tv Happening Now FOX News January 31, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PST
>> action-packed hour with juan williams along and are one lucky guy, thank you for being here. we're going to pop up on mine, facebook life, now "happening now" ." >> jon: we begin with a fox news alert on another eventful day in washington as we await the white house news briefing, welcome to the second hour of "happening now," i am jon scott. >> heather: i'm heather childers and for jenna lee. very busy day to say the least as we've been telling you, the briefing is scheduled to start any minute now. second sean spicer will probably field some tough questions about the firing of acting attorney general sally yates over the president's immigration orders. she was of course replaced by federal prosecutor dana boente who will serve until the nominee jeff sessions is confirmed. we are also awaiting the president announcement of a supreme court nominee and the battle likely to come over that. >> jon: chief white house
correspondent john roberts is monitoring all of this and joins us now live. >> good afternoon as we are here in the brady briefing room awaiting sean spicer's arrival, should be in the next few minutes. the relation between the president, democrats on capitol hill has erupted into all-out war over what the white house claims is democrat slow walking the cabinet picks. here's what president trump tweeted this morning. "when will the democrats give us our attorney general and rest of cabinet! they should be ashamed of themselves! no wonder d.c. doesn't work!" this work erupted into full froth last night when the president fired the acting attorney general, one of about 30 holdovers from the obama administration, sally yates after she said she would not instruct her attorneys to defend this new extreme vetting executive order, nor did she even know if it was legal. sean spicer had addressed such talk at yesterday's briefing, almost seemed either prescient or foreshadowing in what he said. listen to what he said about 24 hours ago. >> the president has a very clear vision. he's been clear on it since the
campaign. he's been clear on it since taking office, he's going to put the safety of the country first and implement things that are in the best interest of protecting this country respectively, not reactively, and if someone has a problem with that agenda, then that does call into question whether or not they should continue in that poster or not. >> she did not continue in the post much longer after that. nancy pelosi fired a broadside at the white house yesterday saying "the acting attorney general was fired for upholding the constitution of the united states. what that trump initiation because betrayal is an american with the courage to see that the law and the constitution come first" peer to which president trump tweeted back: "nancy pelosi and fake tears chuck schumer held a rally at the steps of the supreme court and microphone did not work -- a mess -- just like dem party!" a lot of the other news coming out of the white house today, who is going to be the supreme court nominee, many sources are leaning toward neil gorsuch from the tenth district of appeals in colorado but still
a lot a people right now with making a strong case for thomas hardiman from the third district in pennsylvania, saying that when he was confirmed back in 2007, he was confirmed by 18 democratic senators who are still in office, six of those are up for reelection in 2018 and states that president trump won. so a lot of people are saying you can make a case for thomas hardiman if you want an easy confirmation. we should point out that senators clinton, obama came and read all voted for him back in 2007. but they are playing a guessing game and maybe some head fakes as well, so we will see as the day progresses. this be what i know you are checking your watch, the 1:00 p.m. news conference is now 3 minutes and 26 seconds late. have you got the two minute warning yet? >> we will not get the two minute warning until the door opens and someone will walk out to say it is coming up. everybody will file out the last time we got a ten minute morning it was almost a half hour, so no one is really watching their watch at this point.
there is going to be something happening in the oval at 2:00, so we expect he will be off the stage by them which means he will probably be here very soon. >> jon: may be a more brief news briefing than usual if it has to be over at 2:00. thank you very much, john roberts. >> heather: a fee as they are, we will take you there appeared right now, we are hours away from president trump announcing his supreme court pick to replace justice scalia, you heard john roberts talk about that a little bit. it has been narrowed down to two top contenders, the choice is sure to raise some partisan infighting even more in washington, d.c. she and it is life at the supreme court, partisan infighting, no, really? >> i know it is hard to believe. it's interesting because one of the two judges, we believe it is down to neil gorsuch and thomas hardiman, one of them talked about this in an essay he wrote for "national review," judge gorsuch about about the fact that for many people come these confirmation hearings where you are supposed to find out if someone is actually qualified to be a judge has entered into political warfare.
he talked about the fact that in his opinion many on the left are now turning to courts and judges to make decisions about difficult public policy issues instead of relying on their elected officials going out and making your case to the public, the people who go to the ballot in the ballot boxes, voting booth to make these decisions. he is the one everyone thinks is at the top of the list. he has a stellar background and education, columbia, harvard, doctorate from oxford. he is very well respected. interest income he has been here in d.c. on a number of different fronts, as a lawyer in the doj and also his mother was the very first female head of the environmental protection agency under president reagan. the other top contender is judged thomas hardiman. he has a personal connection to president trump because he served on the same bench with president trump's sister on the third circuit, so they know each other, there is a personal connection. he has that blue-collar story that is a bit of an outsider, something we have seen president trump be fond of, throwing a wrench in the system
and doing something a little different. judge hardiman went to notre dame, first-person and his family to graduate from college. helped put himself through school by driving a taxi. what is interesting is looking back over his confirmation hearing from his earlier post on the federal bench back in 2003 when he was testifying about his qualifications come he talked about some of his most memorable and important work he had ever done was pro bono work for people who had come to the country without going through the proper channels. it is interesting to read how he talks about that and how he helped people fight for political asylum and refugee status in light of what has happened this weekend with the president's executive order on that front. we think those of the two top contenders, judge william pryor out of the 11th circuit has always been in the mix. he is believed to be a tougher push on capitol hill, had a very tough time getting confirmed to his current seat. the other two, gorsuch and hardiman both sailed through the senate without any objectives, and by the way, a number of the democratic senators who are not objecting to the whole process to say they are holding it up, they voted for both of
those judges so they will have to explain that next time around. >> heather: 54-41, 49, all very late young. i know you are the resident expert he will be here tonight when the information unfolds peer thank you very much. >> jon: seven hours away. senate democrats on the finance committee making a bold move on capitol hill, forcing the postponement of votes to approve the president's nominees for health and human services secretary. that is congressman tom price, and for treasury secretary, steven mnuchin. even before all of this, president trump took to twitter, writing: "the democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. they have nothing going but to obstruct. is he right about that? lets ask, democratic pollster in strategist and senior director of research at a web site, also with us is charlie, fox news contributor and columnist at the washington times. jessica, you first. does the president have a point?
are democrats slow walking his nominees just to obstruct the process? >> oh, yeah, totally. we don't have the numbers actually to stop these confirmations, so we are slow walking the process because we want to ask more questions. i know chuck schumer has made it clear he wants to know with each and every nominee, where they fall on the travel ban, muslim man or whatever we are calling it at this point. he wants to at that done, and they have a series of questions that they do not feel have been satisfactorily answered at this point, and they are going to keep a slow walking it. i think they believe strongly that they have a right to do this especially after the actions this weekend and considering, i know we will find out tonight who donald trump is nominating for the supreme court but after what happened with merrick garland, where the republicans refused to even meet with the guy. i think they feel like they are in the right here, but absolutely, one tweet i actually agree with for each donald trump. >> jon: >> correct remembering,, when there was a supreme court vacancy late in the bush
administration, the democrats ae incoming president who they presumed it would be a democrat should make that appointment. >> of course, the big difference between the current situation and the situation with merrick garland is with merrick garland, republicans controlled the senate. >> jon: here comes sean spicer, hate to cut you off but the president's spokesman is about to speak, and we want to listen, here we go. >> press secretary spicer: looking forward to promises to be a very historic night for the nation and for this president. the president is very excited to make his announcement of the next associate justice of the supreme court later this evening. according to some polls, and you know we love polls around here, 70% of the voters president's choice for supreme court was an important factor in their choice at the ballot box in november. so more than one in five, it was the most important factor. tonight, he will formally present his nominee to the american people, and i can assure you that this individual
will make those voters in every american very, very proud. this particular choice is one that the president takes very seriously. he knows it will impact the course of our country's jurisprudence for generations to come. as such, he has taken careful steps to ensure this process has both been transparent and inclusive. he has been speaking about the list of individuals that he may nominate since may of this year, and after consulting with several influential groups released a definitive list of 21 in september, his nominee will come from that list purity sought the advice and consent of both republican and democrat senators throughout this process. the president recognizes the gravity of his choice to fill the seat left by justice scalia. one of the most steadfast protectors of our liberty and devotees of our constitution that ever graced the bread ben. whoever is his successor will be a great successor to that legal
mind and legal dedication of justice scalia. it is our intention to start promptly at 8:02, preset will begin at 6:30. the east room will be available for live shots approximately 20 minutes following the announcement and both the briefing room and outside have extended hours to accommodate any other journalistic needs. we will have further guidance on tonight's plans as the day evolves. moving to the news of the day, i know that secretary kelly alongside other dhs officials just recently concluded a briefing on the operational implementation of the president's executive order. i think it is pretty clear from the secretary's press conference at this executive order was enacted with the proper preparation and coordination between the white house and dhs. that implementation will continue and proceed as planned. we also have a few updates on the leadership of some of the most critical government agencies. last night, as you know, the president released sally yates of her duties as acting attorney general and then named danette
boente as the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia to serve as the acting attorney general until democratic senators finally quit their obstruction and confirm the unquestionably qualified senator jeff sessions as our next attorney general. miss yates failed to enforce a legal order approved by the department of justice's office of legal counsel and designed to protect the citizens of the united states. calling for tougher vetting of individuals of travelers from seven nations is not extreme, it is reasonable and necessary to protect our country. around 9:00 p.m. last night, the president signed an affidavit of nomination for mr. boente as one of his first official actions and his new post as acting attorney general connie signed a memorandum receiving sally yates' guidance regarding the president's executive order to ensure it's full of limitation. last night, the president also announced the assistant
secretary of home security and director of ic for thomas homan. he has a long career at ic eight recently serving as the associate director for enforcement and removal operations. having a professional in places like this to serve as the acting director is critical to ensuring the efficient administration of the president's agenda. one other update from yesterday, i hope you saw the statement put out by the joint chiefs of staff where chairman dunford discussed the reorganization of the national security council and stated he fully intends to continue to participate and provide the best military advice to the president and members of the nsc. i hope that statement closes the book on the misleading narrative and this should hopefully be the final time we have to address what was in the national security directive. the family of the president also had a very somber and lengthy conversation with the family of chief petty officer william ryan owens. the president offered his
sincerest condolences to the officer's wife, his father, and their three children. chief owens was on his 12 appointment from what i understand. we could never repay the debt of gratitude that we owe him, the freedom that he fought for and the sacrifice that he made as well as the other members of his unit who were injured in this operation. today in the senate, two of the president's nominees advanced out of the committee. the energy and natural resources committee approved the nominations of both congressman ryan zinke as the next interior secretary emma nomination of warmer texas governor rick. as the neck secretary of energy. elaine chao also gratefully receive the approval of the full senate to become the next second of transportation, i expect further guidance on her official swearing into come very soon. senate democrats have done everything in their power to slow the work of the senate while the president continues to take decisive action. just like he promised -- so it
is unfortunate senate democrats remain so out of touch with the message the american people sent this past november. the people want change, president trump is delivering that change, and the only response for senate democrats so far is to try to stall the core functions of our government. i know that i repeated this every day, but honestly it is getting a bit ridiculous b or the idea that these highly qualified nominees have the votes to be endorsed out of committee and get a full boat are being stalled because democrats are boycotting the committee vote is outrageous. the mere idea they are not even showing up to hearings is truly outrageous. i would like to give a special shout out to the folks at c-span for making sure that all of these embarrassing actions by senate democrats get the wall-to-wall coverage that they deserve. voters are going to remember what senators stood in the way of when president trump trying to install his agency and department heads the next time their name is on a ballot. i don't mean to sound like a broken record, but the numbers don't lie.
16 of president trump's nominees had major department agencies are still waiting to be confirmed. at the same time in 2009, president obama only had seven of these people waiting confirmation, 2001, president bush had all but two. moving on calmly here at the white house this morning, we reiterated the president's intention to continue to enforce the executive order protecting employees from the anti-lgbtq discrimination while working for the federal government or contractors. also this morning, the president had a breakfast and listening session with major pharmaceutical company executives in the roosevelt roo room. johnson & johnson, eli lilly, the former trade group where recommended and represented at the meeting. the chairman of the house of energy and commerce also produce if he did. during the meeting, the president committed their progress in lowering drug prices, but also reiterated his insistence that there is more work to be done. he promised to continue reducing the burdensome regulation that raised the cost of doing business in america. he was pleased to hear the
chairman robert discuss how 1600 american jobs will be added by his company. this administration will continue to prioritize jobs to make it easier for businesses around the country to hire more americans. the president had lunch with mayor rudy giuliani just a short time ago, who serves as the ceo of an international security firm and was tapped by the president to lend his expertise to the administrations cyber efforts. the mayor was asked to initiate this process because of his long and very successful government career in law enforcement and his 15 years in the private sector security providing solutions for the challenges that we face in the cyber world. during the transition, the president and as he intends to host a series of meetings with corporate executives that are facing challenges such as hacking, intrusion, disruption, manipulation, sensitive data, identities and securing information from technological infrastructures. these are the same challenges facing the government that are facing public entities and
businesses in the president believes that solutions to these issues will often come from the private sector. following the lunch with mayor giuliani, the present will host a listening session with cyber security experts and mayor giuliani. no consensus or advice on the recommendation is widely inspected but we do expect a spirited wide range of discussion regarding the growing cyber security threat that our nation is facing. later this afternoon, the present will sign an executive order or potentially sign one that the federal government cyber security efforts and give leaders the tools they need to keep the country safe from cyber attacks. the order desk three main things. it secures the federal networks we operate on behalf of the american people. it will work with industry to protect critical infrastructure and maintain our way of life. it will advance the cause of internet freedom. more information will be available later this afternoon, but the executive order is the first step in the president taking the address of new security challenges in the 21st
century. the vice president today were participated in the republican policy lunch in the senate. he will hold several meetings with members of capitol hill to we get extensive outreach by our legislative affairs team on the president's supreme court choice for tonight the vice president will swear in elaine chao, as i mentioned, we will have further updates, we expect it to be 5:00 in the ceremonial office across the way in the old executive office billing. the secretary is one of them a successful cabinet officials in american history having been the longest tenured second of labor since world war ii and also serving as the deputy secretary of transportation under george h.w. bush's administration. she is the perfect choice to leave the department of transportation into what promises to be a significant period of modernization and improvement. as i already mentioned, last thing on our schedule tonight is the president's announcement of the next associate justice for the supreme court. tomorrow is the kickoff of black history month, in the white house is excited to host a series of events this month in recognition of it. in particular, the u.s. post office will hold a ceremony
tomorrow, slipping the official issuance of the dorothy height forever stamp. dr. hite led the national council of women for four decades and is a true pioneer in the civil rights movement. finally a couple i'm initiate notes, friday the present will depart from this white house to the winter white house where he will spend the weekend and be holding meetings. further guidance on both trips will be coming out throughout the week. i am excited to announce that following up on our announcement expanding the press briefing room to skype seats, we will officially be launching the briefing room tomorrow if you're the inaugural panelist will be natalie from fox eight in cleveland, ohio, lars larson, jeff from publishing in south-central kentucky and kimberly from rhode island. not sure how she snuck in there. i look forward to virtually welcoming them to the briefing room, and with that, some questions. john roberts.
>> reporter: the removal last night of missed yates from her position has raised questions as to how this president will deal with dissent in the ranks currently and in the future. does he see what she said yesterday as a different of opinion, active insubordination, how does he read it and how will he act on similar things in the future? >> press secretary spicer: there is a big difference between listening, sharing ideas and executing lawful orders. it is the right of every american to express their i.d. and opinion, frank lee that is what you have seen the president due today. we are talking about at the 2:00 hour, him sitting down with the cyber experts to get their ideas and opinions on how to protect our critical infrastructure. there is a difference when she as the acting attorney general is not only responsible but required to execute lawful orders and defiantly says no, ask someone who was chosen to lead a department, she was rightfully removed.
that is a position of leadership that is given to somebody who is supposed to execute orders that are handed down to them properly, of which that executive order was 100% done. ironically, it went through their offices, the department of justice office of legal compliance, so the idea that it went through the entire process of which they were part of and that she chooses not to execute it actually is bewildering as well as defiant. >> reporter: just a follow-up, is the president laying down a marker now to all of his cabinet secretaries and other officials to say, if i give you a directive come you do not follow it, you are gone? >> press secretary spicer: i think that comes with the job, right? if you don't believe in the president's agenda, and i think every one of the cabinet members, every one of the appointees understands they serve at the pleasure of the president. we talked about this at length during the transition. this is not about joining the government to execute your ideas or initiatives. the president was very clear
during the campaign whether it was economic security or national security that he has an agenda that he articulated very clearly to the american people. hold on, thank you. and that it is his job to lay that vision out and the people he appoints and nominates and announces as the staff members are cabinet level members or agency heads, their job is to fulfill that. if they don't like it, then they should not take the job. it is the president's agenda we are fulfilling here. >> reporter: as it relates to the executive order today, how will that trump emaciation ensure the digital privacy of all americans if the president looks to strengthen u.s. cybersecurity? >> press secretary spicer: just to be clear on the executive order, one of the things, the reason the present wants mayor giuliani anti-cyber experts to come in is to get their ideas to make sure where we are headed in cybersecurity is fulfilling the intent and ensures our critical infrastructures throughout the government and frankly throughout business to the extent that the government can be helpful are protected and secured.
i just want to caution what we may or may not do today. the president has a pretty good idea where he is going to go, but i think he wants to hear what mayor giuliani and some of these other experts have to say about the steps that we can take in terms of executive action that will help secure further these critical infrastructures. >> reporter: i have a couple of questions. i want to go back to the issue of this travel ban. >> press secretary spicer: first of all, it is not a travel ban. i think you heard secretary kelly, i apologize, just want to make sure i get this straight. secretary kelly or one of the other individuals, i think a million people have now come into the country, that is not a band. what it is is to make sure that the people who are coming in are vetted properly from seven countries that were identified by the obama administration. a ban would mean people cannot get in. we have clearly seen hundreds of thousands of people come into our country from other countries. sorry. go ahead. >> reporter: mind you, i have two questions. with all of this happening, as
you are trying to give specifics about what is happening, what is the concern about the fallout from other countries who are viewing this still in a certain way? have you looked at the fallout and how to counter it and how to work with these other countries that may be allies or maybe not even allies in order to prevent something from happening? >> press secretary spicer: i think one of the things we are doing is trying to make sure people understand what actually happened. i saw a reporting today that secretary kelly was out of the loop, he was on a plane and flying, then it was reported on one of the networks, in major institutions about what happened. secretary kelly comes out to say i was freed at this time, talk on this time, the edits came from my staff. i don't want to spend each of these briefings talking about misinformation, but at the end of the day, a major newspaper and a major network reported today that they were kept out of the loop. the secretary detailed multiple
occasions in which he was briefed on it. his staff made edits to it. i don't know how much more -- i think part of what we are trying to do is make sure that people actually understand what happened, what the process was and what the order actually does because when we use words like "travel ban" that mr. presents what it is. it is seven countries, previously identified by the obama ministry should wear friendly we do not get the information that we need for people coming into this country. because what this is not about is not the people, it is about the information that another country provides us. so we work with other countries and we have systems in place to ensure that when you travel from our country to their country or their country to our country, vice versa, we are sharing information about passengers and citizens going in and out. these seven countries in particular, we don't have the information that is necessarily required to make an accurate determination at the time of entry into our country. we are going to make sure that because that country doesn't have either the systems in place
or in some cases the willingness to provide us the information necessary to ensure that the people that are coming into this country are properly vetted. this is not about refugees. it is about travelers. that is what this is about. part of what we are doing is frankly making sure other countries understand exactly what was in the order, how it applied, what it means to visas and waivers and all of this kind of stuff, but for the most part, you have seen a lot of panic and the people actually stopping and reading the order then saying, that is it? i think that is where we have tried to make sure that people have the facts. we are not just doing outreach, i think we are doing briefings, secretary kelly going out a little while ago with the head of both i.c.e. and cbp to make sure that people understand that the process is working correctly, working very well, that the government is doing what it is supposed to protect its people. that is the number one thing. >> reporter: the president met
with the pharmaceutical companies. when is the meeting scheduled for cumbersome and elijah cummings and president trump after the call that he made? >> press secretary spicer: my understanding is that congressman cummings was invited to the meeting, he had a scheduling conflict and we invited him to set it back up here he was invited to the meeting and informed us he had a scheduling conflict so we're looking to get it back on the books soon. i expect at this point it will be one-on-one. >> reporter: does the president anticipate a difficult confirmation for his nominee, whoever it is? >> press secretary spicer: no, we are proven so far that democrats can try to abstract, but at the end of the day, the will of the american people is going to overcome that. again, what i mentioned at the outside of this is the advice and consent piece of this. he and our team have met with senators from both sides of the aisle to make sure that we understand the qualities that they are looking for in the next associate justice. i think we have done a very, very good job of getting a
nominee in place that will be announced tonight that meets the criteria that they set forth. they may not like their political or philosophical background, but i think the criteria in terms of academic, time on the bench, the expertise and criteria meets the intent of both republicans and democrats. >> reporter: you believe you can get nine democrats to support your nominee? >> press secretary spicer: i do, absolutely. i think at the end of the day, one of the things that has been a time-honored tradition in this country is that we recognize that the confirmation process -- the default is if you are qualified for the position, then you should be confirmed, not the other way around. i think that most democrats realize that at some point that having a court that is not fully operational is not the political fight to have. reporter mike i'm going to ask the obvious follow-up question then. at least one republican
senator has said democrats have removed the filibuster from just about every other appointment aside from the supreme court, and he said several republicans say they would have no hesitation about moving for another nuclear option if democrats attempt a filibuster of any of the possible nominees. is this something the president would support, and has he discussed it with members of the senate? >> press secretary spicer: first and foremost, to get the e senators regardless prayed i would not be surprised if we get more. i will be able to shed more light on this tomorrow. in terms of the background, but we have got an individual who is hopefully going to garner widespread bipartisan support because i think this individual has the qualifications and the experience and the judicial philosophy that should win bipartisan support. that being said, beyond that, i would suggest that senator mcconnell has done a
phenomenal job of moving things along in the senate to the extent the democrats will let him and i will leave any further russians on how the senate operates to him. >> reporter: we know that at 8:02 tonight that that president is going to reveal his selection, can you fill the gap about how often the president may have spoken to this person, whether there were any meetings at the white house, just any of how he got there, and then the last hour or day, who has he leaned on to narrow this down? then a follow-up if you don't mind. >> press secretary spicer: i think i probably will shed a lot more light on this tomorrow. i appreciate the effort to try to head that off. tomorrow i think we will have more of a discussion as to how the president came to this choice. he may touch on a little tonight. i will leave it to him. i appreciate that. >> reporter: the news of the day, prescription drug prices, the president met with
pharmaceutical leaders earlier today. what makes him so confident he can drive down drug prices whereas administrations passed have tried to do the same but have not been able to come how is he going to go about it? >> press secretary spicer: this is the story of his entire administration. he's a successful businessman and topknot negotiation. several people try to get the cost of planes down, the cost of the 35 and air force one, and through a couple conversations, he did it come achieved billions of the cost of both the f35 and significant off the next generation of air force one. i think he has a track record so far just during the transition, but also as a businessman. he knows how to negotiate. i think he's going to sit down with these individuals of the same play he is getting weight he's getting people to understand the agenda and tax climate he wants to institute bringing jobs home. people are making a commitment to have to bring jobs and manufacturing back based on his track record as a businessman and his word. they understand he's going to create a climate that supports
the american worker and the american manufacturing. you look over and over again, the number of companies that want to come back and say we want to be part of this agenda, to grow the economy, create jobs or to help fight on behalf of taxpayers, i think you will continue to see that. he understands the challenges, the bureaucracy that is holding back some of the negotiating, that is allowing these prescription drug prices to drop or get the best deal for the government indicates whether it is medicare or medicaid or that large fires or the va, you've got such purchasing power that is not being utilized to the full extent. >> reporter: thank you. the presidents meeting with mayor giuliani today, what do you think of his claim that the executive order on the seven countries evolved from the muslim ban at the president proposed during the campaign, is that accurate? >> press secretary spicer: i think the president has talked about extreme vetting in the need to keep america safe for a very, very long time. at the same time, he also made very clear this is not a muslim
ban, not a travel ban, it is a vetting system to keep america safe peer that is it, plain and simple. all of the facts and the reading of it clearly show that is what it is. >> reporter: mayor giuliani stressed that too became out of the desire of the muslim ban. >> press secretary spicer: you should ask mayor giuliani, that is his opinion. i'm telling you what the president has said and done is to focus on making sure to keep the country safe and that the executive order that was drafted does just that. it is to ensure that people coming in from seven countries identified by the obama administration that we did not have the proper systems to know who was coming to our country is put in place and a 90 day period was also granted to ensure that we knew how to further address vetting situations in the futur future. >> reporter: just a follow-up again about the strike over the weekend in yemen. confirm that anwar al-awlaki was
killed in the strike and if you can address the killing of american citizens in this same operation. >> press secretary spicer: i'm not going to go any further than what the department of defense has released. obviously, we recovered a tremendous amount of information, and we killed an estimated 14 members of al-qaeda individuals. then we suffered the loss of life of a service member and four people injured peer that is as far as i'm willing to go at this time. >> reporter: you are saying it is not a band, based on president trump's tweet yesterday: "if the ban were announced with a one week notice, the "bad" would rush into our country during that week." >> press secretary spicer: that is just the where the media is using. >> reporter: those are his words. >> press secretary spicer: it cannot be a ban if you're letting 1 million people in, 325,000 people from another country get end, it is by nature not a band, extreme vetting. >> reporter: but he himself
used the word, are you confused? >> press secretary spicer: no, i think the words being used is described are derived from what the media is calling appeared he's been very clear it is extreme vetting. >> reporter: paul ryan said today, i think it is forgettable that there was some confusion on the rollout of this. the house speaker saying that. what do you say to republicans who argue that this is part of a broader issue of the president not enacting his policies through them? >> press secretary spicer: first of all, i think we have addressed that. we could have either telegraphed this days in advance in which people could have gotten out of planes and come over here which would have undermined the exact nature of what this sought to prevent, or we could have done it in a way that inconvenience some folks for a little while -- can i answer the question? there is clearly some confusion, but i think part of it is your network was one of the people that just hours ago told people that general kelly was unaware of what is going on, then moments later, he gets on air to say this is how many times i was briefed. with all due respect, i think
you have been part of the confusion. you have helped cause this despite claims that you have sources that say that by general kelly stands up to say this is how many times i've been briefed and how many times i was involved -- >> reporter: there was a "new york times" report that was cited. >> press secretary spicer: so your reporting is based on "the new york times" a false reporting peer at how can it be accurate reporting -- the secretary of homeland security just stood up, so you are calling him a liar? you said that the report in "the new york times" said that he was unaware of the ban. answer the question. reporter mike let me question. you are at the podium and reiterating the stuff you said yesterday about anyone who does not agree in terms of the current bureaucracy should hit the road, i am paraphrasing. we had a statement that president trump made where he
accused the acting attorney general of betraying her own department by expressing a counter opinion. don't you think that kind of language has a chilling effect on the public safety? >> press secretary spicer: i think there is a big difference but think of the process at work here. the department of justice's office of legal compliance provided the executive order, send it back to us to say it was completely compliant. the acting attorney general goes out to say i am not going to enforce it? you tell me how that jibes because at the end of the day, if the acting attorney general has an office under her jurisdiction that says something is legal and compliant then she goes out to say i'm not going to enforce it, that does not sound like an attorney general that is upholding the duty that she swore to all hold up hold. at the end of the day, she should step down. at the end of the day, the attorney general either had a problem with her own division approving something, but it was not the president she had a problem with. the president followed the process, it went through the
interagency review, had other departments signed off despite the reporting that said it was otherwise. hold on, guys. david. why don't we just let me answer glenn so we can be polite now. the answer is that we went through the process. the office of legal compliance came back to say this is a compliant executive order, fully legal, and it can be executed. so then for the attorney general to turn around to say i'm not going to uphold the lawful executive order is clearly a dereliction of duty, she should have been removed, and she was. it is odd to me we are having a discussion about somebody whose job it is to execute lawful orders who chose not to do it -- hold on, chose not to do it, that we are questioning whether or not we were right to remove her peer that is the right thing to do. if you look at the folks on the right and left, constitutional policy, we may not agree with some of the policies or the party of the president, but he
was right to do it. he had every right. >> reporter: why would use the word vitriol? >> press secretary spicer: the department's job is to execute. they are the department of justice. if you have a legally executed order, in the attorney general says i'm not going to execute it, that is clearly a betrayal of what she -- i'm not going to define the word. >> reporter: then your near times report said the secretary did not receive a full briefing until the executive order was being signed. so my question is, it do we expect that secretaries, agency heads and future executive orders or changes of policy may not receive full briefings? >> press secretary spicer: the secretary was briefed on multiple occasions with the language of the order. i don't know how you can say it any other way. >> reporter: but not a full briefing which is what "the new york times" reported. >> press secretary spicer: i'm telling you that i do not believe that "the new york times" reporting is accurate. i'm telling you the secretary on multiple occasions was briefed.
his senior officials were briefed, not just brief, they were part of the drafting process. not only that, just back up here they get consulted and briefed, it goes through the office of legal compliance then get shipped out to the nsc and homeland security council. at this point, it went through a very thorough staffing process, so the idea of whether he got fully briefed -- he got briefed multiple times, saw the language from his staff made edits and it came back multiple times. i'm not sure how much more briefing you can do. >> reporter: from australian broadcaster, thank you for taking my question. the australian government made a deal with the obama admin attrition whereby the u.n. would take refugees from detention centers. most of these people are from iran but also some are from iraq and somalia among other places. can you confirm that the deal is still on, are those refugees exempt from what you described as the extreme vetting, or will that deal change or be delayed? >> press secretary spicer: the deal it specifically deals with
1250 people that are mostly in papua new guinea being held. those people are part of the deal is that they have to be vetted in the same manner that we are doing now. there will be extreme vetting applied to all of them. that is part and parcel of the deal that was made. it was made by the obama administration with the full backing of the united states government. the president in accordance with the ideal to honor what had been agreed upon by the united states government, ensuring that the vetting will take place in the same manner that we are doing it now, it will go forward. >> reporter: looking at the bigger picture, the president said he was going to gather us altogether, bring us together, and the actions taken in the first ten days seem to indicate otherwise from people in his own party. the use of the word "bird trail because what, how is this president going to address the fact that people are looking to him to bring people together, but with his own words seems to be driving us apart? >> press secretary spicer: that is a very one-sided way of
looking at it. i think he has brought unions together, business leaders, republicans, democrats, independents. someone who does not carry out an act and using that as a way to describe him not bringing the country together is not exactly representational. hold on. the president has done a tremendous amount for both what he has said and done more portly to start to bring the country together, in his policies frankly are focused on keeping every american slave and getting every american a higher-paying and better paying job. i think that assuming that benefits all of us. report my can we get back to this? on trade, now that notices have been given to the tpp countries, are you considering any changes in the rules of your three official trade negotiators and what area of the globe are you going to start first on negotiation? >> press secretary spicer: there is no change in their
roles, -- he has to be confirmed first, but the u.s. trade representative is clearly the leader of negotiating trade deals, wilbur ross, peter navarro, jason have gray, and readily reposed and brilliant team that continue to work on behalf of deals and renegotiating, but it is a two-step process for your number one, we are going to read re-examine all of our current trade deals to see if we can do things with them but we will start talking to other countries around the globe including some of those tpp partners. of the 11 other countries, five of them we have current trade deals with, so you would examine those to see if we can improve upon them. then look at the other countries in there to see if there is a willingness to engage with some of the other countries. >> reporter: the president has previously indicated he would encourage the targeting of families of terrorist suspects. is that still his current position? >> press secretary spicer: when did he say that? >> reporter: on fox.
he said for terrorist come you have to take out their families. >> press secretary spicer: he has been very clear that when it comes to seeking out prices and other terrorists, he is going to lean on dr. mike pompeo and general mattis. >> reporter: said the families of terror suspects and their families? >> press secretary spicer: next question. >> reporter: you have indicated there will be further action, what does this look like, there are five detainees that have been cleared for transfer that are sitting at guantanamo, will this admeasure should take action in the next coming months? >> press secretary spicer: all of those actions are currently being reviewed. we don't have anything further at this time. >> reporter: thank you for taking the question. the obama administration's environmental signing of the clean power plan, does the president planned to revoke the clean power plant and as he
planned to go further to revoke endangerment finding? >> press secretary spicer: the president has made very clear with respect to environment policy that he wants to review all of the options that we have to use our natural resources to better the country in terms of wind power, solar, clean coal. we are currently in the process of reviewing all their energy policy. i go back to note we do not have eight energy secretary confirm right now because the senate has not yet moved forward. i hope that once that is done, we'll have updates on that. >> reporter: sally yates was obviously an obama appointee holding over for the transition, how many more of their are there through the government at this time for the transition and confirmation process as it plays out, do you expect any more problems from any of these other ones? >> press secretary spicer: in some cases, we have held individuals over because they hold a critical position within government. in some cases we have named folks as acting. it's case-by-case. again, i think part of it right
now is the president wants to focus on getting his cabinet up and complete. we will continue to make nominations both at the deputy and under an assistant secretary level, but in key agencies like i.c.e. where there is an assistant secretary, there are 30 other agencies where there will be acting heads to make sure that in the transition process we have someone in that position to ensure continuity of government. >> reporter: yesterday you said 109 individuals were held by this extreme vetting, dhs officials said it was over 1100. >> press secretary spicer: just to be clear, what they are talking about is the number of people who were not allowed to board a plane coming in. they were stopped at their port of entry. we had to get additional clearance and then take off. there is a big difference be the numbers we are talking about where the initial group of people that were in transit at the time the executive order was signed. then there is a numbered group of people and the department of homeland security that they have
the numbers up-to-date on their web site where they are talking about people that are stopped at the port of entry to ensure that they are properly vetted before they board a plane. there is a very, very delicate distinction between people who were on the plane coming into this country when the executive order was signed, all of whom have been vetted and cleared, and the people who have been stopped at a port of entry and one of the senate ran countries to make sure the proper vetting took place. before they were able to move on. >> reporter: there was the question about civilians being targeted by the administration anti-terror rates, and the question was about anwar al-awlaki's daughter p let me ask as the president willing to kill and target american citizens even miners just famile terrorists? >> press secretary spicer: no american citizen will ever be targeted. report back one more follow-up. if you are qualified for the position come you said earlier, if you are qualified for the position, you should get confirmed. that is not how merrick garland was treated in this previous
administration. >> press secretary spicer: there has never been a situation where you had a fourth term, some of that late in the election cycle, the has never occurred before. i think the senate republicans were very clear that we should wait and let the voters have a choice and that is exactly what happened. as i noted at the beginning of this, 70% of people thought that the president's choice for the next supreme court was a major decision. that was something he campaigned on. i think when you are that late in your term, it had never happened before. the goal was to make sure that the voters had a say in allowing that to happen. clearly it works. the voters looked at that as a major reason for which they voted for the president. i think as we move forward, that is why we are going to get the support we need. >> reporter: if the president does get his pick on the bench, what are any specific cases that the administration hopes the court takes up in the near future? >> press secretary spicer: there are a lot of cases i think in the queue right now but have the potential. the idea is to get this
individual confirmed as soon as possible just to get the docket moving. that is probably the biggest priority right now. thank you guys very much appeared to have a great day. i will see you tonight here good luck. 8:00. report back very strict ban on saturday -- just be sick we were told that sean spicer has to be in the oval office at 2:00 p.m. eastern time, that is 10 minutes from now. that is why he is leaving the podium, fairly combative news conference there as he defended what he calls the extreme vetting process that has been described as a travel ban, temporary travel ban, some call it a muslim ban, but that is some he took pains to say specifically is what it is not. we were talking about some of this with our guests before the news briefing began, charlie is still with us, he is a fox news contributor and a columnist at "the washington times." just give us your assessment of that sparring between the white house press secretary and
the press corps there in the west wing. >> i would say two things. i don't ever remember in all my years covering the white house and covering politics a white house briefing that has been this entertaining, this much jousting back and forth between. honestly, i feel like there is a lot of genuine debate going on between the press and the press secretary, which i think is a very good thing for voters. the second thing that i think, not that we had many doubts about this, but it is absolutely clear that president trump intends to continue his campaign and pressed his agenda through the media in a very public way until he gets done what he wants to get done. we were talking earlier about the difference between merrick garland being held up by democrats, i mean republicans in the senate under president obama and then the threat from democrats and the senate holding up president trump's judicial nominee to the supreme court. the big difference here is that
with merrick garland, republicans controlled the senate. the american people had given them control in congress to vet and to approve the president's judicial nominee. bob 8 voters have not given democrats the same authority ovr president trump's nominee. there is a vast, vast difference between the two cases. >> jon: at this point in the obama administration, ten cabinet nominees had been confirmed. president trump has three. charlie heard, thank you very much. >> heather: i think you described it as a fairly contentious, a little bit of sparring going on. let's bring in that bengal, former chief of staff or customs and border protection, he assisted in the president trump transition at the department of homeland security, thank you so much for joining us. no doubt you were listening to what sean spicer had to stay there. what are your thoughts? >> it certainly was a contentious press conference,
but i think he handled it well. i think it was important not only his press conference but the one immediately before by the department of homeland security. >> heather: with secretary kelley. >> secretary kelly and some of the department leadership that laid out some of the facts about what the actual executive order did and its effects. >> heather: who knew what when, and we also will have sean spicer referencing that as well, listen to this than i will get you to comment. >> press secretary spicer: it is not a band, what it is is to make sure the people who are coming in are vetted properly from seven countries that were identified by the obama administration. a ban would make people cannot get in. we have clearly seen hundreds of thousands of people come into our country. >> heather: then to just jump off of what secretary kelly added to that, he says this is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system. so what is wrong with that? >> i don't think anything is
wrong with it. the policy of determination, it is the right of the president to make. it really has been portrayed by people who want to characterize it a certain way as a muslim ba ban. there are 50 majority muslim countries in the world. most of which are unaffected by this ban. we are talking about seven of those countries, and not even the most populous muslim countries. people need to get the facts straight, and then they can talk about their oppositions to the policy, but let's make sure we are talking about the same reality. >> heather: so what difference will this make in terms of this administration and at the extreme vetting that was undertaken by the obama administration? >> i think both press conferences spoke about a new level of vetting in terms of making sure that for these countries we have the right procedures in place.
it is a particularly difficult to vet people from countries where you either have a lack of effective governance over the territory, as we see in yemen or somalia or sudan, or where you have a government which is perhaps actively hostile to u.s. interests like iran. so those countries deserve extra scrutiny because the concern is that we are not getting reliable information from those countries about travelers, their travel history, and their identity. those are fundamental thanks. >> heather: i only have time for one more question. i did want to ask about the way in which this was rolled out, and sean spicer seemed satisfied they have answered that. you heard secretary kelly say he was aware of what was going to be in this. the timing is still in question. what is your response to that? >> it is week one.
things are not perhaps working as smoothly as they will be. despite what i heard in the press conferences, i know from talking to people in the agencies that there could have been more advanced information so that they could fulfill their law enforcement responsibilitie responsibilities. while an interagency process was used, it was not really the full process that i hope we will see in the future. the white house can learn from this. you own the agencies, you own the interagency process, you should use it because it will keep you out of trouble, and it will perhaps keep the federal courts out of the middle of your executive order. i hope we will see better. >> heather: thank you so much for joining us. very busy day and more to come, thank you. >> jon: perhaps not busy enough for president trump. he did get one cabinet nominees confirmed today, that would be elaine child, to be secretary of transportation. tomorrow, we understand the senate will vote on the nomination of attorney general
>> good to have you here. america's election headquarters starts right now. >> a fox news alert with a big announcement tonight from president trump possibly the biggest of his young administration. hello everyone. i'm sandra smith. the president due to announce at 8 p.m. eastern time tonight his choice for a supreme court nominee to replace the late justice scalia. that's after a news conference earlier today by john kelly, secretary of homeland security, where he reinforced his support of the president's temporary restrictions on refugees and immigrants. and insisted that no member of his team has ignored a court order. chief white house correspondent john roberts