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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  February 1, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

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hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster. >> and i'm rosemary church at the cnn center in atlanta. well, it had all the drama of "celebrity apprentice." narrowed down to two finalists. and after days of teasing the announcement donald trump finally announced his pick for the u.s. supreme court. judge neil gorsuch is a conservative jurist who could tip the balance of the high court significantly to the right. democrats already lining up in opposition. but president trump says his nominee's qualifications are beyond dispute.
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>> millions of voters said this was the single most important issue to them when they voted for me for president. i am a man of my word. i will do as i say. something that the american people have been asking for from washington for a very, very long time. >> judge gorsuch will soon face confirmation hearings in the u.s. senate. cnn's pamela brown has more on his record. >> reporter: judge neil gorsuch sits on the 10th circuit court of appeals and his judicial philosophy aligns with the conservative icon he could replace, justice antonin scalia, and he believes as scalia did in the literal interpretation of the constitution. >> the world suffered a seismic shock with the loss of justice scalia. >> reporter: they were good friends, seen recently fishing together. just weeks after scalia's sudden death last february gorsuch spoke about getting the news while skiing.
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>> i immediately lost what breath i had left and i'm not embarrassed to admit that i couldn't see the rest of the way down the mountain for the tears. >> reporter: judge gorsuch's legal opinions on religious liberty attracted the attention of those helping trump make his pick. in the hobby lobby case he sided with the corporations who claim the so-called contraceptive mandate in obamacare violated their religious beliefs. he also wrote an opinion in a separation of powers case holding that too much deference was given by the courts to administrative agencies. and he penned a book arguing against assisted suicide and euthanasia. he writes, "the idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong." gorsuch was picked above thomas hardiman, who cnn caught up with at a gas station on his way to d.c. when it was still uncertain who would get the nod. at 49 years old gorsuch is among the youngest of recent high court nominees. his conservative vote could
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remain on the court for a generation and become one of trump's most lasting legacies. >> if he serves for 30 or 35 years he could certainly have an enormous impact on the law of the land, especially if president trump gets another glooifrnlgsz a confirmation or two ndur his sxlns like neil gorsuch as opposed to anthony kennedy zbloufrps a veteran of d.c. diernlthz when president reagan chose his mother to be the first woman to head the environmental protection agency. he clerked for two supreme court justices -- byron white and anthony kennedy, and went on to become a partner at a prestigious d.c. law firm. then a senior official at the department of justice. while he sailed through his senate confirmation in 2006 when president george w. bush nominated him fought federal bench, senate democrats have been vowing payback for republicans' refusal to even grant a hearing for president obama's pick for scalia's seat, judge merit garland. >> we will do our best to keep
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the seat open. yes, we'll fight it tooth and nail. as long as we have to. >> reporter: with three justices in their 70s and 80s, judge gorsuch may not be president trump's last supreme court nominee. and we're learning more about the cloak and dagger details of bringing neil gorsuch from colorado to washington. sources say that he was able to evade the press and leave in a back road behind his gated community and take a military aircraft to washington. it is clear that the white house wanted to take extraordinary measures to keep the top pick under wraps until of course that primetime announcement tuesday night. pamela brown, cnn, washington. and democrats are already drawing their battle lines on president's supreme court pick. listen to what house minority leader nancy pelosi said about gorsuch during a cnn town hall. >> it's a very hostile appointment. hail fellow, well met, lovely
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family i'm sure. but as far as your family is concerned and all the -- if you breathe air drinks water, eat food, take medicine or in any other way interact with the courts this is a very bad decision. well youns the mainstream of american legal thought. not committed to supreme court precedents. >> joining us now to discuss all of this, cnn political commentator symone sanders and jeffrey lord. also with us cnn legal analyst laura coats. thanks to all of you for being with us. >> thank you. >> laura, let's start with you. i want to get to your reaction to president trump's supreme court nominee, neil gorsuch. given his firm conservative values and how he might decide on issues as o'borgs, voting rights, and religious equality. >> well, unsurprisingly he's chosen someone who has ideologically very similar views to the person's shoes he's filling, judge antonin scalia,
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and there's no surprise to the world that scalia had very conservative viewpoints with respect to those issues. the one thing that's really key here is trump campaigned on the promise of trying to reverse roe v. wade, which essentially made abortion rights nationwide legal. but in this case by just simply filling the shoes of a conservative equal you haven't really tipped the scale in favor of trying to reverse roe v. wade. remember, you've still got justice kennedy, who although he usually goes conservative, has been a swing vote in many key areas including gay marriage as well as abortion rights. i don't think that gorsuch, although he is particularly conservative and is pro life according to his viewpoints, is going to be able to really herald the effort to reverse roe v. wade. >> jeffrey, i want to go to you and get the political side of this because nancy pelosi calls president trump's supreme court pick a very hostile appointment and outside the mainstream. her words there. what do you say to that?
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and what do republicans plan to do to ensure gorsuch gets confirmed if the democrats perhaps mount a filibuster, which is how it's looking? >> yeah, well, first of all i should say just for background purposes when i was in the reagan white house i worked on five supreme court nominations including justice scalia and perhaps most interestingly judge bork and had written a book on the judicial confirmation process with someone that i knew from college who was a bush 43 nominee for the 3rd circuit court of appeals. this is what the fight happens -- this is what happens all of the time. to be perfectly candid, if hillary clinton had won and were nominating a liberal justice you would see this fight in reverse. this has been the case now for decades. and it does stem unfortunately from roe versus wade and other judicial activism. we just saw this past week about half a million people
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demonstrate in the march for life in washington. and this is the 44th year of this. i would suggest that these things would not happen and issues would be solved more readily if we left them up to the american people instead of nine lawyers on the supreme court. that's the problem. so here we are. and i think we're going to go through this again. i think it's entirely possible that with former senate majority leader reid having a -- used the nuclear option as it were to take these votes to a majority vote that senator mcconnell will do the same and that we will get a majority vote for justice gorsuch and judge gorsuch will be confirmed. >> there seems to be a lot of talk about the nuclear option for this. so symone, your reaction to the gorsuch nomination. how do you think democrats should respond to this? >> you know, i think lots of democrats have come out rightfully so saying they want to hear more, they're concerned. some of the things concerning trump's pick for the supreme
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court are troubling. they want to know if he's going to continue to stand with corporations if he is advanced to the supreme court. they want to know specifically about his views on women's rights, specifically reproductive rights. that is going to be a question. and i think it's going to be a long process. look, there are many democrats that are still reeling from the fact that republicans refused, just flat out refused to even give president obama's supreme court nominee merit garland a hearing. and so there will be lots of calls, especially from the grassroots, for folks to just obstruct and just say no to this nominee. i don't think democrats in the senate are -- the majority of democrats are all the way there yet but definitely you will see cries from the grassroots. it's already happening right now. a hashtag is trending on twitter as we speak or about to trend, hashtag no to neil. >> right. and laura, the supreme court has been without a ninth justice for close to a year now. how has that impacted the court so far? >> oh, it has been a complete
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tragedy. i hate to be very hyperbohlic here but you've had ideological warfare. essentially up till now you've been able to debate the different issues but now you had the issue of four on four, which means that if the supreme court does not have a majority opinion by having that fifth person weigh in on either side, it does not have a precedential impact on future decisions. in the united states of course we are a common law jurisdiction-based society, which means that the precedent is very, very important in guiding future courts. so when you do not have the opportunity to have a very fruitful ideological debate between the justices and you know you that only have four against four in many of these very key issues what you've had is a standstill on issues that are very important. >> some senate democrats were vowing to filibuster the president's pick even before he announced it. they cite the republican refusal to even consider barack obama's supreme court pick, as you said
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last year, merit garland. but here's what senator cruz had to say about that. let's listen. >> what republicans said when that vacancy occurred before any nomination is made is we're going to allow the american people to decide, we've got a presidential election coming. this election was in a very real sense a referendum, a referendum for the american people. and we the people spoke. >> so symone, does senator cruz have a point there? >> yes. the people, actually 3 million people, 3 million more people voted for hill clinton than voted for donald trump. so look, the republicans don't have a mandate here. donald trump does not have a mandate for his policies. and i think senator cruz with all due respect is wrong on this. this supreme court nominee is going to go through what i think is going to be a very contentious hearing. democrats are not going to push this along quickly because they do have real questions and the american people, namely, again, 3 million more people voted for hillary clinton than donald trump. they did make their voices
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heard. and they care about these policies. >> if i -- >> your response? >> i know my friend symone is going to be totally shocked that i disagree with her. but this is exactly the problem. the constitution says the electoral college elects the president. and as expressed through the voices -- the votes of the american people through their states. donald trump won that decisively. 306 to i think it was 232, something of that nature. he won in a landslide. that's the way -- the system is not decide on the popular vote. and that's the problem, is that we have judges and folks like my friend symone who want to just sort of change all this to suit their means when this is what the constitution says. that's what this whole fight is really about no what thor what the issue is. >> unfortunately, we're going to have to leave it there. i know we could continue this for a very long time. but symone sanders, jeffrey lord, and laura coates, thank you, all three of you, for joining us for this.
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appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and you can find out more about president trump's supreme court nominee and read his story about fly fishing with the late justice antonin scalia just ahead. or just head to cnn.com. meanwhile, the president's executive order restricting travel into the u.s. is triggering protests around the world and a flurry of lawsuits. jeff zeleny reports that the white house isn't backing down but it is insisting the ban is not a ban. >> it's been a long time. too long. >> reporter: the white house is still trying to clean up the mess. and clear up confusion across the government. from its executive order on immigration. secretary of homeland security john kelly coming out in hopes of restoring order. >> this is not, i repeat, not a ban on muslims. >> reporter: four days after president trump signed an order closing the nation's borders to refugees and others from seven predominantly muslim countries the controversy threatened to escalate into a washington crisis. the president fired acting
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attorney general sally yates, a holdover from the obama administration, after she stood in defiance of trump's travel ban. the white house said she betrayed the department of justice and swore in a new acting attorney general. as democrats protested the substance of the order, republicans were furious for not being consulted. >> regrettably the rollout was confusing but on a going forward basis i'm confident secretary kel kelly is going to make sure this is done correctly and that we get the program up and running with the kind of vetting standards we all want to see. >> senator kelly, who must implement the action at the department of homeland security, did not directly say how much he knew about the order before it was signed. >> i did know it was under development. i had an opportunity to look at at least two as i recollection drafts as it got closer to friday. >> reporter: but across many agencies the order came as a surprise and chaos ensued in those early hours at airports and on airplanes. white house press secretary sean
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spicer argued the order could not be called a ban. >> it is by nature not a ban. >> reporter: yet a ban is precisely how the president described it on saturday. >> it's working out very nicely. and we're going to have a very, very strict ban and we're going to have extreme vetting which we should have had in this country for many years. >> reporter: pressed whether it was or was not a ban, spicer blasted the media -- >> i think that the words that are being used to describe it derive from what the media is calling this. he has been very clear that it is extreme vetting. >> reporter: on capitol hill the democrats are seizing on the confusion, holding up confirmation of some nominees to the president's cabinet. >> level of incompetence of this administration already, only 10 days into the presidency, is staggering. >> reporter: jeff zeleny, cnn, washington. well, men who risked their lives helping u.s. forces in iraq now find themselves with nowhere to go. we'll introduce you to those who
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are personally affected by president trump's travel ban. and a dire warning from the eu president about donald trump's administration. that's still to come.
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kazir khan is the father of
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an iraqi serviceman who died in the iraq war. a muslim himself he became famous when he criticized donald trump and his campaign promise to institute a ban on muslims coming to the united states. now, khan offered then candidate trump his copy of the constitution, implying that mr. trump hadn't actually read it. now the gold star father is again speaking out about mr. trump's travel ban. >> he is coward. he does not have the courage to say that this is a muslim ban. he has couple of islamophobes, racists in his cabinet surrounding him that sit in the highest table of this nation and they dictate these statements and then they have no courage to admit that yes, this is a muslim ban. >> president trump's travel ban has drawn criticism around the world but iraq, one of the seven countries named in the executive order, says it won't retaliate. prime minister haider al abadi, says he's studying his options
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as our ben wedeman joins us from baghdad to discuss because there's certainly been a backlash in parliament there. >> reporter: yes. and in fact, haider al abadi, the iraqi prime minister, said they won't take action yet. now, what makes it particularly galling for iraqis, this executive order, unlike syria and iran iraq is an ally of the united states in the war on terrorism, in the war on isis. there are more than 5,000 u.s. military personnel in the country and thousands of iraqis have died fighting isis over the last few years. and it's particularly galling, this executive order, for those iraqis who have put their lives on the line for the united states. >> michigan. >> reporter: bags packed, u.s. visas and passports, omar and his family are ready to go. but they're not going anywhere
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following president trump's temporary travel ban, which includes iraq. "it was a strong shock," he says. "we received visas after waiting three years. then this order comes." the iraqi branch of al qaeda planted a bomb in his car in 2009. it blew both his legs off and mangled his left hand. they targeted him because he provided the u.s. marines and iraqi police with intelligence on the terrorists in his hometown of fallujah. "they were planting bombs," he recalls, "aimed at innocent people. the americans. the iraqi army. the police." omar, his wife and four children received visas under a special program for iraqis who worked for or helped the americans. in letters of recommendation
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marine officers praised his sacrifice and unyielding courage. commendable traits which have now left him and his family in danger. "i have no future in iraq, and my children have no future," he said. "if they go back to fallujah, they'll be under threat. people will say your father is ohm s omar and kill them." >> and your kids are still too young to go to school, satellite. >> ben was a translator for the u.s. army. that's the neck-name american soldiers gave him. not his real name. he doesn't want to show his face for fear of retribution from iraqi extremists. for now also out of fear it will jeopardize an american visa application he submitted seven years ago. he has a simple message for president trump. >> he should go and ask the soldiers, is that the right way to do it? is that the right thing, to
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leave somebody behind? no. >> reporter: van received a letter containing a bullet and a threat a few years ago. "stop working with the americans or else." he moved his family three times and keeps a low profile. >> i want to stop looking behind when i walk on the street. that's all i want. >> reporter: he wonders if he'll have to keep looking behind for the rest of his life. and max, if you tune in to iraqi tv, listen to the radio stations, this seems to be one of the main topics of conversation. iraqis are insulted. in fact, the other day i spoke with muafa kribai, who's the former national security adviser to the iraqi government who dealt quite a lot with the united states. he said that this executive order in his words was disgusting like spitting in the face of iraq. max? >> and it's having this reaction
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around the world, isn't, it ben. here in parliament the home secretary talking about this travel ban being a propaganda coup potentially for isis. there's the battle for mosul there involving isis. what's your view on how this plays into isis strategy? >> reporter: well, it fits very well into their basic argument that there's a civilizational struggle between islam and the christian west. and they can point to this as a good example of where it happens. now, obviously, it's a seven-country temporary travel ban. it doesn't cover countries like saudi arabia, pakistan, indonesia, the most populous muslim country on earth. but those are sort of the fine points, the nuances that isis can basically pass over. and point to this executive order as a perfect example of the fact that the west is
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fundamentally biased against the muslim world and therefore isis scores a point. max? >> okay. ben, in baghdad, thank you. all right. israel is planning to evacuate one west bank outpost while approving thousands of new settlement homes. tuesday's approval was the third in under two weeks. palestinians and the eu are critical of the settlements. most countries see them as obstacles to a peace deal between israelis and palestinians. want to turn to oren liebermann in amona with more on this. before we get to the settlement expansion i want you to explain, oren, what is going on behind you there. as we know, an evacuation will take place from there. explain to us the details on this. >> reporter: rosemary, that evacuation looks like it's set to begin here in the next few hours. i'll take you down the hill
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behind me. we are at the entrance to the illegal outpost of amona. there are protesters here behind me. they're trying to block the road. so they started that fire there. as well as putting nails, rocks, and other items on the road to try to block the road from israeli security forces coming up here to evacuate the outpost of amona. but let's move down this road and you'll see where the security forces are positioned now. they have not yet come into amona. but they have blocked the road and the area. they're trying to keep others from getting in, other protesters. there are security forces as you see not only on the road but also in the hills and the fields around amona to try to prevent other protesters from joining those that are already here, the hundreds that are already here. at the bottom of the hill a truck has just arrived with barbed wire as well as moving trucks here to move the 40 family that are on the outpost of amona. this has been delayed for months recently, but more than a decade since when this legal process began. it is finally set. it looks like it will start here in the next few hours although there has been no official word
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on when it will begin. we just know that the security forces, the israeli military and border police have blocked off the outpost of amona before this evacuation. they are preparing for some clashes with the protesters here who are trying to prevent or trying to protest the demolition and the evacuation. that looks like it could happen right here behind us as they block the road here to try to keep the security forces from coming in. >> and oren, as that plays out, we mentioned the thousands of new settlement homes that israel has just approved for construction in the west bank. talk to us about why the netanyahu government is pushing ahead with this rapid expansion at this time. >> reporter: well, the timing there is not coincidental and i think you'll see two reasons. the first is that there will be because of the evacuation of the illegal outpost of amona there will be a backlash from right-wing voters. that's prime minister benjamin netanyahu's voter base. he needs to do something there to appease them. he announced thousands of new settlement homes. but it's also clear based on
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what happened a week ago when he approved 2,500 homes that this is how he'll proceed under president donald trump. he expects far less criticism. so he's moving forward with that. he promised that the 2,500 homes last week was only the first step. he called it a first taste when he was speaking at the knesset. this would be then another taste. 3,000 more homes throughout the settlements. it was the defense minister who said 2,000 of those will go up for sale immediately to start that process and the other 1,000 will be in different stages here. rosemary? >> all right. our oren liebermann there in amona on the west bank where it is about 10:30 in the morning, awaiting that evacuation that will take place. many thanks to you. rosemary, millions here in the uk are very worried president donald trump's state visit will be an embarrassment for the queen. just ahead, the action parliament is taking on that matter. plus, we will look at just how much influence chief strategist steve bannon has in the trump white house. back in a moment.
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welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster in london. >> and i'm rosemary church. thanks for being with us on "cnn newsroom." want to update on the main stories we've been watching this hour. u.s. president donald trump has nominated 49-year-old conservative judge neil gorsuch for the supreme court. if confirmed gorsuch would fill a vacancy left by the death of justice antonin scalia last february. the move could cement the conservative direction of the court for decades. police have charged a 27-year-old university student in the shooting at a canadian mosque. six people were killed.
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alexandre bissonnette faces six counts of first-degree murder and five attempted murder charges. he's described as a lone wolf and is known for his far right views. officials warn that the violence in eastern ukraine is escalating. pro-russian rebels and ukrainian armed forces have been fighting on and off there since the annexation of crimea in early 2014. both sides are blaming one another as the cease-fire violations increase. the president of the european council says u.s. president donald trump is a threat to the union's stability. in a letter to eu leaders donald tusk put the trump administration in the same category as russia, china, and radical islam. >> for the first time in our history in an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-european or euro skeptic at
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best. particularly the change in washington puts the european union in a difficult situation. with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of american foreign policy. >> let's get more on this story. we're joined by cnn global affairs analyst and national security investigations editor for reuters david rohde. always good to see you. >> thank you. >> just how damaging is it to have the european council president put the u.s. into the same group as china, russia, and radical islam? >> well, it's sort of a very unusual thing obviously in terms of international affairs and american-european relations. but i have to be honest, at this early stage of donald trump's presidency, among his base of supporters it's not a problem. he has -- he has very openly supporting sort of protectionism
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in terms of trade, criticizing nato countries he says are not paying enough for their own defense. this will not hurt him domestically in the united states in the short term. the real question is what happens in the long term. europe's a key trading partner for the united states. you know, if tensions rise, if that cuts jobs in the united states, that could hurt trump. >> so who gains if relations between the united states and the eu leaders are weakened going forward, and who's the u.s. going to work with if european leaders truly see trump's skrinadministration as external threat? >> that's the big question. he's been very bellicose with china. he's going to be very aggressive with them on trade. he says he's been very bellicose with mexico. those two countries, china is -- and mexico are the first and third largest trading partners that the united states has.
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europe is, you know, an economic counterweight to china. it's an enormous market for american goods. so trump needs to be very careful. if he manages to alienate european trading partners as well along with china and along with mexico, that really could have a detrimental effect on the american economy. >> and senior republicans say they were told by the secretary of homeland security that the white house is unlikely to change its executive order on the travel ban. so what does that say about the decision-making process inside the white house? >> well, it shows that trump's critical allies, and that's the sort of more mainstream republican leaders in congress are willing to let him carry out this ban and let him continue this rhetoric that's so worrying to european countries for now. i think they're hoping to get lots of their legislative agenda passed, reform with regulations, some kind of reform of obamacare 1/4 they'll sort of go
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along with this rhetoric. but if he gets too extreme, and the real key issue is russia. if he drops the sanctions on russia there's already members of congress led by senator mccain and senator lindsey questioning that role. if, you know, he drops these sanctions and he breaks with europe, he's ending decades of american -- you know, an american alliance with europe. that's exactly what vladimir putin has been trying to achieve for years. so a real break with europe and a real appeasement of putin i think will cause a split in the republican party and major problems for trump. >> david rohde, always good to chat with you. thanks so much. >> thank you. and on europe, london's mayor is one of many here in the uk at least who want president trump's state visit canceled over his travel ban. saadiq khan calls the order cruel and prejudiced. cnn money's europe editor nina dos santos joins me now. he's not the only senior figure calling on theresa may to go back on this invitation.
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>> he's calling on theresa may to go back on the invitation but he's also calling on her to call donald trump out as he says and on this particular travel ban which he calls cruel and counterproductive. and obviously he says that this is largely because it targets muslim majority countries. he feels this very strongly himself because this is the first muslim mayor of london and the most senior muslim politician that we have in the land as well. the uk has the second largest number of muslims across the eu, max. this is why it's important. they're well integrated into british society. about 5% of the population. and sadiq khan says it's important that senior politicians and world leaders the world over speak up for people who will be affected by this ban and speak up against what he calls prejudice. andel rudd the home secretary has also called this move divisive and wrong, the travel ban. that echoes the words boris johnson used earlier on in the week. he's gone so far as to say this travel ban could help i.s.
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because it creates the message of division and that's exactly what terrorism feeds off. >> that's what ben was talking about as well. it's the same debate in iraq, isn't it? in terms of what the public feel, we saw the demonstrations, we've seen this petition calling forts state visit to be called off. rising all the time. but we've also got a poll out today. so are you making sense of how the public does feel about -- >> yeah, the numbers tell very different stories here, max. you'll remember earlier on in the week we saw thousands of people take to the streets in a rather impromptu protest. that came just two weeks after the women's march had tens of thousands of people gathering on the streets of london to protest donald trump's presidency and his political rhetoric. currently, that petition -- we've got two dueling petitions we should mention. there's one petition that says that the government should try and stop this state visit that has been extended by theresa may. that petition has already gathered nearly 1.8 millioning signatures online. but then there's another competing petition that says
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donald trump should come to the uk for this visit and that's also gathered 110,000 signatures. now, to get above the threshold of 100,000 means that the government will actually have to debate this in parliament. we now know that there's a date for that. the 20th of february is when government ministers are set to discuss this. but in the meantime as you point out there's another survey out that shows something completely different. ugov, the polling company, has come out with a survey of british voters and it says that 49% of the people that they surveyed said that they would like to see donald trump's state visit go ahead. 36% said they're against it. but as you can see there in the numbers, there's a large majority -- or minority of people, max, who are undecided as well. >> it's interesting. nina, thank you very much indeed. rosemary, the demonstrations don't necessarily reflect public opinion but then we can't trust the polls we've learned either. so we're trying to make what sense of it we can. >> that is so true. and we're going to take a very short break here, but coming up
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next, steve bannon has the ear of the u.s. president, but there's growing concern over whether the chief strategist might have too much influence in the white house. plus, why president trump's new u.s. ambassador to the united nations is slamming iran just days into her new job.
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welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and of course all around the world. i'm rosemary church. >> i'm max foster in london. we're just getting some news in from germany because police there apparently arresting 19 terror suspects with links to islamic state. part of coordinated raids across the country. that's according to authorities. speaking to cnn. now, it's a pretty big operation in the federal state of hess. that incorporates frankfurt. police say 54 homes, mosques and businesses were targeted in these raids. that comes to us in a statement. we'll bring you more details as they come in to us. >> thanks so much, max. and back in the united states,
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steve bannon is donald trump's chief strategist and top adviser but that hardly begins to describe the tremendous power and influence the former right-wing news executive now has. brian todd reports. >> refugees are welcome here! >> reporter: president trump's hard-line approach on immigration and terror causing protests, disruptions at airports and now a messy fight with the justice department. the controversial moves have senior counselor steven bannon's fingerprints all over them. there's new concern over bannon's massive influence over the president and his aggressive style. >> i think anger's a good thing. i think if you're fighting this country's in a crisis. >> reporter: "the new york times" editorial page says bannon has positioned himself "as the de facto president" and "we've never witnessed a political aide do quite so much damage so quickly to his putative boss's popular standing or pretenses of competence." analysts say bannon's made a huge impact early in the
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administration, getting himself a full seat on the national security council, leveraging the relationship he cultivated as the ceo of mr. trump's presidential campaign. >> bannon has been able to be the most influential trump adviser in the first two weeks of this white house. partly because he's got the president's ear and he operates as this sort of free-floating adviser without the entang entanglements of other aides. >> reporter: the 63-year-old former banker also headed the far right breitbart news website and is known for quotes like "darkness is good" and "dick cheney, darth vader, satan, that's power." bannon now has the president's ear in a white house accused of a travel ban that discriminates against muslims, which the white house denies. bannon himself has made some combative statements about islam. in 2014 -- >> we're now i believe at the beginning stages of a global war against islamic fascism. >> reporter: and in a 2010 radio interview discovered by cnn's k
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file. >> islam is not a religion of peace. islam is a religion of submission. >> reporter: bannon's called breitbart a platform for the alt-right, a far right political movement which often champions white nationalist and anti-semitic views. bannon denies being anti-schmittic and a white nationalist. but he isn't afraid to take on his own party. >> what we need to do is bitch slap the republican party. >> reporter: bannon has loyal defenders. >> steve bannon is a national hero. we're going to see supreme court appointments of individuals who will uphold the constitution, and for that america owes steve bannon a great debt of gratitude. >> and he he understands and fights for the working class americans out there who haven't had their voices heard. >> reporter: kurt bordella quit his job at breitbart and is now critical of bannon. he calls bannon diligent, intelligent and intimidating. >> his governing style is very much that of force. and i think a lot of what you saw in how trump reacted to controversy or criticism is very reflective of steve's style, which is all about confrontation, being a
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provocateur, never backing down, never apologizing, never showing weakness and through sheer force of will bully your agenda through by all means necessary. >> reporter: we asked the white house for a response to that. they did not respond. stephen bannon did not comment for this story. but a white house official when we asked them for a response to the "new york times" editorial which suggested that president trump consider reducing stephen bannon's role, this official said, "if the "new york times" editorial page actually matter why did their candidate of choice lose the most electoral votes of any democratic candidate since michael dukakis"? brian todd, cnn, washington. we'll take a short break here but still to come president trump's new ambassador to the united nationsize lashing out against iran's latest missile test. the details still to come.
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the new u.s. envoy to the united nations is slamming iran for conducting a ballistic missile test on sunday. >> a u.s. defense official says the missile test failed and posed no threat to the u.s. or its allies in the region. but ambassador nikki haley is standing firm, calling the move absolutely unacceptable.
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>> the united states is not naive. we are not going to stand by. you will see us call them out as we said we would. and you are also going to see us act accordingly. we are committed to making sure that they understand this is not anything we will ever accept. we have said with this administration that we are not going to show a blind eye to these things that happen. we're going to act. we're going to be strong. we're going to be loud. and we're going to do whatever it takes to protect the american people and the people across the world. >> so let's find out what iran is saying about all of this. ian lee joins with us that from istanbul in turkey. so ian, how is iran responding to u.s. ambassador haley saying tehran's ballistic missile test is absolutely unacceptable? >> well, rosemary, this all rotates around a 2015 u.n. resolution that says iran cannot test ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying a nuclear
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warhead or test the technology of such ballistic missiles. now, we're hearing from iran's foreign ministry that's saying that this wasn't a missile, this medium-range missile wasn't designed to carry a nuclear warhead and that iran is well within the parameters of that u.n. resolution. also saying that this is just a move by the u.s. government to detract from this current travel ban that is taking up the headlines. so they are hitting back as well. they're also talking about how they're going to respond to that travel ban. so really, iran pushing back from the u.s. government's statements. >> right. and ian, what could this all mean, do you think, for the relationship between the united states and iran and for the nuclear deal iran signed with world powers including the united states back in july 2015, an agreement donald trump has
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called the worst deal ever negotiated? >> reporter: yeah, that was one of the parts of his platform during his run for the presidency, was against this iran nuclear deal. but now since he's in office look for maybe a more measured president trump. we have heard from his defense secretary, who said the u.s. made a commitment to this deal and it should stand by it. also going forward other eu as well as international partners have said the united states must stick by this. iran says they're not going to renegotiate. later this month prime minister benjamin netanyahu will be visiting donald trump in washington. expect them to be talking about this deal. >> ian lee with reaction there from the middle east. many thanks to you. i'm rosemary church at the cnn center. "early start" is next for our viewers here in the united states. >> i'm max foster in london. for our international viewers
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i'll be back after the break with more on those terror raids across germany and the other world news. this is "cnn newsroom."
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♪ first, the pick, now, the politics. new reaction overnight to the president's nominee for the supreme court. republicans rejoice, democrats, ready for battle. despite the criticism, the white house defending it's rollout of the travel ban. but the white house isn't even committed to the idea that the travel ban is a ban. oh, the controversy. good morning, welcome to

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