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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 30, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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of press releases. the one this week on immigration was one of the important ones. i want to thank everyone on our panel. our breaking news coverage going to continue now on "cnn tonight" with don lemon. breaking news, you're fired, the acting attorney general sally yates betrayed the department of justice by resfuzing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the united states i want to get to cnn, the white house correspondent sarah murray. and evan perez, they've both been following this all day today. >> the administration just firing sally yates, dramatic turn of events, what do you know? >> well, it is a dramatic turn of events. not all together a surprising
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one in light of yates determination that she was not going to instruct the lawyers to enforce his travel ban. if government employees and he was referring to a specific instance with state department employees at that point, can't get on board, they should essentially get out, i don't think it's surprising to see donald trump dismissing yates who was an obama appointee. he did not deliver the news over the phone, but she learned in a hand delivered letter that she was going to be dismissed. >> i want to get to you now, acting attorney general, dana benteh. what do you know about him? >> he's a 29 year career attorney inside the justice department. he's been there a little longer than sally yates. these are career lawyers who have come to different places in
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the law. he has decided this is something he can defend. he's prepared to enforce the law. this is something that sally yates struggled with all weekend long. and to give you a picture of the interrupt white house rolled out this executive order. they didn't tell anybody what they were doing. she didn't get to see the order ahead of time. one of the things she struggled with is how to defend a law that she didn't think was lawful. i'm responsible for ensuring the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right, at present i'm not convinced the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am i convinced the executive order is lawful. that's a big deal for someone who was the acting attorney
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general. >> if i can jump in, you read that statement. it's important for the viewer to get the full gift of what the administration put out there. she didn't believe she could enforce the law that she wasn't sure about the law. >> the lawfulness of the law. >> and then she says, the agoing attorney general, sally yates. this is from the white house, has betrayed the department of justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the united states. the law was approved as to form, and legality by the department of justice, office of legal council. miss yates is an obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and weak on illegal immigration. some may see this as an attack of her. >> yeah, it is an attack on her personally, correct. >> it is -- instead of sort of just firing her, what they've done there is accused her of being weak on the law.
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and i have to tell you, inside the justice department, sally yates is being greeted as a hero for standing up for this, i know that this is something that was not very popular inside the department. the white house is right, they did get the advice of the office of legal council, which looks at the narrow scope of the lawfulness of the president issuing this executive order. what sally yates has to do, and the lawyers who have to defend this executive order, they have to look beyond that, they have to look at the other statements that administration lawyers have made, including ones suggesting that this was going to be a religious test to determine who could benefit from coming into this country. that's what she was reacting to, if you look at what she said. don, what's important about the appointment of dana bentoe, the
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senate needed someone who could sign off on surveillance warrants. and that's what they needed to do. that's who they found in dana boente. >> speaking of dana boente. i'm honored to serve president trump in this role until senator sessions is confirmed. we'll talk about that in a second. i will defend and enforce the laws of our country to ensure our people and nation are protected. speaking of that confirmation, this may hold up the confirmation, because i'm sure democrats are going to have a lot of questions and i'm sure also it gives them fuel. >> we already know the republicans have a narrow majority in the senate. they had enough votes to pass -- to confirm jeff sessions and we expected that jeff sessions was going to be the attorney general by the end of the week.
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with all of this and with the fact that the trump white house rolled out this executive order without really consulting members of congress, i think you're going to see some uncomfortable republicans who are not sure what to do here. the fact that jeff sessions really had the support of the majority, probably means he will be the attorney general at the end of the week. this is just a lot of drama between what we thought was going to be a smooth confirmation week for him and the next few days. >> we should not be surprised considering the last 10 days. meanwhile, the white house defended the ban, and despite today's developments, they are intersectioning to their guns. >> it was a lot of angry democrats on the hill, but a lot of angry republicans on the hill also, exactly because of the point evan just made, a number of key republicans, republicans in leadership and on key committees that had to deal with this, who were not informed of
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the executive order ahead of time. they got a number of phone calls over the weekend, not only for reporters, but from folks who were stuck in the chaotic travel situation, this entailed, white house press secretary sean spicer defended the rollout of this today, take a listen to what he said. >> you don't know when the next threat's coming, you don't know when the next attack's coming, the best you can do is to get ahead of it, because if you wait, you're going to be reacting, what i think i want to be clear on, the president's not going do wait. he wants to make sure he does everything in his power when he can to protect the homeland and its people. getting ahead of threats is the key. not waiting until they happen, not saying, once it happens, how do we react to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> whey want to be clear about, since becoming president, he's continued to take steps through executive order and otherwise, to make sure that this country is as safe as it can be, and we're ahead of every threat. we're talking about a universe of 109 people.
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there were 325,000 people that came into this country over a 24 hour period from another country. 109 of them were stopped for additional screening. we've got to keep this in proportion. >> now, you see spicer explaining why they believe they could not have given administration officials or members of the hill saying this was coming, you have to head these threats off early, they didn't want a rush of people coming over the border, to offer a little bit of reality there, if you are a refugee, it takes you a year before you can go through the process of being admitted to the u.s. that doesn't exactly jive with reality, there are folks in these agencies who were charged with implementing this travel ban who weren't exactly sure how it would work, who didn't have the appropriate guidance that attributed to this confusion over the weekend. even if they could get behind the policy, theyen cot get
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behind the way the administration rolled it out over the weekend. >> sarah evan, thank you very much. it's going to be a very busy time for you, stick around, don't go too far. i want to bring in alan dershowitz, fareed zakaria, carl bernstein joins us by phone. i'm so glad to have you all here, alan, i'm going to start with you. did sally yates need to go? >> well, sally yates made a very serious mistake. instead of limiting herself to saying that she thought it was unconstitutional or illegal, she used the following words, that she had the right to decide whether the policy choice is wise or just, and what is right. that's not her job. her job as attorney general is to determine whether the law is lawful, it's the job of the elected president to determine whether the policy choice is wise or just, now, this is a
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terrible policy, i'm completely opposed to it, but as attorney general, if she disagreed with the policy, her option was to resign. she would say, i'm not going to enforce this policy. but to disallow the entire justice department from defending a policy, at least parts of which are probably constitutional, parts of which are probably lawful, instead of giving a new answered analysis to forbid the justice department from defending it, instead of resigning, was a serious mistake. and that mistake was only compounded by trump's mistake by firing her. what trump should have done is worked around this thing, kept her on, had a special council appointed by the court or even by himself and have the administrative action defended in court. i think we're seeing mistake after mistake after mistake here. >> i want to bring you in, i know you know about the -- this happened during the nixon administration, similarly, i
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think, the person stepped down, but this time, what do you think, do you think that she needed to go? >> there's a big difference, the saturday night massacre was really about firing the attorney general when nixon was the target of an investigation and was actively obstructing justice. i think the president is within his rights here to fire the attorney general, that he has that ability. and it's not wise that he did. but what's really happened here is, that the president and his presidency is in chaos. and it's apparent to all but his most serious defenders and those who are his greatest defenders and advocates. but for republicans on capitol hill, who i'm talking to, who are doubting his abilities.
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doubting even his stability under pressure, this is an extraordinary series of events. we now have hundreds of thousands of people who have been going into the streets as a result of this. we have a former president, his predecessor who is encouraging people to go into the streets because what trump has done here is obstructed american principles. he hasn't obstructed justice, he's obstructed the most basic of american principles of what we stand for as a country in terms of immigration, a nation of immigrants, these are authoritarian pronouncements that he has been making for days now. and it's coming to haunt him. >> did he make this unnecessarily political by firing this person? >> well, first of all, carl is right that the circumstances are not the same as the famous saturday night massacre, but what is the same, is the
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president's lack of new answer. his -- nixon had a tenure about the political moment in the fall of 1973, this is not the time to encourage fears of authoritarianism in the united states. the fact that he responds by firing the same night, feeds the concern that many americans have that this administration does not care about the constitution. whether the attorney general was right to engage in a policy debate, is beside the point. the president needs to be disciplined and respect the constitution, by firing the acting attorney general tonight he didn't do that, and he didn't meet the test of leadership about. >> i know you're looking at this on a global level, what are your thoughts on this? >> the atmosphere of hysteria the white house is creating, suggesting it needs to do this,
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because otherwise we're going to be facing this barrage of terror attacks, as if this is london in the blitz in world war ii. the united states has not had a huge spagt of terror attacks. the last attack was against a mosque, against muslims who are worshipping. we're not in -- what was the haste to do all this? everyone agrees, the president has the right to have his own attorney general. the attorney general has the right to say i don't believe this order is lawful and i wouldn't execute it and therefore resign. the atmosphere that we are in some kind of imminent danger, if he had announced the policy was being reviewed and it would take a month or two, that somehow we would be -- we would find an influx of would be terrorists coming, this is all frankly unreal, this is not -- there's no other -- nobody else really who believes this, and so one wonders whether this atmosphere
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of hysteria is being created for his ability to act in an unimpeded unilateral way. >> has our system of checks and balances broken down? they want to sort of break down our system of checks and balances? >> you know, the american system does not have checks and balances within the administr e administrative branch. people often think that, the president, his cabinet, all those people, the national security council, they serve at the pleasure of the president. this is not a parliamentary system, these are not independent political actors, they serve at the pleasure of the president. the checks on the president are congress, which is now a republican congress. the courts and the media. and what is interesting to watch is, when the trump white house feels it's being blocked by any of these institutions, there is -- they push back hard. they push back against the media very hard, there's almost a
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campaign to delegitimize -- >> they know that's within of the only checks and balances they have. >> that's right. everything is fake news, nobody can be trusted. you see it now with the courts and by extension the legal branch as it were. and with congress will see. so far, congress has frankly rolled over. >> everyone stay with me, when we come back, more on our breaking news coverage, we'll be right back. taking a holiday in britain, are ya doll? well, the only place you need go...
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monday night massacre, president trump fires the agoing attorney general for refusing to enforce his travel ban. as a trump supporter, i want to get your response to this. what do you make of sally yates and also now the new acting attorney general? >> i think first of all, she didn't have to do it this way. the way to do this was to go to the white house, lay out her disagreements, and if it went the other way, say okay, then i'm going to leave, what she did was she went public with this, no president in their right mind, least of all this one, is going to tolerate that, number two, i think he absolutely is trying to show the new boss is in town, and things are going to be different i think there's a larger issue here.
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we see sur moil in the state department, the energy department. i suggest there's a culture with the civil service that's grown up over decades in which basically people feel that they run the government and the president of the moment is really not in charge. >> what would you have her do then? >> if she disagreed, she should have gone to the white house and sat down with reince priebus and the staff, the president or the vice president and said, this is why i disagree. what she did was go the public route. that's guaranteed to -- >> she ordered her attorneys not to fight, right? >> let me ask you, you think this was political, you think -- you consider her to be liberal or -- >> yeah, i think she's -- >> part of the culture of this. >> she's respected by republicans. >> this is where we get into the much larger culture of washington as you shift from --
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>> let me just say this. this is when she was asked to be the deputy attorney general in 2012. saxby chambliss, and others released a statement today. it goes on and on to laude her for how great she is, the skill, and strong record on public service. it doesn't say anything about her being a liberal. >> i'm sure she is, but one of the things -- >> with the republican president. one of the things i have seen in my time in government service is the same as being a government servant. and when you hear people say, this is only going to anger people, the lawyers and the department of justice, i bet it does, they're in a political philosophy, and you hear these stories all the time.
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>> with all due respect, the reason you have chaos in the state department, donald trump fired the leadership of the state department. second point, don't tar the entire civil service this way, we need any -- any country needs a nonpartisan civil service -- >> that's the key. >> it seems to me that you see them nonpartisan when they agree with you. >> no, they're seen as nonpartisan if think agree with the other side, and they do have this view, if they are here, this president, they'll outlast this guy. >> she was nonpartisan. everyone loved her, now that she disagrees with a republican president -- >> i think they're all part of the same culture. >> there's an element of politics to everything that happens in washington, welcome to washington. but donald trump claimed he was
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the smartest guy in america, he was going to be able to handle this, he had run big businesses. guess what, stop winie ining if don't know how to deal with it. of course if people disagree with you, they're going to go dirty. if you fire everybody, you don't have anybody to implement the orders you want. the place right now is in chaos. the entire federal government the entire administration. they're trying to enforce these very radical shifts in policy. it isn't working. then they cry foul and blame the media. if you told yourself on competence, this has been the most incompetent ten days of an administration. >> absolutely. >> andrew johnson may be tied
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for -- >> earlier on cnn there was a segment in a pennsylvania diner, randi kaye was going around -- they were all in support of him. >> that doesn't -- >> no, what i'm saying they have a different idea of competence than the people inside the beltway. >> he has a policy he hasn't been able to enforce because he can't get his own justice department to enforce it. >> if you -- >> who is that? >> it's alan. >> see, i think sally set out to be fired, i think she was wanting to be a holdover hero, it's the easiest thing in the world when you're a person from the other party to become a hero to all the people like me who are opposed to this policy, but in doing that, she i think clearly overstepped her bounds.
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she has no right to refuse to enforce the law because she disagrees with the policy. >> what's the definition of competition, right? fareed thinks it was an incompetent rollout. there seems to be agreement among republicans and democrats that it could have been rolled out better, not that they necessarily agree with the bulk of the terms of this ban in some ways, but that it was not a professional rollout. >> no doubt about that, but that's not the job of the attorney general. she is the chief law enforcement officer of the united states. she has a client. her client is the government of the united states. she has an obligation to enforce the law, even if she disagrees with the policy behind it, as long as it's constitutional. and lawful. >> okay, we got it. >> she went well beyond. >> we got it. i don't think that's the point. >> that's the fairy tale version of how washington works.
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washington is a political town. if you want to get your stuff through, if you want to get through the administration, through congress, through the american public, you have to have a strategy, you have to have backup plans, you have to expect political opposition, you have to expect career holdovers from the former administration, none of this was taken into account. they're surprised that they can't get anything through. >> stand by, i want to bring in david gergen. i need to get david, in i'll get you in, carl. david gergen joins us, how many presidents have you worked for? i want to get what you think of what just happened this evening. >> well, i've had -- i haven't had the privilege of listening to this entire conversation, i just tuned in, but after i did have a chance to serve in four white houses from different parties, and i must say, this brings back so many echos of the saturday night massacre, it is on a different level, of course. but i think the first thing out of the box, your presidency into
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this kind of mess, there are a lot of reasons why i just assumed she would be fired quickly, but i never. i don't think anyone expected the mess they created in this rollout. it's been a calamity for the united states. both at home and abroad. >> how did we get into this mess, who's responsible? >> well, you know, i think that everything was -- i think you can explain everything in american history up through the election. donald trump has millions of followers out there for him. there are a lot of people very supportive of him going through this mess. he himself has been a complete departure from any kind of president we've ever had before, the people around him are not there to run the government, they're there to disrupt the government, and to bring in -- mr. bannon who seems to have enormous influence these days,
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has made it plain he wants to bring down the pillars of government. it's not surprising you would have this executive order which was rammed through without really getting homeland security, the justice department on board. they invited this kind of dissent. i think it was then donald trump was going to fire her. >> the president of the united states has fired the acting attorney general. has now appointed a new acting attorney general. his pick for attorney general has not been confirmed yet. you do all this research on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with
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monday night massacre, president donald trump fires the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce his travel ban. back with me, my panel. carl, my question to you is, what does all of this mean for the senate confirmation of jeff sessions, how big of a battle is this going to be now?
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>> i think both republicans and democrats will want to bring him back for further questioning. and that could endanger him, i'm told that sessions along with bannon is the author of this policy of this executive order, along with the president, of course, but sessions has a real role in this, i think there's a bigger point to be made here, and that is, this executive order and chaos resulted not because of an imminent national security threat, but a political statement that is with bannon, trump, what sessions intended here, a political statement at the expense of our genuine national security, and the expense of our again wags history. democratic principles, what's happening here? yes, trump's followers will stay with him, certainly for a while on this, but instead of building
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up his credibility as president and his legitimacy, he's undermining his own legitimacy, he keeps talking about how his legitimacy is being questioned by the press or hillary clinton or some other unnamed forces, he has undermined in one week his own legitimacy, to the point where there are many republicans on capitol hill that question his competency, that's the worst thing he could have in terms of his legitimacy, there are people who don't see him as legitimate at this this point. >> could i make a point about history for the moment. we had the chinese exclusion act, under president wilson we excluded people from all over the world, country by cun, in the 1930s, we excluded jews. sure, we've gotten better over the years, the american history is not a history of the statue
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of liberty, it's a history of bigotry and bias. we've done better than that, this is a terrible policy, it's part of the historical policy of america, of being racist in the way we select people for who we -- >> we have had racism, allen, but in fact we've overcome it, that's the point. >> don't talk about the history, though. history is a very mixed history. >> we have overcome it, time and again, and what has per veiled are donald trump's parents coming here, your grandparents, my grandparents, what has prevailed is not what you're talking about. >> you know, for many years, that did prevail, my parents and grandparents came before that, in the 50s and 60s, we kept out communists, we have a lot of work to do in overcoming our terrible history of racism, we've done a good job in the last few years.
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>> we had slavery. we did terrible things in the past -- the most recent law of any import on this subject is the 1965 immigration and naturalization law which specifically prohibits the government from discriminating on the basis of national origin. you also have the first amendment that explicitly prohibits the united states from discriminating on the basis of religion. a federal judge felt these were t two reasons to stay the order. we did something like this in 1820, it doesn't really mean that we have moved on. >> you are missing my point. >> i am not missing your point.
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>> i'm saying don't cite history. i'm not -- i didn't say that, and you know that. what i said is, don't cite the history. talk about the present, talk about what we overcame, don't rely on the american tradition of welcoming immigrants, it's a false historicable argument. >> we were talking about whether this president is competent. a competent president would not sign this executive order on the same day western commemorating the holocaust, a competent president would understand the tension of not bringing in refugees as america should have done in the 1930s, and what this particular executive order represents, a competent president who understood the policy of the moment would not have rolled it out this way. a competent president would have waited for his own attorney general confirmed to have a team defend this. i don't think it's defensible,
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but to defend this. that's how a competent president would have acted. that's why the issue of kpre tense -- >> what's the rush? >> i i this in -- surely from the president's point of view, this was an act of insubordination and he wasn't going to tolerate it. >> what's the rush to do the travel ban now? >> i feel he feels, this with a whole string of other things he feels were campaign promises and that he wanted to demonstrate action immediately. >> he has four years. >> i understand, and then the four year thing is a little elusive here, presidents are at their most powerful if you will, in the beginning of their term, if they get it renewed, that plays out again, it's like watching -- >> i'm not going to speak to his competency or not, that's not my role here, but to avoid some of the chaos and misunderstanding sur rounding some of this, it would seem in most people's view, from even republicans in
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washington that it could have been handled better, it could have waited, could have crossed the ts and dotted the eyes before rolling it out, as they say, first impressions are very important, right? >> i think that there's two perceptions here, there's a washington establishment -- one president comes to mind and you'll be shocked, it's not ronald reagan, firing the air traffic controller. andrew jackson is often compared. >> garner him support? people who are out there, that gets him re-elected. >> he's sometimes compared to andrew jackson, he took on the bank of the united states, in other words, the establishment of his day, and went full tilt against him, i think that's the kind of thing you're seeing here, and that this is part of it. >> why it appears -- >> because he wanted a string of thing things to implicate he was making gd of his campaign promises. >> i disagree with with jeffrey
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howard. you cannot look at the demonstrations that have broken out spontaneously around the country in huge numbers and say that america is happy. it is not. his followers are for him and continue to be for him, and they welcome this. there are millions of other americans who think they have the worst president on their hands and aren't sure what to do about it. let me make one other point. i think from our point of view, yes, i think that they -- this looks like incompetence, these are very smart people, and i think it's -- i think there's a lot of evidence they intend to have this kind of chaos, they enjoy this, they want to go after the press, because they like to do that, and they basically -- he sees himself as a disrupter and bannon is in there, and we know his influence is growing. it was an interesting point that carl bernstein made about jeff
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sessions joining in this. that would affect his confirmation, i think they intentionally want to create this kind of chaos, this kind of anger, and this is what they think will work for them in their long term strategy to change america. >> it's -- according to a report that we have, jeff sessions did not have any role in the rollout of this particular ban. and the point that you were making. >> that's helpful, don. >> the point you were making, david, regarding the chaos and was this planned? >> i think nobody could possibly want what has happened now. they want to disrupt, i think it's true they want to send a signal to the korea bureaucracy, you could not want to have the colossal chaos you have here with your own orders not being implemented. david gergen made a very important point, it's important to remember.
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this policy is already having massive negative repercussions around the world. take what's happened in iraq today, the iraqi parliament has passed a resolution saying, we have fought with the united states for a decade now. our troops are fighting isis every day, we have americans assisting us in that effort, we are in effect partnering with you to destroy isis, and you're telling us that those iraqis who are putting their lives on the line for an american foreign policy objective, which also serves their objectives, those people are your enemies to such an extent that they cannot even -- >> that's what president obama said, right? he banned them for six months. >> no, he didn't. >> he stopped the -- >> fareed -- >> there's a difference. the difference is, and i have it ready for you. the obama administration's travel restriction provided for extra scrutiny for people who
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travelled to these lands. it is the other way around, the administration -- >> there was an iraqi that came in here, the fbi later found out after he was in here, he was -- >> from entering the u.s. just because they were citizens from these seven countries. >> it's also a strange defense of trump administration policy saying, we're just doing what president obama did. >> don't talk about wining. >> that's very straight. if you can't overlook this, we're ten days into this administration, everyone, this controversial ban, which is, we saw protests, we saw people all over this country protesting this, and then tonight he fires the acting attorney general. he fires the acting attorney general, he's appointed a new acting attorney general. his permanent attorney general has not been confirmed by the congress -- the senate being part of that. >> so far donald trump is running america the way he ran
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his casinos in atlantic city. i worry if the outcome will be the same. >> and also, we are hearing tonight that donald trump had replaced the heads of immigration and customs enforcement. why donald trump's daughter ivanka and jared kushner may find washington a tougher place than they realized. and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis
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president trump fires the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce his travel ban. and he appoints another acting attorney general. it's not even midnight. thank you for joining the panel. so talk to us about -- we've heard so much about jared kushner being this important part of the administration, where has he been in all this? >> he is an important part of the administration. a lot of trouble donald tends to get in, a source pointed out to me last week. tends to happen between sundown
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on friday and sunup on monday. >> he's an observant jew, it's happened two weeks in a row, and sources who are close to jared and the trump administration have noted this fact to me. and quickly the administration tends to walk things back on sundays. >> is that david or alan? >> this is david. because -- >> i just want -- >> it's an interesting theory about the shabbat as a jew. >> it was at 4:42 friday, sundown was at 5:08. all of the fallout happened during shabbat. >> the executive order was signed during shabbat.
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>> it's the mess that tends to happen between the big decisions. >> anyone on this panel who has ever celebrated shabbat with jared kushner. he was the president of the society at harvard, i can tell you he is a source of wisdom, and i think of trying to influence donald trump in the right direction. i don't know if the timing or chronology works out that way. i do think he will be a source of trying to be a check on donald trump. the real checks and balances are going to be the good republicans. i think we have to count more and more on senator mccain and senator mccain. they have the most important job in this administration. somebody said previously, president trump is determined to eliminate the formal structure of checks and kbals.
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if he gets two or three nominees to the supreme court, we have all the branches on the right side. good republicans are going to have to read president kennedy's profiles on courage, and stand up and be counted. so far, i think the senators have done a pretty good job. paul ryan's been a little disappointing. >> i'm going to get fareed in here, emily jane, fox's reporting on the kushner family, and ivanka trump has been spot on. if she says her sources are telling her that, she has some really good sources. >> i think it's important to remember that madison said, if men were angels no government would be necessary. you have institutional checks and balances, you don't hope that your son in law will be a smart moderate guy that will moderate you. you are looking for the institutional checks and balances, to me, it's -- allen dershowitz is right, a few
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republican senators have stood out, a number of them, as we all know, privately say, you know, are agast by many of the things that are happening, but are not willing to publicly say it, certainly the leadership, mcconnell and ryan have not done so. you have an administration that continues to act as if it's a small, lonely minority battling the world. a raid against the forces of -- the powerful forces of iran. let's remember, the republican party currently controls the presidency, the senate, the house, the supreme court, the vast majority of state houses, and state governorships. to act like it is this embattled institution because the new york times is reporting against it, i mean, come on, you know, they're running the country? >> go ahead. >> john f. kennedy and ted sorenson wrote profiles in courage because they were not
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courageous against joseph mccarthy. trying to find in history, people who stood up to demagogues, we didn't have a good -- the united states went through a tough time in the 1950s, because people didn't stand up to hypernationalists. the good news is that in the nixon period, some great republican heroes like george shultz and others said no to the president. that's the history people should be looking to now, great americans who said no i will not audit these people. no, i'm not going to use the fbi illegally. no, i'm not going to prevent money from going to places where there are demonstrations. that's the kind of leadership we need from republicans. they have to remember that in the '70s, the best of them saved this country. 3:45? uh, compliance training. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. 8:30? tai chi. yeah, so sounds relaxing. alright, 9:53? i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so
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[second man] ah,ah, ah. oh no! [first man] saves us some drilling. [burke] and we covered it, february fourteenth, twenty-fifteen. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ the president firing the acting attorney general for refusing to endorsing his travel ban. i want to play this, can you hear me allen? >> i hear you fine. sean spicer said as much in that press conference. if people were not on board with what this administration wanted
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to do, they were free to go. let's play that, and then we'll talk about it. >> they should get with the program or they can go. >> sean -- >> hold on, hold on. this is about the safety of america. and there's a reason that the majority of americans agree with the president. it's because they understand that's his number one priority. >> is he right or is he too flip an the? >> he's dead wrong. the state department has a process, an internal process for permitting dissent, you cannot be fired as a civil servant for dissenting. he's telling these members of the state department that if they dare disagree with the policies, they should leave. threatening them with being fired, he's violating the spirit of the civil service laws, dissent and i think he's dead wrong. dissent is permissible within the state department. where they may be right is sally yates acted ultravirus beyond
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her authority, when she talked about disagreeing with the policy behind the law that's -- she should not have used her office to compel other justice department officials not to provide a defense. i do not regard sally yates among the hero ppz i think that she contributed to the instability of our institutions and would have been much better to resign, rather than firing. >> david gergen, you seem to not agree with that. >> i agree with point one but not point two. >> on the state department, i think he's right, the under the law, the law was passed to allow
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dissent within departments, without punishment, the good organizations have boxes where you can drop suggestions, they want to hear from you in the private sector. they want to know from you what's going right and what's going wrong. if you're the voice of dissent, that's not the basis for saying, go. >> i hope that they don't take names. and go after people which is what i fear. i assume these names are circulating. i think the state department are expressing conscience to power. alan, i may be wrong about this, i thought she also had real doubts about the law. >> that was the first part of her statement. in all fairness, she sent this letter internally to people at
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the department and then later released it, someone would leak it or people would find out anyway. she had problems with the law. >> parts of the law are constitutional, parts are unconstitutional. parts violate the statute, and parts are lawful. she could have said i will not defend the parts of the law that are unconstitutional. i disagree with the policy. she could have argued against his political blunderbus approach by being more subtle, new answered and sophisticated. instead, she said, i'm going to consider the whole lot together and not let anybody defend any part of it. that was wrong. >> stand by, i need to reset david. and we'll be right back. just stand by, everyone.

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