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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  January 31, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PST

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state madeleine albright. the president firing the acting attorney general when she refuses to carry out his immigration order. and supreme pick, hours from now donald trump announcing his choice for the supreme court likely setting off an epic bat well senate democrats. good day everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington, awaiting general john kelly's first press conference as secretary of homeland security. the cloud of controversy regarding the travel ban and reports of top cabinet secretaries being kept out of the loop will be front and center. joining me is peter alexander at the white house, nbc justice correspondent pete williams in our newsroom. peter, we have a situation steve bannon and steve miller, the two top white house aides along with other top officials in the white
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house excluding these cabinet secretaries as well as the state department which is now without a leader, of course, rex tillerson not yet confirmed, what do we know about how they're trying to fix this situation and their close connection with the attorney general senator sessions who is up for conffirmation and apparently working behind the scenes on all of this. >> reporter: what's notable here, house judiciary aides, not the actual bosses, not the members of congress in the house judiciary committee but their aides were a party to this effort to try to draft the executive order that was announced that's now controversial not only because of the poll at this policy itself but the way it was communicated, jaime meatis, john kelly and rex tillerson had no yld this was coming, had no details, only the wide concept until it was announced. >> we see him walking up to the podium. quickly pete williams the firing
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of the acting attorney general. pete -- i'm going to interrupt you for a moment. >> -- immigration laws and keep our citizens safe by keeping foreign terrorists out of our country. i'd like to clarify that the most recent executive order does, what it does and does not mean. this is not a travel ban. this is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system. over the next 30 days we will analyze and assess the strengths and the weaknesses of our current immigration system which is the most generous in the world. we will then provide our foreign partners with 60 days to cooperate with our national security requirements. this way we can ensure the system is doing what it is designed to do, which is protect the american people. this analysis is long overdue and strongly supported by the department's career intelligence officials. acting undersecretary for dhs
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intelligence analysis david glaw will speak to that in detail more shortly. furthermore this is not, i repeat not a ban on muslims. the mission is to safeguard the american people, our homeland, our values and religious liberty is one of our most fundamental and treasured values. it is important to understand that there are terrorists and other bad actors who are seeking to infiltrate our homeland every single day. the seven countries named in the executive order are skdesignate by congress and the obama administration as requiring additional security when making decisions about who comes into our homeland. as my predecessor secretary johnson liked to say it's easier to play defense on the 50 yard line than 1 yard line. preventing terrorists from entering our country we can stop terrorist atakts on the
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homeland. i will not gamble with american lives. these orders are a matter of national security. it is my sworn responsibility as the secretary of homeland security to protect and defend the american people and i have directed departmental leadership to implement the president's executive orders professionally, germanely and accordance to law. cvp began taking steps that's customs and border protection, immediately began taking steps to be in compliance. we are and will remain in compliance with judicial orders. we have also been working with our partners at the departments of defense, justice and state. we are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the eos including those affected by the court orders are being provided all rights afforded under our laws. we are and will continue to enforce president trump's executive orders humanely and with professionalism. our job is to protect the
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homeland, these executive help do that. i'm happy to have my colleagues answer any questions, clarify any positions that may be confusing, and we have with us today acting commissioner of cvp, acting commissioner of i.c.e. and my intelligence or the department's intelligence chief. so with that. >> good afternoon, kevin mc mc mcelwane, customs an border protection. >> as we heard former general kelly speaking out for the first time as homeland security secretary. there is reporting that he was general kelly was on the plane from miami back to the d.c. area being briefed about this executive order when they looked up at the tv and saw the president was signing it. so there was no prior
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consultation of any meaningful sort. pete williams you cover homeland and justice and it's been pretty tumultuous. he is clearly falling on the line -- let's listen in as the head of i.c.e. is speaking. >> -- we had calls with stakeholders, air carriers and airports starting a few hours after receiving the order so they would understand how to operate. we also overnight on friday and saturday worked through a process to be able to wave travelers that were in transit, or had sensitive cases that should be considered for a waiver in the national interest as the executive order calls for. to put this in context in the first 72 hours of the order, 1 million travelers came through our borders via air. out of those travelers, 500,000 of them were foreign nationals. the people affected by this order we denied boarding to 721 travelers that had visas from the affected countries, but we actually processed for waivers
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1,060 lawful permanent residents of the united states as well as an additional 75 waivers granted to immigrant visa and nonimmigrant visa holders. to make sure everyone understands how the process is working today, lawful permanent residents and special immigrant visa holders are allowed to board their flights foreign and will be proelse issed for a waiver upon arrival. again we've done that over 1,000 times so far in this three days of implementation. secondly, immigrant visa holders and nonimmigrant visa holders that are covered will be denied boarding before they board their aircraft and referred to the department of state for further process. another question that has come up whether dual nationals are treated differently. travelers will be assessed at our border based on the passport they present, not any dual national status, so if you're a citizen of the united kingdom you present your united kingdom passport and the executive order does not apply to you upon
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arrival. i want to talk about refugees, the executive order calls for refugees that were ready to travel, where it would cause undue hardship, that they should be considered for waivers. we have done that in concert with our department of state colleagues, 872 refugees will be arriving this week and we'll be processing them for waivers through the end of the week and that's fully coordinated. as secretary kelly noted, we are responding immediately to any court orders. we did so quickly on friday with the eastern district of new york order and those parties that were affected by that order were proelse issed for a waiver and admitted into the united states. lastly, i just want to tell you to increase communications and provide additional information to travelers, we are updating on our website, cvp.gov, it will be there as you login a statement about the implementation, faqs, giving information to traveler answer other stakeholders and link for specific questions
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affecting individual traveler answer a phone number to call, all of that will be on our website, thank you. >> good morning, i'm thomas holmen, the acting director for i.c.e. it was a great honor to be contacted in the last couple of days and asked to step up in this capacity as acting director. my plans to retire were put on hold and i did so because i chose to serve my country once again. for those who don't know me i've been in immigration enforcement business for 33 years. i started on u.s. border patrol and office of investigations homeland security investigations for over 20 years and climbed the ranks there, and now i'm on enforcement move operations on the back end, arrest and detaining and removing aliens so i certainly know the immigration life cycle and how to enforce immigration laws. i chose to come back and act in this capacity because of my concern for the communities and the safety of our communities.
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various crimes that walk out of the jurisdictions without any cooperation with i.c.e., so they're back in the communities, back in our communities, and that causes my officers to once again go out in the community, knock on the door to arrest somebody they should have arrested in county jail. i'm here to ex-cute a mission within a framework provided me, that framework has changed on the executive orders of president trump and the men and women of i.c.e. will execute them perfectly and they're here to serve as an organization. thank you very much. >> thank you, i'm david glawy, undersecretary acting for intelience. i want to echo secretary deli's remarks, the national security of the united states is utmost priority. this is the fundamental responsibility of our government to protect the national homeland from nefarious actors trying to come inbound to the united states. what this is is an action for to
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us take a temporary pause and look at how we collect intelligence and run that against databases to identify the nefarious actors. i'm taking a look how law enforcement, the intelligence community, the department of defense, our federal, state, local law enforcement organizations share information and how we run those data not just against refugee populations but anyone trying to come inbound into the united states to identify the sophisticated networks that are trying potentially trying to come inbound. we're trying to break down those barriers to share information, to continue our automated screening processes and vetting process to make sure that we once again to identify those nefarious actors, nefarious networking outside the united states that may be potentially trying to threaten the united states. again this is a pause to take a look at how we collect data and how we exploit it against national security threats. thank you. >> you have time for a couple questions? one, two, three? >> come on up.
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probably best to be in front of the microphone so who is first? >> great, thanks, julia with reuters. two quick questions. first to the acting. i.c.e. director. is i.c.e. planning on growing detention space for people at south of the border and extending the time in which they are he? also on cvp would you mention u spoke to people about the order within 72 hours, would it have been easier if you had any guidance before this order came out, could confusion have been avoided? >> on the first question, yes. we got to secure our borders, those arrested entering into the united states we need to detain those people so we're in the process of identifying additional detention capacity. as far as increase the length of stay, we like to do just the opposite. we'd like to keep them in custody as little as possible, make sure they get their due process and once they get that order from a judge, execute that
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order. >> kevin before you step up, let me kind of frame it a little bit. we did know the e.o. was coming. we had people involved in the general drafting of it. you know, clearly it was, this whole approach was part of what then candidate trump talked about for a year or two. so we knew all that was coming. as i said, we had high levels of government lawyers from across the inner agency to include homeland security that were involved in the drafting of it, so we knew it was coming. it wasn't a surprise it was coming, and then we implemented it. so go ahead, kevin. >> right, our job at the operation level is to take guidance, statute, direct order, from the secretary or emerging threat and respond as quickly and effectively as possible. we go through the process. the system changes we need, the communications in the field, the communication with stakeholders. in this case we had court orders
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came in when we were implementing the operational plan so we had to adjust our efforts a little bit. we worked quickly to implement and i think the process has smoothed out and just to clarify the initial complaint was in two hours of the executive order being received. >> reporter with congressional quarterly, two questions whoever wants to take this. several lawmakers and advocacy groups are saying that some border patrol agents ignored court orders and handcuffed passengers and tried to deport some of them. are you looking into these reports and can you reassure people in fact agents are following the orders? the second question, the president has called the executive order an extreme vetting. can you explain what exactly is involved in extreme vetting which is over and beyond what already is happening? >> the first thing i'd say without question, no member of the homeland security team ignored a court order, nor would they ignore a court order.
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i've heard these reports. i've asked people to include members of congress who called me about them and asked them if they could run down some information for me and of course, we don't have any information, but we would not ignore a court order. okay, the second and i'll let you come up, kevin. >> what exactly is involved? >> extreme vetting we're looking at various options right now. we, the inner agency, but led by of course homeland security. the countries, there are many countries, seven that we're dealing with right now, that we have in our view, in my view, don't have the kind of law enforcement records-keeping that kind of thing that can convince us that one of their citizens is who they say they are and what their background might be. there's various additional things we're considering. on the other end when someone comes in and asks for consideration to get a visa, it
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might be certainly an accounting of what websites they visit, it might be telephone contact information, so that we can see who they're talking to, but again, all of this is under development but those are the kind of things we're looking at. social media. we have to be convinced that people that come here, there's a reasonable expectation that we don't know who they are, and what they're coming here for and what their backgrounds are, and right now, there are a number of countries on the planet that don't have that kind of records-keeping, police work, that kind of thing, and the seven in question right now for the most part fall under that category. so we are developing what additional vetting, extreme vetting might look like and we will certainly work with countries on this. kevin, do you want to -- >> i'll just add to the secretary's comments specifically we had a legal team as part of our operational action team in place friday
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night. as soon as the court oshd was received they advised us on the implication, put a complete hold on anyone being removed in connection with the executive order. we then processed the folks for waivers and released them into the united states. >> general kelly -- >> paula reed, cbs news. the first someone to clarify what you said that you knew the executive order was coming. is that what you said you knew it was going to be signed on friday? there have been some reports first time you found out about it was on the plane and you were upset about it but you knew it was coming. >> as i said, if we knew it was coming from like two years ago when mr. trump first started to run for president, certainly didn't learn about it on an airplane. again, knew it was coming, knew it was signed friday morning. i took a trip down to miami for a couple different reasons, one of which was to visit the people on the front lines of this whole effort, and that is the folks at the miami airport tsa border patrol, those kind of people,
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had some time, as you probably all know i came from before i retired 39 months in southern command went there and talked to admiral kirk tid and engaged with him about the partnership that frankly is very strong between homeland security and south comm. i'm proud to say that developed very closely between myself when i was in command and my good friend jeh johnson and we want to continue that. but no, i didn't learn about it on an airplane. >> how much guidance were you able to give specifically when it comes to green car holders or people who have visas and work with the u.s. military. loft the problems encountered could have been easily foreseeable. >> i think from our perspective again, people like me are expected and not just because of my military background, we are the, the departments are the implementers of the policy obviously, developed by the white house, approved by the
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president n collaboration and then sent down to the departments for execution in this case homeland security. now the e. o. to me and this was more or less a collaborative process it fairly clear. when that came down i think i was in my sixth day on the job but i relied on people like the ones that are standing up here and the hundreds back at the headquarters to say okay, we got it, boss, this looks good to us and we're off to the races and really, i mean i kept being asked about chaos at the ports of entry, and as i said to many, many members of congress in individual phone calls, our officers who were at the counter so to speak, the only chaos they saw was what was taking place in other parts of the airport. they knew what they were doing as immigrants, not immigrants, but foreign nationals presented themselves, they knew what to do with it and as i say the only i
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guess we had to step back and recock a little bit and kevin can address that, we had to step back and recock a little bit based on the court order that we immediately implemented. i knew this was under development and i think we were in pretty good shape in how it was implemented by the workforce. >> here thenner this. yes. >> elise suarez, the huffing pon post. the white house said 109 people were inconvenienced by this. the number you gave for getting waivers is like ten times that. can you explain the discrepancy there between 109 and then the number of people that you just gave who were not let on planes, eventually getting waivers? >> could you take it, kevin. i think the 109 certainly was i'm recollecting a phone call. the 109 i think was very early on, right? it was the first day of the thing that evening, and of course over time that number would increase, but go ahead,
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kevin, if you have anything else. >> just to follow up though, can you explain why the white house didn't have a current number? they were saying 109 yesterday. >> as kevin will probably outline to you, the records keeping we do is always, is not always, it based on yesterday, so kevin commissioner acting commissioner can give you some very good numbers yesterday, but in order to get the numbers today we have to wait until tomorrow. it's just the way they collect the information. actually obviously it's an ongoing period of comings and goings so that's why they do it that way. kevin, i don't know if you have -- >> the secretary is correct. i understand the white house was referring to the initial hours and the folks that were in transit to the u.s. when the executive order about. that was a much smaller number landed in the u.s. and being addressed and some subject to the court order. that's the difference in the numbers. we'll keep updating the numbers on our websites so you have the accurate current information as
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of a validated number from roughly about 20 hours before every time we post. >> secretary kelly, pierre thomas abc news. did homeland security have a specific operational plan in place prior to the executive order being signed, and secondarily, when did you learn specifically that president trump was signing the order? >> i guess i go back to i knew he was going to sign an order about a year and a half or two years before he became the president-elect. from day one in terms of the inauguration finishing touches i'd have to put it that way were being put on the executive order, as i say high level folks in the government, attorneys as well were part of that. people on my staff were generally involved. i guess probably wednesday i think we learned, tuesday/wednesday that it would probably be during the week that it would be signed out.
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as you could imagine, copies go back and forth and tweaked up to the last minute or adjusted right up to the last minute. i think probably thursday we found out it was going to be signed the next day. certainly if you really, you know, if you really wanted to know what was in the executive order just read the newspaper the day before and you'd find out, but so it was done in that way and of course kevin and the whole team knows it's coming, knows what certainly the president-elect and knows what direction the e.o., the draft e.o. was outlining, so people like kevin, i don't know nearly as much about this as he does in terms of how you actually execute right down at the counter level, at the airports, but he was leaning forward on that, so when it was signed, we executed and the only as kevin i think would i think you'd agree the only adjustment that had to be made is when the court order came out and of course we reacted to that as fast as we
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could. >> evan? >> yes, would you explain a little bit about the confusion. we heard from some airlines they felt they were getting contradictory guidance especially with regard to whether or not people legal permanent residents were allowed to board aircraft where they would get this secondary screening that people started talking about. perhaps you could explain a little bit about that level of confusion and why that developed. >> why don't you take it. >> so under the executive order, section 3, there's a provision for granting of waivers when it's in the national interest. so lawful permanent residents are technically covered in the executive order as immigrant visa holders. we worked quickly with counsel to devise a waiver process. the secretary has given guidance a returning resident their status as an lpr in the u.s. is dispositive that it's in the national interest to welcome them home. once we got that guidance we were able to delegate the
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authority to grant a waiver to the field and clarify with the carriers these folks were allowed to board. >> that didn't happen immediately, that happened by sunday? >> it unfolded over a matter of hours friday night into saturday afternoon, that's correct. >> i'm a little bit confused and i don't want to beat a dead horse you talked about a year and a half, two years ago. we published or the ap published it, several days in advance or details of the draft. that doesn't preclude you not knowing what was in it. did you know the details of what was in the order outside of sort of open sourced media who exactly in the department of homeland security was involved, you can't provide names is it the landing team from the transition, from the trump administration prior to its arrival or career staff involved from the department of homeland security prior to this announcement? >> i did know it was under development. i had an opportunity to look at
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least two drafts as it got closer to friday. again, don't exactly know other than some of my legal shop representatives were involved. i would imagine on the landing team i would imagine some of them but the point it s it came to the department on a close hold basis. we didn't distribute it to anyone in the department. myself included my chief, and the lawyers and so it was a back-and-forth process. i did talk to representative in the white house, oh, probably certainly early in the week, about where it was going, how it was being developed. i had a comment i'd seen some of the initial drafts, pretty busy week. i didn't get involved in correcting grammar or reformatting the thing.
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so i don't know if that answers it. >> what were the draft that you saw from the white house or were they from the media from the associated press? >> no, they weren't from the media. they were from, although i'll give you credit, you had it, but no, they were just the drafts that were coming back and forth within the inner agency. >> mr. secretary for clarification please, deborah pettitte with nbc, you had no personal input or any sort of advanced workings -- >> joining me is nbc national correspondent peter alexander at the white house. peter, what former general kelly is saying is that they knew in general that it was coming, that they had seen some draft. there's been plenty of reporting that the details that included legitimate visa holders to be included and banned were not previously addressed by homeland and that others involved did not know that kind of detail, and
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that of course is what set up the raucous. he spnd responded to saying nob from homeland as far as he's concerned violated the court order or ignored the court orders on the order of steve miller from the white house but he's looking into that. >> reporter: i think that's exactly right. he said some individual within the department of homeland security were involved in the drafting process. it is clear, he said like most americans for the course of the last year and a half to two years he knew this was coming in some form. eight not clear that he knew the specific details as they were announced which caused some concern in terms of the implementation. the intention of this statement was to try in a way to do some cleanup to clarify in simple terms to americans as he said that this is not a muslim ban. it is not a travel ban but that stands in contrast to what donald trump tweeted out just yesterday, referring to this very executive order as a ban going forward.
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the new secretary of the department of homeland security john kelly said effectively what it is, is a temporary pause, as they try to review the vetting system going forward. he said that his priority was protecting the lives of americans. andrea? >> thank you for all that, peter. joining me now is madeleine albright the first female secretary of state who served under bill clinton and also as an 11-year-old child a herself gee when her father a czech diplomat defected when the communists took over and was welcomed into the you state. first of all the reaction to this and the fact that despite what john kelly has said effectively homeland, the experts at homeland were overruled by white house officials steve bannon, steve miller and others according to all of our reporting that the pentagon general mattis was kept out of the loop, that certainly rex tillerson the incoming secretary of state not yet confirmed and state department consular officials were not
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consulted. you know the process. you sat at the national security council for so many years. your reaction? >> i find listening to general kelly difficult to compute, given what we saw over the weekend, and activities i think that the white house and the people there in the nfc were totally unprepared for what is going on. listening to secretary kelly makes it even more complicated in terms of what he knew and when he knew it so chaos was created. and that chaos has had unintended consequences in terms of our relationships abroad. instead of it being more secure it has created more dangerous situations and based on untrue fact, so that combination of issues that were out there i think has confused it and this press conference has not helped it. >> again, repeating the seven countries were focuses of
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potential danger to the you state, first of all no one said there was a specific threat they were encountering which could lead to the legitimate use of presidential authority to protect the united states to halt immigration at any time from any particular country, pakistan, afghanistan, saudi arabia, the source of so much of the attacks against the united states none of those countries were involved, and also those seven countries are being taken out of context, the original context was for people on european waivers who come in from europe who have been in the countries to be given a second, harder look, because otherwise we would automatically come to the u.s. >> there was a strong wetting process with them and by the way that 5-year-old child or some older person that was sick, those are people that are a threat, and as far as studies done for instance by the kato institute has shown there have been no terrorist attacks from
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the refugees from those countries. that's the alternative fact situation and i think that we really have to be careful in terms of the chaos that this has created and i think the order was more like a press release rather than trying to figure out how the united states government in fact follows uhm on something that affects so many people's lives, and has created such sadness and really not been how people need to be welcomed into the country where the statue of liberty reigns. >> let me ask you about the principals committee, that is an overlooked part of the nsc, the principals committee the top security officials tee up and debate to prepare the process for another meeting with the nfc with the president at the head of the table. that decision-making process will now include by white house memo steve bannon, a strategist, a political adviser, yes he had
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seven years of naval experience but certainly not a foreign policy expert, an ideolog by all accounts, former head of breitbart news, how unusual is it for him to have a seat at table at every principal's committee meeting and chairman of the joint chiefs and dni of intelligence to be there by invitation only when it's the subject pertinent to their fields? >> let me say every president can have a national security system that reflects how he wants to operate. that is something we have to note. i was in many principals meetings, they're fascinatinfas they have the power to make sure diverse views are stated. i talk about it as breaking the eggs and trying make an omelet out of it to give to the president. if you can't give the omelet you give the egg mess to the president. the bottom line is you need to have people that have deep knowledge about where their departments stand on this, what are the ways to carry out the
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decisions decisions and they disagree. i think it is very weird that somebody that is an extreme ideol ideologue substituted for people who have knowledge like the chairman of the joint chiefs and the intelligence community who will be invited if necessary is a little bit different, so i find very strange that somebody with the background and the proclivities of mr. bannon now will be there all the time, and that the president and that team will not be able to know how the others felt about it. >> and how unusual is it for the press secretary and for the white house to say to dissenting foreign service officers if if you can't get with the program, get out? >> i find that totally stunning, because one of the aspects of this dissent channel is that it allows those people who do not agree to voice their views. the strength of our system of
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democracy that we respect disseptembering views. we do not live in an authoritarian system where you have to agree or get out. i cannot believe that kind of a statement was made and perhaps it would be useful if people read the constitution. >> when we think about the way this white house is structured now, you have a controversial national security adviser mike flynn retired general, but now it seems from all the reporting that steve bannon, steve miller, who coauthored the inaugural address, are preempting, maybe the family as well, jared kushner, but preempting the role of the national security adviser, and also excluding the agencies. >> i'm very troubled by this. i teach about the national security decision making system. this is operated for a very long time and i think that going outside the bounds like this because we need a process. you can't have everything be ad hoc and based on the mood of what's happening in the oval
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office or people around. there has to be some way that the president gets information that is objective, that has been in fact argued out in a fair way, and so i am worried about how the decision making process works, because it has implications for, if we're wondering what america's position is in the world, how a other countries react to us we can't have an ad hoc process. we're not in a reality show. we're running the most important country in the world and i hope the decision making process gets on track because we're all dependent on it. >> we heard john kelly define extreme vetting and hear from the president all the time. you've been to the refugee camps and go as the head of the national democratic institute, you go with republican colleagues, it's a bipartisan professional effort where you are monitoring what happens in the refugee camps. these people are interviewed for 18 months to two years, the syrian refugees in particular, by the u.n. agencies, and then
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also interviewed by u.s. homeland officials. so explain to our audience this concept that these people are willy-nilly coming into the united states without any vetting. >> there is so much vetting, there are so many accepts. i'm sure that always there could be more information but the bottom line is these people have gone through the mill, literally, and they have wanted to leave places that they can't survive in. most people want to stay in the country where they were born or be able to make a living there, and these people have picked up, the refugee camps are places where people have hope to be able to have a new life, and they have gone through a very long time and i have to say, i don't have a terrible refugee story. i came here as a little girl whand was greeted with open arms, very different, so i'm very sad. that's my real sense about people who want to have a new life, who want to be a part of
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america, and contribute, if you listen to what they're saying, and they have been vetted properly. they do not need to be revetted or sent home or made to feel like they're baggage instead of human beings. >> it also occurs the numbers we're given of people detained or turned away do not include thpeople who w n permitted to board in the first place. so you're losing the census of all the other people involved. the other thing is the reaction in other parts of the world, not just europe, we have king abdullah of jordan here in the united states clearly from their readout of the meeting with mike pence, they had a very different take on the fact that these issues came up. jordan is overwhelmed economically by the burden that they are bearing of refugees from syria. >> jordan has refugees from syria, palestinian refugees and iraqi refugees and at various times that i've been to jordan, the numbers have changed in terms of saying if the united
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states had as many refugees as jordan had, it would be as if the united states had all of a sudden like 100 million refugees arrive, and they are a front line state. they are having terrible problems. we need those countries as our friends and allies in templesrm dealing with the problem of terrorism it's out there. the truth is what has happened over the weekend is a gift to isis. it's a gift to those who want to propagandaize and say what a terrible country we are and they're better off deal with them and the young people growing up in this, that's what we have to worry about, the long-term issue. this was a very, very bad weekend for america, and it was created because there was either no decision-making or chaos, and disruption is kind of interesting, destruction, which we're seeing is very dangerous. i am so grateful to be an american. i was so proud to sit behind a sign that said "the united
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states." we are a great country and our greatness comes from our diversity. >> madeleine albright, a woman known for her pins, among other things and today it is lady liberty that you are wearing. >> yes. >> thank you very much, madam secretary. joining me is the washington investigations editor for the "new york times" mark mazzetti, covered national security in the last decade. we heard from john kelly at homeland. they are retroactively trying to say there was no chaos, that there were people who were not unfairly detained that extreme vetting is needed and that he was part of the process or his people. that contradicts all of the reporting as to who was in the loop and who was out of the loop in terms of the specifics of the rewritten executive order, when it was released. >> right. i think the picture is pretty clear now that the white house and a very small group of people at the white house were doing this, were making the decisions,
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were driving this and the rest of the administration across the agencies were playing catchup. general kelly said he was unaware of an order, but certainly wasn't regularly briefed on the details, and said he was relying on what the news media was reporting to hear the latest. we're only a week and a half into this, right, but already pretty clear there's a group of advisers at the white house that want to do things quickly, they want to do this flurry of executive orders and don't entirely trust yet who is in the government, who is in the agencies. they might trust their people at the top, but some of those people aren't even in place yet. the rest are many who they consider to be obama administration holdovers and therefore not to be trusted. so it is a chaotic process, but i think from the view of some of the white house it's going exactly according to their plan because they're getting these things in place. >> in talking to white house officials over the weekend, they
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were complaining about the visa problems that this executive order created, but they did not consult with the state department and in fact, the consular affairs officials had been fired during the week. >> right, and there are no question that the workings, the bureaucracy of the state department was very unaware how this was going to be implemented, what to do and what not to do, and so that's where you saw some of the chaotic not only scenes on tv but what people were talking about, where there was uncertainty about how to implement this exact order. so and there's really as we saw sean spicer yesterday, not a whole lot of apologies for people who may not have been in, it's a sort of get with the program message. >> finally, steve bannon, he does seem to be taking an outside role on foreign policy on national security. >> there's no question, and we
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know enough about president trump now that he trusts a small group of people. steve bannon is one of them, and steve bannon will be extremely influential across every aspect of american policy, foreign and domestic, and we'll have to see how it plays out in these meetings, but he carries this torch for president trump with the populist message and you would think that some of the american foreign policy would at least be informed with some of that view, if steve bannon is going to be regularly in these meetings. >> mark mazzetti from the "new york times" thank you. we have a busy day on capitol hill, the judiciary committee still discussing the appointment of senator jeff sessions. this is their vote, the committee vote is expected any minute. stay with us. (riley) hey guys! what's up?
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strong objections from democrats led by dianne feinstein but they are in the minority. jeff sessions is a key behind the scenes player especially through steve miller his stormer top aide working with bannon in the white house on issues that go far beyond simple politics and speech writing. richard is chief of the wat watergate special prosecutors task force. looking back at 1973, there are a lot of people including chuck schumer making aal geez to the firing of sally yates, the acting attorney general who refused to carry out the executive orders on immigration, and was fired around 9:15 eastern last night. the comparison seems a bit stretched because in the initial cases in 1973, you were dealing with the firing of archibald cox, the special prosecutor investigating the possibility of crimes by the president of the
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united states. you were the key person on the staff there, and then the refusal by the attorney general and then by his deputy attorney general to carry out the firing of cox until it got down to the number three person, richard bourque who carried it out for richard nixon. >> yes it's true and the similarity is in an imperialist president. there's a comparison between nixon and trump, really has to do with the methods that are being used and the reaction to what is a stated refusal to carry out what was perceived to be an illegal or improper order by the president and that high level and highly respected official being fired, and the reaction publicly to these kinds
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of actions repeatedly by mr. trump without consultation from people who ought to know a better way of governing, and executive action is troublesome. >> you have now evidence that the house judiciary staff members without telling their chairman bob goodlot and signing nondisclosure statements reportedly were working with the white house on the language of these executive orders, but not top officials at the justice department, and at the state department. >> it's truly bizarre. it's truly bizarre way of going about government. i think this is moving from reality show to "the gong show." >> well, more to come on all of this, as it evolves but certainly this has been a chaotic first week and a half for the new administration. richard, thank you so much.
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coming up, waiting for prime time, president trump announcing his pick for the supreme court tonight at 8:00 eastern. the short list preview of the confirmation battle likely ahead coming up. stay with us on msnbc. hambone! sally! 22! hut hut! tiki barber running a barber shop? yes!!! surprising. yes!!! what's not surprising? how much money david saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. who's next?
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it's at 8:00 tonight eastern, tell us what you know. >> well everything about this administration seems to be different and this one seems to be different, too, because while we are trying to figure out who it is that president trump has decided to name as the supreme court justice we don't know for sure, and as the hours go by we believe that the nominees themselves don't know for sure, that they have not been told who exactly the choice is going to
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be. in other words, whoever the president has decided, if he in fact has made a final decision, we are led to believe and has been told this now for the last couple of hours that that has not been conveyed yet to the two people we've been told consistently for the last several days are the two finalists. neil gorsuch, who is a federal judge on the tenth circuit court of appeals in denver, a native coloradoan, fourth generation from denver and thomas hardiman, born in waltham, grew up in waltham, massachusetts, moved to pittsburgh and is a federal judge there on the third circuit court of appeals. so there's a lot of speculation about who people think it is. we don't know for certain who it is and we believe now that the two finalists don't know either, so this is apparently an effort to build the sort of ultimate amount of suspense by not telling the person who is going to eventually get this nomination. now, as i say, everything about this is a little unusual.
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the president's announcement this in prime time. we're told that there is a reception at the white house for members of congress and i guess i can say the nominee, unless it's the nominees tonight before that, starting at 7:00. the way these things usually go, andrea, generally announced in the morning and within an hour or two hours or so we can say with some confidence who it is but we can't do that now. >> and it does sound a little bit like a reality tv show where we don't even as you point out the nominees don't even know presumably they're both in town, and would be standing with the president, although we don't even know that. >> well they would have to be if he's going to choose one or the other of them. they both have to be here. wouldn't be a long trip for tom as hardiman, he's in pittsburgh. it would be a long flight for neil gorsuch, three and a half hour flight from denver, he lives in boulder near denver on
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about three acres where he and his wife and two children have some horses. so we've done the usual things that we do in cases like this. we try to find out where they are, whether they're still in their offices back home, and all of that, but this is just turning out to be a very unusual situation. >> welcome to the world of donald trump. this is an unusual presidency to say the least. thank you so much, pete. we'll of course be watching and listening and following you all day and more ahead on "andrea mitchell reports." we'll be right back. when that pain makes simple errands simply unbearable... ...i hear you. i hear you because my dad struggled with this pain. make sure your doctor hears you too. so folks, don't wait. step on up. and talk to your doctor. because you have places to go... ...and people who can't wait for you to get there. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands... step on up and talk to your doctor today.
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certificate benefits and limitations should be carefully examined prior to purchase. well that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." thanks for being with us. remember follow the show online, on facebook and twitter. craig melvin is here next. >> good afternoon to you, craig melvin following another busy day in washington, enforcing the ban. the new head of the department of homeland security revealing just how he will implement the president's executive orders on immigration. but will it work?
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also showdown on the hill. lawmakers facing off on the confirmation of six of the president's picks for his cabinet. will they be blocked? and meet the press, white house press secretary sean spicer getting ready to face off with reporters once again, he'll be holding that daily briefing which is about to start any moment, we're told. we will start with the latest episode from an already chaotic is 1 days of the trump administration, just moments ago the newly installed secretary of homeland security defended president trump's controversial immigration ban. here's retired general john kelly. >> this is not i repeat not a ban on muslims. this is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system. extreme vetting we're looking at various options right now. it might be certainly an accounting of what websites they visit, it might be telephone contact inform

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