have told the white house that this reaction was likely in iraq. to have this happen at the very time when we have the islamic state on its heels in iraq, the iraqis with our support, the international coalition that we built on the verge of taking back mosul, to now sew these seeds of doubt in the minds of
iraqis about the relationship. >> do you think the iraqis are going to start kicking out americans? >> i certainly hope that doesn't happen, and it's profoundly in their interest and in our interest that we continue the successful campaign against the islamic state, but this puts seeds of doubt into everyone's mind, and it also creates political challenges for the iraqi leadership. ip it's a vibrant place politically. you'll have people standing up at the council of representatives denouncing the united states at the same time we're working together to defeat the islamic state. >> there's more coming up now. we're going to hear from the trump administration, the white house press secretary sean spicer getting ready to brief reporters, answer questions. we'll have live coverage. ♪ you know how painful heartburn can be. for fast-acting, long-lasting relief,
try doctor recommended gaviscon. it quickly neutralizes stomach acid and helps keep acid down for hours. relieve heartburn with fast- acting, long-lasting gaviscon. and helps keep acid down for hours. the search for relief often leads... here... here... or here. today, there's another option. drug-free aleve direct therapy. a tens device with high intensity power that uses technology once only available in doctors' offices. its wireless remote lets you control the intensity, and helps you get back to things like this...
mom,on my car insurance of money by switching to geico. i should take a closer look at geico... you know, geico can help you save money on your homeowners insurance too? great! geico can help insure our mountain chalet! how long have we been sawing this log? um, one hundred and fourteen years. man i thought my arm would be a lot more jacked by now. i'm not even sure this is real wood. there's no butter in this churn. do my tris look okay? take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more. ttrails are covered... nothing like yesterday... paths aren't what they used to be... roads nowhere to be found.... ♪ and it's exactly what you're looking for.
♪ ♪ any minute we're going to be hearing from sean spicer, the white house press secretary. in fact, here he is right now. >> it's great to see everybody. thank you all for coming. it's great to see the interest is still there. i want to start off by noting that the president got off the phone a short time ago with canadian prime minister trud t to discuss an attack on a mosque. he offered his thoughts and prayers and condole he enss to
the victims and their families and to all canadians. this is another senseless act of violence that cannot be tolerated where are the president also pledged to support the canadian police and intelligence service in any way necessary. prime minister trudeau was extremely appreciative and also cautious to draw conclusions of the motives at this stage of the investigation and the president shared those thoughts. canadian law enforcement officials are actively investigating this matter. we condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. it's a terrible reminder of why where he morgan stanley remain vigilant and why we must take steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to our nation's safety and security. we are, of course, praying for those injured in the attack and are keeping in close contact with officials in quebec ask canada. we're moving into -- and moving into a quick recap of the events of the past few days. as you all know, the president had an extremely busy weekend. he followed up on a week of his -- his first week of action with a weekend of action. on saturday and sunday alone the
president spoke with eight foreign leaders. he signed executive orders delivering on some of the biggest campaign promises that he made to the american people, and he met with staff to continue to plan another busy week. also over this weekend we carried out a very successful raid against al qaeda and the you arabian peninsula that resulted in the death of an estimated 14 aqap members in the capture of important intelligence that will better enable us to counter and prevent future terrorist plots. tragically during this raid the life of a brave service member was taken and four were wounded. our thoughts and our prayers are with the family of this fallen american hero, and we also pray for a speedy recovery and complete recovery of those service members who sustained injuries. as a quick recap, on friday you saw the president's enthusiastic reception at the department of defense for the ceremonial swearing in of secretary mattis as our secretary of defense. while at the pentagon the
president also signed two executive actions to protect america from those who wish to do us harm. this focus on securing our borders and our homeland was obviously a major part of what the president campaigned on,ing and now he is doing exactly what the american -- he is doing exactly what he told the american people he would do. the president will always put the safety and prosperity of our country first and foremost. we wiktd kicked off saturday by launching the weekly address that debuted for the first time on facebook live. nearly 11 million people were reached by the address on-line. over 1.1 million people engaged with the post via comments, likes, and other interactions. as of this morning the video had been viewed almost five million times. just as he did throughout the campaign, this is another example of the president being able to take his message directly to the american people. on saturday the president signed three executive actions on issues ranging from government ethics to national security. as part of the president's plan to drain the swamp in washington
and return power to the american people, he signed an executive order imposing strict post-deemployment rules on any appointees including a five-year lobbying ban and a lifetime ban for foreign government lobbying, among other restrictions. the president continues to make it very, very clear that if you want to be part of a trump administration, you are going to be putting -- serving the country, not yourself. the president also signed a memorandum modernizing the structure of the national security council and the homeland security council. there's been a lot of misreporting this week about what this memo does and does not do. let me walk you through this real quick. there's two issues at hand. one is the make-up of the nsc and the ear is the makeup of the principles committee. the principle committee is basically -- nearly the nsc minus the president.
>> there's a principle's meeting that is outside their scope. a homeland domestic issue that doesn't pertain to the military. they're not required, but certainly welcome to be in attendance. we recognize that certain homeland security issues may not be military issues and it would not be in the best interest of the joint chiefs valuable time to be at these meetings. just yesterday we called several outlets who were severely misreporting this topic to better inform them about what this memo means. let me just walk through this real quick. this is the 2001 nsc stand-up memo. this is the 2009 memo, and then this one is the -- i've got the 13 here as well. or the 2017 rather right here. this is the language that is -- the language that consists of the national security team, the director of the central intelligence and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff as
statutory advisors shall also attend nfc meetings. that is the identical language in 2012 -- 2017 as it was in 2009 when obama drafted his. verbatim, identical. the make-up of the principles committee from 2017 is exactly as it was in both 2017 as it was in 2001. 100% identical, except we add the word also. i think it's pretty clear that if you look at all three of these, that's what it does. to be clear, the memo just yesterday we called that out. starting with the membership of the nfc. as you can see here, the language that is part of the president's memo is identical to the language for president's bush in 2001. the only thing that's changed in this is the addition of the director of national intelligence as a position that didn't exist in 2001. for what it's worth, it's the same as obama's save for the word also. in terms of the principle's committee, as can you see from
the various language here -- this is i'll give you 2017 on the principles committee, this is the principles committee in 2017, and this is the 2001 principal's committee. it is literally 100% the same. 2001 and 2017 are identical. the yud that there's a change is nonsense. voo with respect to the joint chiefs, the chairman holds -- the question that he would down agreed the important role that he plays in national security reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the tremendous respect that the president holds for both the chairman himself and the joint chiefs as a whole. i know someone tweeted out where was the cia. the cia hasn't been part of the nsc since the dni was sworn in
for the first time since 2005. that being said, the president has such respect for directoror pompeo and the men and women of the cia that today the president is announcing that he will amend the memo to add the cia back into the nsc, so i know that there was a tweet yesterday from the former national security advisor that said where is the cia out of everything? i would like to remind the former national security advisor that when the memo was drafted in 2009, i don't see the obama administration including the cia in theirs. it is president trump that is including the cia, not the former administration. so just to be clear, when it comes to the cia, as you know, number one, it wasn't part of the restructuring of the nsc after the dni was named and sworn in in 2005, and we are the administration that's adding it back in to the nsc and amending it in. it was the obama administration that didn't have it in.
to answer the former national security advisor's tweet, the cia wasn't in ours and it isn't in theirs. with respect to -- moving on, the president also signed another memo when he was at the department of defense instructing the joint chiefs of staff in the next 30 days to deliver to him a plan to defeat isis this. comprehensive strategy and plan must include a recommendation to changes to any rules of engagement and other policy restrictions that exceed the requirements of international law regarding the use of isis. public diplomacy, information operations and cyber strategies to isolate and delegit myself isis and its radical islamist ideology and policies to empower poe litigation partners to fight isis and its afill '80ss mechanisms to cut off financial
support, including money transfers, oil revenue, human trafficking, and other revenue soerss and a detailed strategy to robustly fund the plan. this pregnant memorandum is a profound statement that the president's clear objective is to defeat and destroy isis and that we are going to do it systematically. this is not only a necessary step for marrying's national security. it is also a humanitarian imperative. if isis is left in power, the threat it poses only grows. we know it has attempted to develop chemical weapons capabilities. it maintains a goal of recruiting homegrown terrorists and its attacks against our al ayes and partners continue to mount. the united states must take decisive action. and the president is taking the necessary steps. over the weekend, the president also held constructive phone calls with the heads of government from australia, france, germany, japan, russia, saudi arabia, south korea, and the united arab emirates. during the calls the president reaforeign minister our partnerships and discussed
strengthening our mutual defenses and interests throughout the world. the safety of the american people and the security of american homeland continue to be the president's top priority. his outreach to these leaders is a critical step in turning the page on the failed foreign policies of the past eight years. notably, he did all this in the face of extreme obstructionism from democrats in the senate who are holding up 17 of his deputy or agency leads that require senate confirmation. in contrast, ten days into his term, president obama only had seven people in these positions awaiting confirmation. president bush had all but four confirmed. if senate democrats think that vote remembers going to be okay with them continuing business as usual dragging their heels in confirming qualified nominees they sorely misunderstood the message this november this. truth s these cabinet member are unbelievably qualified and will all be confirmed by the senate. democrats know this. so it's time to stop playing political games with the core functions of our government.
this morning the office of the u.s. trade representative sent 12 letters officially notifying the nations to the trans-pacific partnership that the u.s. has withdrawn from the agreement. the next step in fulfilling the president's campaign promise to get our country out of unacceptable trade deals that don't put america's interests first. the president will continue to negotiate new, better trade agreements that will bring jobs back, increase american wages, and reduce our trade deficit. the white house office of intergovernmental affairs has been hashed at work making sure that all lines of communication are open at all levels of government throughout the country. as of today the white house has made contact with all governor's office in every state and territory. and deeper dive conversations on a range of issues have already taken place with 32 governors or their offices. outreach efforts have touched 22 of 50 state attorney generals, 32 of 50 state secretaries of state. 16 speakers of the house. the leaders of the ten largest
federally recognized tribes and the leaders of some of the country's largest counties and municipalities. all expressed enthusiasm about working with the white house on issues impacting their local communities and families. the intergovernmental affairs office is prepare forth national governor's soeshs meeting in washington at the end of the february at which the president plans to host a dinner. today the president started his day with a breakfast and listening session with small business leaders, a list of attendees is available if you are interested. the meeting comes on the heels of similar listening session has the president held last week with some of the country's top business and union leaders and front line workers. he made it clear in his first week in office through numerous executive actions, meetings, and listening sessions that he is fully committed to fighting on behalf of american workers and small businesses. this morning the vice president hosted a breakfast with king abdul the second of jordan at the naval observatory and the president expects to greet the king this thursday at the
national prayer breakfast. the vice president thanked the king for his efforts in advancing peace and stability in the middle east and reaffirmed the united states's commitment to jordan's security and economic development. the two leaders discussed events in the region, including ways to accelerate the coalition's effort to defeat isis and promote a political solution to the syrian conflict. the vice president welcomes the king's views on potential changes involving the u.s. embassy in israel and reiterate had the united states is at the early stages of this decision-making process. the two leaders discussed how to best make progress toward a comprehensive agreement between israel and the palestinians. the vice president and king pledged to stay in close contact about events in the region. also this morning the president signed an executive order reducing regulation and controlling regulatory costs. the order instructs the director of office and management budget to issue guidelines that for every one new regulation two existing regulations in an
agency be eliminated. we're call it one in, two out. additionally the order states all new regulations finalized in fiscal 2017 must be no greater than zero for each agency. in 2018, each agency will have an incremental cost cap beyond which it cannot issue regulations this. executive order is the first step on the the president's promise to slash bureaucratic red tape. the federal government will no longer punish americans for working and doing business in the united states. every year overregulationos cost our economy billions of dollars and reduces the wealth of every american household this. executive order will help get the economy back on track and is part of the president's bold plan to create 25 million new american jobs in the next decade. it's worth noting that this order is perhaps the most significant administrative
action in the world of regulatory reform since president reagan created the office of information and regulatory affairs in 1981. peoplely a few administrative notes. i'm pleased to i a announce that prime minister netanyahu of israel will visit the united states on february 15th. our relationship with the only democracy in the middle east is crucial to the security of both our nations and the president looks forward to discussing continued strategic technological, military, and intelligence cooperation with the prime minister. as you know, tomorrow at k78 p.m. the president will announce who he intends to nominate for the supreme court. and for a party preaching tolerance it's interesting to see some democrats have already come out against this unnamed individual. so with that i've got to take a few questions. >> sean, over the weekend, president trump requested that the king of saudi arabia join him by supporting safe zones in syria. >> what. >> what type of support does president trump intend to provide? when can syrian civilians expect to receive this support?
>> i think it came up in several of his calls of that's an important note, that there is such strong agreement with how we address this problem. ander seeing it from across the spectrum. it's an important that we have stability in the region. and i think that the idea that this was an area of mutual discussion and agreement is important when we talk about stability in the region. and so we'll have finned discussions about it. but i think that first step of getting both sides on the first page was a huge step forward. blake? >> thanks sean. the president said today in that on camera session with the business leaders, talked about how the market has run up during his last couple months. i want to ask you a question related to that today, coincidentally happens to be the biggest market drop since october. and one of the uncertainties for investors is that tax reform might not get done this year. so my question to you is, can the administration commit to major tax reform in 2017? >> well, that's a two-way street. and i think that you have seen it coming from the president to
fight on behalf of small business. that's what this regulation thing was today. i mean i can't underscore how important it is. since 1981 we haven't seen anything of this magnitude to address the regulation, the regulatory impact that small businesses face. we are going to continue to work with both houses of congress, finance committee and ways and means committee. i think there is eagerness on behalf of congress to do that as well. that is a promising thing i would also point out when you look not just at the ups and downs of the market but you look at consumer confidence and other market indicators, a trump presidency brought a lot of confidence back to traders, investors. more importantly, to job creators. when you look at the number of individuals, the small businesses, the large businesses, the automakers, all coming in and saying to the president, i want to be part of your effort, your agenda to make the country per, to grow jobs here, to bring jobs back here. i think it's a positive sign.
not just on the ups and down's one of of one day's market fluctuation but the overall commitment that businesses have to want to work with in administration to add jobs, create jobs. to add bep fits, to find out how the president can ease the regulatory burden they face. so it's whole prostes that is being undertaken to unleash the american economy. it is an approach he is not just taking in small businesses, and large businesses union workers of when he is looking at the energy sector. how do we unleash america's natural resources not just to make us more energy independent but how do we do that to create good paying jobs in america as well and get the economic boone that can come out of it. >> two questions. one, how important is national security information to you? you are saying they are at the table and they can come to the table if they want at some meetings. >> that's not what i said. just to be