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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  January 31, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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studio audience 9:00 p.m. eastern tonight here only on cnn. that's it for me, i'll be back, in the situation room, the news continues right now. all right. here we go top of the hour, i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me, so much news to get to. a head spinning 24 hours from the trump administration all involving moves to obstruct the president's plans but the issue dominating it was the president's ban, secretary of press sean spicer saying let me say again this is not a ban. >> first of all it's not a travel ban. i think you heard secretary kellie, i apologize i just want to make sure i get this
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straight, i think secretary kellie or one individuals from dhs have mentioned a million people have come into the country, that's not a ban, it's to proper ensure vetting. >> bad for our country, he says it's a ban. >> he's using the word that the media is using. >> no, those are his words. >> jonathan thanks, i'll let kristen talk, it can't be a ban if you're letting over a million people in there's by nature not a ban. >> so that conversation came moments after the homeland secretary general john kelly said this at his first news conference. >> this is not i repeat not a ban on muslims and we cannot gamble with american lives, i will not gamble with american
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lives. these orders are a matter of national security it is my sworn responsibility to protect and defend the american people. >> let's begin with jim acosta, joining me from the briefing room. jim, help me understand sean spicer says it's not a ban, jim kell kellie says it's not a ban, but the president calling it a ban 24 hours ago. >> reporter: that's right. tweeting not on potus, but in twitter. during that week a lot of bad dudes out there. exclamation point. the word dudes in quotation marks. why did the president use that word in a tweet that it's not a ban and he said he's just using the word that the media is using, he puts quotation marks around the word bad, around the
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word dudes. >> but not around the word ban. >> so if it's part of his parlance and vocabulary, when refer to go this why can't it be ours? the other question that came up repeatedly was this issue of secretary kellie at the department of homeland security was he briefed on the executive order before signing it, you heard secretary kelly saying yes he was, and you heard sean spicer saying yes, he was as well and reporters saying no, the reporting on "the new york times" was accurate, i think it was whether secretary kellie was briefed on the final language being briefed along the way on the process of drafting an executive order is one thing but looking at the fine print of what's in the executive order just before the president signs it is a different matter all together, but this is just another example brooke looking
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at this briefing today how these questions about this executive order on vetting and refugees they just haven't gone away and why you heard the speaker of the house earlier today talking about confusion being regrettable there was this confusion and this executive order. sean spicer was asked and danced around it, they are claiming that everything worked perfectly throughout the execution of this executive order. >> that's a huge piece, another huge piece is about the acting a.g. sally yates no longer, already been republlaced last evening. >> ironically it went through their offices the department of justice legal compliance so the idea it went through the entire process of which they were part of and she chooses not to execute it is bewildering, the president made clear during the
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campaign whether it's national security or economic security that -- hold on, thank you -- and that it is his job to lay that vision out and people he appoints and nominates and announces a staff members or cabinet members or agency heads their jobs are to fulfill it and if they don't like it they shouldn't take the job but the president's words. >> betrayal and defiance are the words used to describe sally yates. >> reporter: -- quizzing sally yates saying would you follow orders that you view to be illegal or wrong and she said absolutely that's what i would do and what she feels she did do in the last 24 hours. it is interesting to note when
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sean spicer was asked ant are there any other obama administration officials working that you need to worry about and spicer said there are some and noted that there are in a variety of different positions and acting positions but let's keep in mind there are people from the obama administration that they are holding over for critical reasons, brett mcgurk, he's been held over and over counter terrorism officials, held over, so just because somebody is staying over to the obama administration doesn't make them a risk to the agenda, but sean spicer said if there are people in this government that can't get on board with what the president is doing, there's the door. >> jim acosta one of the hottest seats in the white house. thank you very much. we have more breaking news from washington senate democrats
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deciding to boycott not one but two nominees, today they were set to vote on tom price, and steve mnuchin, but democrats with the republican kountder parts especially pulled a no-show minutes before the vote was set to take place. manu raju was on it. manu what happened? >> reporter: brooke, a number of democrats believe that tom price and steve mnuchin did not answer questions clearly and honestly at the committee hearings, they believe tom price misled the committee on a questionable stock purchase before pushing legislation that would affect that company. similarly they did not believe steve mnuchin did not answer in a honest way, so they're demanding that these two nominees provide them with more information before they agree to
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a vote to come forward. this decision to boycott is a surprise and rare and unprecedented in the senate modern finance history times, something rarely rarely done and absolutely enraged republicans who thought the vote was going to happen today. here is orrin hatch chairman of the finance committee. >> they're idiots, a complete breach of decorum, rules and just getting along around here. >> reporter: so the question is what happens now? the republicans are warning if there is not any cooperation from democrats to actually have to have this vote then they may have to take extraordinary measures, donald trump may have to ultimately recess, appoint these two nominees to their positions because the senate rules do not allow for a vote to happen on the full floor of the
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senate if the committee does not act and one democrat needs to be at that committee for the vote to actually happen. this all part of that effort brooke by democrats to try to delay and frustrate donald trump getting his cabinet in place, moments ago delaying a vote to hear to vote on senator jeff sessions to be the next attorney general but in an effort to try to slow things down in the senate something they can do under the rules. >> thank you. let's analyze i have david chalian and gloria borger. my goodness, if you're head doesn't feel like woo! like this today, my gosh! first, on my initial question on the white house briefing is it a ban, not a ban, sean spicer says stop calling it a ban, trump
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called it a ban and he's not the only one. >> that's right, sean spicer said it was a ninety day ban and now caught up in a rhetorical pretzel for no good reason when sean was pressed he said he's just using the words that the media are using, they're trying to get control of the story they lost control of and i think you first saw general kelly, the dhs secretary play the good soldier and trying to bring down the temperature of this a little bit. i kept watching that briefing and i thought imagine if that briefing had occurred last friday when implementing this policy if secretary was out there, in front of it, announcing it and putting context around it perhaps a lot of this could have been avoided. >> and house speaker paul ryan coming out -- >> chaos, the rollout.
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>> confusion, what i noticed with sean spicer talking about the supreme court announcement coming tonight. he went out of his way to talk about advice and consent aspect of all this, how the person they are going to nominate meeting the criteria, the expertise. >> why do you think he did that? >> because of the blunders of the past week. they have to kind of slow down this train and let people understand that the president wants to get things done very quickly but they have to let people know there's an organized process that is not chaotic and unstable. >> in watching this i kept thinking okay this is donald trump he's a business man and when you start a business you hit the ground running, but it's different if you're the president and you have never governed before, right? >> on a campaign or at his
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businesses, he is overseeing a population of people that are entirely committed to his goals whether the success of the company or winning the campaign, right? >> when you're governoring to see this vast democracy, you see people who are not at all aligned and he sees that he doesn't have his hand on every lever. >> he's trying. >> well, he has chuck schumer to contend with, the democrats walking out of committee hearing. >> called idiots by orrin hatch. >> what do you make of that? >> i think it's all kind of dissolving into this puddle of you know antipathy between the two sides. and if you're sitting back and watching you know, i guess you can applaud the democrats are standing up for what they believe and donald trump is doing what he promised he would do during the campaign, but at some point i think the american public is going to demand some kind of order.
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and achievement beyond executive action which comes into the question of legislation and approval of the supreme court nominee, or an orderly process. >> the american people clearly told us the order they want is a new order not the order that existed before. >> right, but if you look at the early polling and the question is whether this kind of breathes an unsettled feeling or uncertainly among people who did not vote for donald trump. there are a lot of people who voted for donald trump just hated hillary clinton so there's a larger audience here and i think that's why sean spicer went out of his way to sort of set up and tee up the nomination tonight as something that was well-thought out, well-planned, well advised by republicans and so that they can sort of -- >> to have support on the criteria. >> somebody whether or not is experienced and has the
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expertise. >> i thought the whole briefing was pretty pointed but just the adjective the now no longer acting sally yates, the defiance and betrayal. >> i think it was more about theatrics, sally yates knew exactly what she was doing. >> you just stand and watch, you're fired. >> i quit, you're fired. >> so donald trump played the role, so that's what was going on last night. i thought what got very contentious in the briefing though was sean spicer wanted to put the confusion around the -- >> on the media. >> around the executive order on to the media, for owning responsibility for trying to move beyond it. i almost felt like the country got a sense of how our phone calls are with the press
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secretarys usually you don't see it that way on television. >> but the media is getting c e complaints i know i am from people on the hill saying we were not briefed we were blindsided by this. paul ryan said it today publicly and yes, there was a small amount of workers who left that position january 20th who were on the hill but a sort of general sense when you're going to do something like this and again, nobody should be surprised by it because it's what donald trump ran on and what his voters want and that's what he's doing but when you get down to the details is whether actually input from people who write legislation, the justice department, people who write laws, would be useful. >> right. >> even to people who understand what direction they want to go in, but may need some assistance
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in figuring out just how to do it. >> which is the wait and see now will donald trump ever come to that conclusion that he can actually use some of the washington infrastructure trying to blow up to his advantage to accomplish his goals. >> we'll see. david and glory i cania thank y much. the finalists have arrived in d.c. and will democrats put up a huge fight? you're watching cnn special live coverage.
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all right. we're back with breaking news from cnn learning it is down to the final two and in classic donald trump fashion sources tell cnn the president is flying his supreme court finalists to washington d.c. where he will make the big reveal during primetime tonight. neil gorsuch and thomas hardiman, let's bring the supreme court court biographer.
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>> i've heard trump is leaning toward one but doesn't mean he won't change his mind what do you know? >> we know they are being brought to d.c. and the indications are that neil gorsuch could be the pick but donald trump could change his mind. all our sources stress that that he could make a change at the last minute. we have learned that gorsuch is in d.c. and a cnn producer caught up with hardiman driving in the direction. >> we're calculating where they are in the car and in d.c. and what is that supposed to mean and he could change his mind what are we supposed to think of this. >> i've tracked them back to 1971 with my research it's never
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been like this. sometimes they may not know days before or day before, but hours before? the drama for the poor number two, what has he been told? we want to use you as a decoy, but this is enprecedentunpreced >> could you compare the two? >> yes, judge gorsuch sitting on a sprfederal appeals court out denver, it's will be about the same, about the same credentials, ivy league credentials, a clerk at the supreme court earlier for first late justice byron white who happens to be from colorado and for justice anthony kennedy who is still on the supreme court, if gorsuch ends up being the
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pick and confirmed it would be the first time that you would have a -- two justices who once had the allegiance of boss and clerk. thomas hardiman sits on the third circuit out of pittsburgh. he was educated at notre dame and georgetown, two fine universities but not the ivies that usually end up on the supreme court. his family started a cab business and he drove a cab to support himself through law school. >> how about that? so you have gone through both of the credentials, so it's important to under score while this is huge huge huge, this would not change the balance, so i'm wondering if the democrats would put up a fight this go rounds or the next one?
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>> i think the republicans might be thinking that, too, because he's replacing things in the status quo, but supporters of trump are really hoping he might get a second vacancy, for instance if justice kennedy would step down or justice ruth baiter ginsburg, that would be big for the topics like abortion. so they know with three justices in their 70s and early 80s they might very soon be back at this debate and may want to have some stored up ammunition to be used for those hearings. >> possibility. we watch, wait for the big reveal, 8:00 eastern for the big reveal. thank you very much. also allegations of a
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parents plagiarism involving the nominee for secretary of education betsy devos. how might this impact her senate confirmation. also, what an act of betrayal? new reaction for the decision to fire the head attorney general after refusing to act on white house immigration policy? that's coming up.
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white house press secretary sean spicer fiercely defending president trump's firing of
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acting attorney general sally yates. they had ordered the justice department lawyers not to legally defend trump's travel ban and moments ago we heard sean spicer responding to multiple questions on the white house statement which reads quote yates has betrayed the department of justice by refusing to enforce the legal order designed to protect the citizens of the p united states. >> if you have a legally executed order and the attorney general says i'm not going to execute that, that clearly is a betrayal. >> let me bring in timothy hafe attorney for the western district of virginia, thanks for being here. >> thanks. >> you know yates yewell, but l
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me characterize, using the words betrayal an defiant, how do you see it? >> it suggests that she's their lawyer and that's just not the way the attorney general functions. she doesn't represent this administration. she represents the cause of justice. she represents the rule of law and that's frankly what i think the acting attorney general did yesterday. she stood up for what she believed is the rule of law and ordered her prosecutors that report to her for this limited period of time not to defend a law that she believes is unconstitutional that's faithful for her obligation to uphold the rule of law. >> given that explanation, why is it now the acting a.g. dana boente disagrees? >> i think they went down the
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list and found something that would agree with their -- of the law. again, the key point is that the attorney general -- it doesn't enforce anything, the attorney general defends the constitutionality or legality of executive orders and she did not believe she could send people the court to defend something that was unconstitutional. that's about her judgment about who her client is. >> in this discussion sean spicer was asked will this be a serious demarcation line for somebody in the system that doesn't believe this is justice in following through something he enact, what sort of benchmark does this set for others in the administration? >> i think the benchmark is you do what's legal but not what's
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not legal. it's extremely rare that the president signs an executive order that has dubious -- this is the attorney general who stood up and said we cannot defend this law. i don't think this is a line of demarcation that's going set a precedent for career employees to refuse to do their jobs, this is a unusual circumstance. >> what this, water gate era, president nickxon and saturday night massacre and fired the special prosecutor handling the case, so paul cow wwin wrote th up. the sworn duty is to defend the
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president and the -- the sacred principals of the document are being trashed by mr. trump. you hit on this before why you feel like sally yates did what she did but is this about the constitution or defending the president? >> this is about the constitution. again about fidelity to the rule of law. with all due respect to mr. cowen, the attorney general is not the president's lawyer, they can be removed at the discretion of the president as we saw last night but her responsibility is to do what she believes the constitution compels to do what is right to do what is fair, to do what is just and if the president wants her to do something not in her view fair, right and just it's frankly her obligation to say no, and again, that's what occurred last night.
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>> tim, i got more news that's crossed. more action against president trump's immigration policy. the new york attorney general here is now joining this lawsuit against this executive order calling it unconstitutional. this travel ban, calling it unlawful and fundamentally unamerican. attorney general eric schneiderman says he will press the department of security to provide a list still detained and allow them access to legal service providers. do all these lawsuits have leg s s? >> i think they absolutely have legs. part of the problem is this was issued so hastily without a reasonable analysis that it's unclear what the target is, but yes, we've already seen again several federal judges issue at least a temporary pause in the enforcement in the order and one of the findings was is there a likelihood of success when the
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cases are litigated so i'm not surprise today here about attorney general schneiderman and other officials, i think there will be a number of plaintiff's coming forward and ultimately will be a decision for federal judges maybe even the supreme court to make. >> thank you. >> my pleasure, brooke. thanks for having me. >> trump's pick for secretary of education, betsy devoss is facing questions. >> and has donald trump changed the perception of the united states just in his first several days in office? we'll discuss that here.
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thank you everybody for being here. we appreciate it. today i'm convening this meeting to follow through on my promise to secure crucial infrastructure and the networks that we've been talking about over the period of
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time and the federal government against cyber threats. i will hold my cabinet secretaries and agency heads accountable, totally accountable for the cybersecurity of their organization of which we probably don't have as much certainly not as much as we should have. we must defend and protect federal networks and data. we operate these networks on behalf of the american people and they are very important and very sacred. we will empower these agencies to modernize their i.t. systems for better security and other reasons. we will protect our create call infrastructure such as power plants and electrical grids, the grids are a problem but will have it fixed soon. the private sector is away ahead of government in this case to
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make sure that they have the support they need from the federal government to defend against cyber threats. now, i think a pretty good champ example of this was despite spending hundreds and hundreds more millions of dollars of money than we did the democratic national committee was hacked successfully, very successfully and terribly frankly and the republican committee was not hacked meaning it was hacked but they failed. it was reported i believe by reince and other people that it was hacked but we had a very strong defense system against hacking, so despite spending a lot less money than the democrats -- winning, we don't say that, we spend less money, that's good thing, right when you can spend less and win, but
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we were also very successful in our win against hacking. we are going to make sure that cybersecurity is central to both our military and ships, planes and tanks built by great americans for our great american military and our military will become stronger and stronger as we go along. i just met with general mattis and he's doing a great job. we're really happy with him and everybody. you probably saw general kelly, he was spectacular today on his press conference and we appreciate everything he said. with that, i want to introduce rudy giuliani, and he's going to be working with jared kushner and tom boss sisicbosssick, andn expert on cybersecurity and maybe i'll ask rudy to say a few words. >> thank you very much mr.
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president and conphotogragratul what a historic administration, i've never seen so much done, i was part of the reagan administration and i remember how fast they got off to a start and you're about three times ahead of them. i don't remember the roosevelt, i think you may be ahead of them and doing it without a cabinet. >> it would help if the democrats would move on that. >> so congratulations and what you have been doing is keeping your promises, one of your prop promises was to shore up our country, because one of the dangers we face is cybersecurity and a large part is made up of the private sector and the private sector is wide open to hacking and sometimes by hacking the prooit sector you can get
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into government -- private sector, you were wise enough we should have a council to bring in the private sector, they can explain to you the problems they have, can explain to the administration the solutions they have, which in some cases may be better than the government's and in some cases may not be as good a it is governments plus we can search around the world including countries like israel and places where they're doing a lot of the advanced cybersecurity analysis, we can look for long term solutions. so here you're addressing not only a national security problem but you're addressing the fastest growing form of crime in america, which is cyber theft. it's growing faster than any other crime and finally speaking out on this and holding regular meetings on it you are using the
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pulpit of the presidency to get the private sector to wake up. some has awakened to the fact they have do more about cybersecurity but part hasn't and as president you're in a unique position to get the private sector to realize they have to pitch in and help the government and i'll work very closely with jared and with tom and sebastian gorker, and take our priorities from you, we'll look at the grids, and bring in all the private grid companies and if you want to look at financial institutions, we'll look at financial institutions, you want to look at hospitals we'll look at hospitals but we'll let you set the priorities to have a very close working relationship, and again, congratulations on your presidency. >> thank you very much.
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we're going to go into great detail, have it up and running and doing something very special in many ways, i want to thank senator coats about being here. do you have anything you want to say? >> clearly because of the impact it can have my job if confirmed -- i'm not confirmed yet. >> i have a feeling you will make it. >> i hope so, but to provide every bit of intelligence they can so that the policies can be affected are the right policies to deal with this, i think this is an enormous challenge but one that is a significant threat to our country and something that needs to be -- we have to get after this right away. >> well, i want to thank you for you service and everything you have done even over the last week, your knowledge is amazing and everybody has great respect so thank you very much. we thought he was going to leave
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after many years in the senate and i called him and asked about going longer and we really do appreciate it much and admiral thank you very much. anything else to say about cyber? >> other than as mr. giuliani said i think it's going to be between the private sector and the government, it's the capabilities to bring them both together and that's the sweet spot. >> john kelly just gave a very long news conference and a very, very good one and effective one and while he's warmed up, might as well go for another one minute or two minutes. >> i had a lot of things to say about cyber but i think i'll run at the feet of the wisemen here. >> and really if you think about it a lot to do with what you're doing. well thank you all very much, we're going to have a meeting an get it going. >> how are you going to get them
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through? >> one second. >> general keith alexander is probably the one who knows most about cybersecurity of anyone that i know and he i hope will play a very big role in this. this man is a tremendous resource. >> thank you, general, that's very nice. we'll see you in a little while, we'll be announcing a supreme court justice who i think everybody is going to be very, very impressed with, so we'll see you at about 8:00. >> thank you very much. >> all right. so we just wanded ted to linger that. the president you couldn't see and his good friend former mayor rudy giuliani, there was this roundtable on cybersecurity seated next to jared kushner and
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john kelly, the dhs secretary, but tell us the role that rudy giuliani has on cyber here? >> utility man is the best way to put it, the jack of all trades, we all thought and heard and were told that giuliani would have a much more prompt role being up on capitol hill like others nominees and that didn't work out and so he's been brought on for cybersecurity. and through his firm, he has as a lot of experience, but what's most interesting is you look around the table an see the expertise that's going to be need tod needed to move on anything large like cybersecurity. this isn't much different than the obama administration, they pushed for legislation on capitol hill and you heard one comment, not sure who said it
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who said the sweet spot is the agreement and the willingness to work between the government and the private sector, if rudy giuliani can figure out to bridge that gap, there's no secret how big of an issue this is, we saw it through the campaign but also the private sector brooke. >> he's expected to sign the executive order on cybersecurity. phil mattingly, thank you very much as well. the white house insists it is not a travel ban, although the president used that term himself. my next guest says the ban is poisonous. why? that's next.
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the trump administration now poses a threat to europe. that's according to the head of the european council citing worry declarations from the trump administration, the a lot of the global outrage centering about whether the immigration ban is a threat to religious liberty, something the administration denied moments ago. >> this is not i repeat not a ban of muslims, the mission is to safeguard the american people, our homeland and religious liberty is one of our most fundamental and treasured values. >> joining me now is the author of isis, a history and london school of economics, always a pleasure to have you on and if i
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may just begin you heard general kelly say this is not a ban. we heard sean spicer correcting reports saying this is not a travel ban, not a muslim ban though donald trump has referred to it as a let ban, what is you thought on it? >> i'm shocked that a general kelly would try to spin the president's basic goal. he has made it very clear he wants a muslim ban. giuliani one of the closest advisors made it very clear he told them to find ways to bring about the ban. the ban does not make any sense, the way the ban is perceived all over the world, in the heart of europe and the east, it's a band that basically targets muse
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muslims, it under mines america in the international system. brooke, you don't have to be a specialist on the relationship between the united states and isis or al qaeda to tell president trump that it's ineffective. it will do more damage than good to american security, it's counterproductive because it provides a massive propaganda boost to al qaeda and isis at the end of the day there's basically no security, it's really lose-lose for america and it's a disservice for the american idea to basically respect for other people and other religions not including just muslims but all religions. >> the trump administration and sean spicer reiterating the fact
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that it is not a ban. he said specifically that these seven countries were identified by the obama administration and said we're simply vetting them. to your point about ic isis, ho doing this will add to isis propaganda machine? >> in very simple terms the ban is the greatest recruitment tool not just for isis but also for al qaeda. think of what the ban does? it shifts the debate. what's happening in iraq, syria and libya and other places this is a war with islam, is a war with the muslim group, from being a war with islam to being
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a part of a clash of civilsation, that's exactly what isis and al qaeda have been trying to do the last 20 years, that it's a war between the east and the west, and the greatest power in the world by lumping muslims, over 1 billion persons with islamic -- again he uses the term in a very, very dangerous way, he's playing into the hands of al qaeda and providing motivation and inspiration and unleashing anti-american sentiment throughout the world particularly in the muslim world and this particular ban seen throughout the world as a ban against muslims because why has he chosen these seven countries, brooke, if most of the attacks that have