tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC February 5, 2017 10:30am-11:30am EST
starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos -- collision course. >> the world is in trouble. but we're going to straighten it out. >> overnight, another legal blow to trump's travel ban. are we headed for a supreme court showdown? we're one on one with vice president mike pence. >> the american people elected a man of action. >> facing tough questions about those trump tweets. slamming a federal judge. >> this is a judge who was nominated by president bush. 99-0. >> iran is on notice. what does that mean exactly? >> it means we're watching. and with the supreme court in the spotlight. >> i don't know how anybody can oppose him. frankly. >> leading senators weigh in on trump's pick to fill the
cite critical tie-breaking seat. republican ben sasse. democrat amy klobuchar. a fast-paced week. heading for a furious finale. from abc news, it's "this week." here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. we come trump administratio latest move to keep his travel ban in place. travelers from those seven majority muslim countries still free to come to america. just as they were before the president issued the executive order struck down by a judge in seattle. all through saturday, there were joyful reunions at airports. from the winter white house, mar-a-lago, the president let loose on twitter. calling the federal judge who blocked his ban a so-called judge. later saturday, he promised to fight. >> for the safety of the country -- >> so far, the court's rulings have gone against the white house.
and as this tussle between the president and the courts played out, i met with vice president mike pence at the historic congress hall in philadelphia, just steps away from where our constitution was drafted. the president is vowing to overturn that order. this morning, he called the ridiculous order from a so-called judge. so-called judge, is it appropriate for the president to be questioning the legitimacy of a federal judge in that way? >> through the course of the campaign, in the early days of this administration, president trump has made it clear that our administration is going to put the safety and the security of the american people first. the executive order he put into effect, which suspends immigration from seven countries that have been compromised by terrorism and don't have the kind of internal systems that we can be certain that people that are applying to come to this country are who they say they are was legal. it was appropriate. our administration will use all legal means at our disposal. >> i understand. is it right for the president to say so-called judge? doesn't that undermine the
separation of powers in the constitution written right next door? >> well, i don't think it does. i think the american people are accustomed to the president speaking his mind. speaking very straight with them. it's very frustrating when scholars on the left and the right, people as distinguished as jonathan turlly of george washington university have said while he doesn't agree with the executive order, he recognizes that the president has the full authority to put the security of the homeland first. >> but this judge was appointed -- >> to see a judge suspend that order is frustrating to all of us. >> this was a judge nominated by president bush. 99-0, confirmed. how is he a so-called judge? >> well, again, there's simply no question under the constitution, and frankly under federal law, that the president of the united states has the authority in the interest of national security to determine who has the right to come into this country. and we're going to challenge the judge's order on that basis,
because the reality is, we face a dangerous enemy, the president is determined to use the authority that he has under the constitution and under the law. but we'll -- >> but doesn't this judge have the authority to do what he did, as well? >> he certainly does. that's why the administration is complying with the order as we speak and we'll go through the process in the courts to get a stay of that order so that, again, we can implement the action that is entirely focused on the safety and security of the american people. look, we have got to do things differently. and the obama administration and the last congress identified these seven countries, repeatedly, as seven countries that have been compromised by terrorism. and so by putting a pause in. as secretary kelly described it accurately. putting a pause in for all the countries, except syria, and beginning to identify ways we can assure that anyone that's coming here is -- is -- doesn't represent a threat to our families and communities is what the american people expect. >> there's been a chorus of
criticism of this ban from other courts. our allies, teresa may. the french president. from republicans in congress. when you look at how this was done, do you take away lessons where it could have been done better? drafted better? >> i think the early days of this administration will be described in the history books as days of action. and the american people welcome the decisiveness that president trump has shown on this issue. putting the safety and security of the american people above the niceties of communicating with people in washington or in some cases around the world. he acted, he put the safety of the american people first. and i think that's the kind of leadership the american people want to see. >> definitely some support. a lot of resistance you have seen crop up as well. i want to move on. the democratic leader in the senate has responded this morning saying that each action testing the constitution and each personal attack on judges president trump raises the bar
even higher for judge gorsuch's nomination to serve on the supreme court. do you think it will have an impact? >> probably, you know, i look at the first few days of this administration and -- i love to tell people to watch this president work sitting behind that resolute desk in the oval office. you see a president who is in the promise-keeping business. and, my view, chief among those promises, was his commitment to nominate someone to the supreme court ho -- who will be faithful to the constitution. interpret the law as written. he said he wanted someone who was exceptionally qualified. and judge neil gorsuch, with his academic background, with ten years on the court, someone unanimously confirmed by the u.s. senate ten years ago. i think represents that promise kept to the american people. and we remain very confident that despite some of the posturing that we see in the senate today, that judge gorsuch
is going to be well received by the members of the senate. and i'll promise you, one way or the other, he'll get an up or down vote on the floor of the senate. >> whether it takes the nuclear option or not. president trump promised a pro-life justice. judge gorsuch has never direct ly ruled on a pro-life decision. are you confident he would vote to overturn roe v. wade on the court? >> as someone who cherishes the sanctity of life. i was honored be part of the process. >> you spoke with the judge, right? >> i did. the president asked me to be part of a small group that interviewed all the finalists for the decision. what the president directed us to look for is someone who would be faithful to the constitution. who would simply apply the law as written. who would have the character, the temperament, and the courage that the american people want to see. >> did you ask him directly about roe v. wade?
>> i did not. what the president charged us to do was to find someone who had the background, the experience, the unimpeachable credentials, the character. but also just to be faithful to the constitution as written. we're in this hallowed hall where the congress met in 1790. right next door to the hall where the constitution was written. that and the framework of this government have created the greatest quality of life in the history of mankind. i'm confident in judge neil gorsuch we have someone who will keep faith with the constitution. >> president trump decided to leave stand the executive order of president obama's on lgbt rights. a question from a prominent conservative. our base is wondering why obama's executive order is allowed to stand. what is the answer? >> i think throughout the campaign president trump made it clear that discrimination would have no place in our administration.
he was the very first republican nominee to mention the lgbtq community at our republican national convention and was applauded for it. i was there applauding with him. i think the generosity of his spirit, recognizing that in the patriot's heart, there is no room for prejudice is part of who this president is. i think the speech he gave this week at the national prayer breakfast, reiterating his commitment to repeal the johnson amendment. it's put a chilling effect on free speech in religious incis y incity -- institutions around the country. all a part of the leadership -- >> do you think a new executive order is necessary on religious liberty? >> the president has made it clear he wants to take action on the johnson amendment. in the 1950s, it threatened the tax-exempt status of churches and synagogues and religious
institutions if they were seen to be involved in political expression. i have to tell you. i don't think we would have ever made it to these hallowed halls back in 1790 if the folks of the country had been silenced from speaking about what they thought was right and wrong. the president provided real leadership in the campaign. he identified the johnson amendment. he told people of faith, of every background across the country that he would work to repeal it. he's directed the administration to look at ways legislatively and through executive action -- >> no executive orders beyond that? >> it will be the purview of the president to determine if that is necessary. but i will tell you for our part, the focus of the administration will be to have a safer america. a more prosperous america. and to continue the advance the president's agenda on capitol hill and through executive action and carry the message all across the country. >> the president took executive action on iran yesterday. imposed those new sanctions. general flynn said iran is on notice. what does that mean exactly?
>> it means we're watching. >> what are we watching for? >> it means there's a -- iran would do well to look at the calendar and realize there's a new president in the oval office. and iran would do well not to test the resolve of the new president. >> what would testing the resolve be? >> well, the ballistic missile tests down in the last week were in direct violation of u.n. security council resolutions dealing with limiting them in that regard. that's the reason the president took the decisive action that he took to impose economic sanctions on their supply chain. for their missile program. let's recognize that the rebels in yemen are fully subsidized by iran. and the attack they leveled using iranian arms against a saudi arabian ship this last week all represent the kind of hostile and belligerent actions that are simply not going to be
tolerated by this administration. >> it might require military action? the president said everything is on the table. >> the president said everything is on the table. look, the iranians got a deal from the international community that the president and i and our administration think is a terrible deal. it essentially allows iran to develop a nuclear weapon in the years ahead at a date certain. they received hundreds of millions of dollars. >> but secretary mattis and secretary tillerson say we have to stand by that deal. is that administration policy? >> well, we're evaluating that as we speak. >> secretary mattis said the u.s. has to stand by the deal. he didn't say he was evaluating the deal. is that administration policy? >> i think the president will make that decision in the days ahead. he'll listen to all his advisers. make no mistake about it. the resolve of this president is such that iran would do well to think twice about their continued hostile and belligerent actions. >> russia is violating the cease-fire in ukraine.
are they on notice, as well? >> we're watching. and very troubled by the increased hostilities over the past week in eastern ukraine. i know the president had a conversation with vladimir putin. >> did he say he was troubled? >> they spoke at that time about ukraine. i expect those conversations are going to be ongoing. but -- but -- look. there's, i think there's a growing recognition in the world community that there is a new style of leadership. not just a new leader in the white house. president trump is bringing a very candid. and direct type of leadership to the white house. and in conversations with leaders around the world, frankly, i think they find it very refreshing. >> some of them find it unsettling. >> well, to the extent that we have a president with broad shoulders willing to put the interests of the american people
first and speak directly to leaders of the world about america's interests, it may be unsettling to some. i think it's encouraging to millions of americans. >> will the sanctions on russia remain in place as long as russia is violating the cease-fire in ukraine? >> i think that's a question that will be answered in the months ahead. and -- it just simply all depends. >> on? >> on whether or not we see the kinds of changes in posture by russia and the opportunity, perhaps, to work on common interests. and the president's made it clear that the top priority of this administration is to hunt down and destroy isis at its source. he's directed our military commanders. and our secretary of state to collaborate and to develop a strategy in the region to bring together the resources and the allies necessary to do that. russia has a common interest in confronting radical islamic
terrorism and especially isis. if we have opportunities to work together, the president is looking for an opportunity to begin that relationship anew. but, make no mistake about it, those decisions will await action and they'll be very dependent on how the russians respond in the days ahead. >> i want to ask you about obamacare. senator lamar alexander came out and said, we have to start talking about repairing obamacare. not replacing. he said, comparing to it an old bridge. don't close it until a new one is complete. in the meantime, we repair it. no one is talking about repealing anything until there is a concrete alternative in place. does the president accept that? >> i think -- i think what the senator was talking about was simply the process. what the president has said is that we're going to repeal obamacare, which has put a tremendous burden on families across the country.
we have some states across america, george, where health insurance premiums have gone up more than 100%. and the president made it clear to the congress, right after the election, he wanted to see us move on repealing the most corrosive elements, the mandate, the taxes, the penalties of obamacare. but he's also made it very clear that at the same time that we repeal obamacare, we're going through both executive action and legislation, set into action a replacement of obamacare that will be orderly and -- >> it doesn't have to be complete? the replacement before repeal? >> when he gave that speech here in philadelphia in the course of the campaign on obamacare, he talked about a commitment to repeal and replace this deeply flawed legislation. >> not repair. >> but he also said it would be an orderly transition. the way i interpret what the senator said is that we're going
to ensure that we have that orderly transition. the american people know we can do better. we can lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government. with mandates and with taxes. the president is committed to that. i have to tell you, we're very encouraged by the support and the partnership of leadership in the house and senate in achieving just that. >> going to pick a winner in the super bowl? >> i'm going to go and cheer them on. i'm an indianapolis colts fan. i'm be on neutral ground in the houston owner's suite. what a privilege it will be to be there with president george herbert walker bush. we're so pleased, i know the president is pleased to see him doing well. there for the coin toss. to be able to be there to celebrate that great tradition in the company of some of america's heroes, it will be a great privilege. >> thank you. we'll hear from ben sasse and amy klobuchar.
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do you respect putin? >> i do respect him. >> do you? why? >> i respect a lot of people. but that doesn't mean i'm going to get along with him. he's a leader of his country. i say it's better to get along with russia than not. if russia helps us in the fight against isis, which is a major fight, and islamic terrorism all over the world, major fight, that's a good thing. will i get along with him? i have no idea. >> he's a killer, though. putin is a killer. >> got a lot of killers. got a lot of killers. what, you think our country is so innocent? >> president trump there with bill o'reilly. i'm joined by senator amy klobuchar. a democrat. thank you for joining us, senator. >> thank you, george. >> you heard the president.
our country is so innocent? your response? >> what i would say here is you cannot compare any leaders in our country to what vladimir putin has done. this is a man and a regime that has taken down a passenger plane in ukraine. killing hundreds of people. this is a regime that has been known to poison human rights activists including a recent incident where someone is laying in a coma in a hospital. this is a regime that we believe 17 intelligence agencies in our own country has said has tried to influence our own election. i don't think there's any comparison. and i do really resent he would say something like that. >> quite a contrast from vice president pence right there, saying basically, we're watching what russia is doing, especially in ukraine. >> yes. i appreciate that. as well as the u.n. ambassador's recent speak. but what we would like to see
from the administration, as someone that went recently to ukraine with senators graham and mccain, i saw firsthand what they're facing every day. we would like to see support from the administration for the expand the sanctions bill. as well as being able to look what the cyberattacks were. not just on our election. this is not about one candidate, one party, one country. they've engaged in these attacks all over the world. >> you opposed the executive orders of suspending the travel from the seven muslim nations. do you think that will stand when it gets through the courts? and what do you make of the president's tweet yesterday talking about that so-called judge? >> it's not a surprise to me you're seeing courts look at it and temporarily staying it or in the case of the seattle judge, actually saying it should be thrown out. that is because it was done in a way, i think my friend, republican senator rob portman said it best, the vetting order wasn't vetted. there is a difference between being bold and being rash.
and when you put out an order that basically suspends the refugee program, not just in those countries but in every country in the world, when you put out an order that you have not worked with businesses or with your professionals in the security area, when you have done it, i don't think it's a surprise there will be court challenges or that you're going to have chaos, which is what we have seen all over the united states. >> senator schumer says the president's questioning of the legitimacy of the judge will impact the confirmation of judge gorsuch for the supreme court. do you agree? >> well, first of all, this has been a pattern with the president. he attacked judge curiel. during the course of his campaign and the trump university case. he attacked the acting attorney general. and he's got to see that there's three equal branches of government here. and when he attacks the independence of the judiciary, it does focus the fight before us now. and that is that we want to see a nominee that is independent,
not just of a president, but is not making decisions based on ideology, but instead making decisions on precedent. >> you mention independence. neal katyel has come out in support of judge gorsuch. he wrote this, judge gorsuch would help to restore confidence in the rule of law. his years on the bench reveal a commitment to judicial independence. a record that should give the american people confidence that he will not compromise principle to favor the president who appointed him. your response? >> we have a solemn obligation here, george, to look at this judge's record. to look at how his decisions have differed from precedent in the past. i have concerns, of course. a care a lot about campaign finance. he concurred in a decision, put out his own opinion that went farther than the other judges in terms of what it could do to campaign finance laws. that being said, i'm a member of the judiciary committee. it's important that we hear him out. listen to his views.
it's equally important that we keep in place the senate rules that say that the supreme court is different than the other judges. which have a 51-vote margin in the senate. this has a 60-vote threshold. and we have put this in place over the years so you can get ma mainstream discussion, mainstream candidate that can get both democrat and republican votes. >> you heard vice president pence say one way or the other, one way or the other, judge gorsuch is going to get confirmed. they're ready to do it if they have to, to change the rules, to get to it 51 votes. >> let me make this clear. that's what the president and vice president have put out there. senator mcconnell has made it clear that is the senate's decision. and this is a long-standing senate roul. >> he's made it clear that it's a senate decision. he's basically put it back on senate democrats. saying it's up to you if you decide to stone-wall on judge gorsuch, he's likely to change the rules. >> let's see what happens.
because i believe that when you look at the past, when democrats were in charge, we were concerned, well, what if republicans are in charge? let's keep that 60-vote threshold in place. it's been a long-standing precedent. both the president's nominees, obama's nominees, got over 60 votes. that is the threshold. >> do you think judge gorsuch can get over 60 votes? >> i think it depends on how he answers the questions. when we look at his record. we literally just got this nomination. >> thank you for being here. >> it was great to be on, george. thank you. let's get now to senator ben sasse joining us from nebraska. you heard senator klobuchar talking about judge gorsuch. do you believe he's a mainstream candidate? >> he's a rock star. i applaud the president for this pick. he affirmed the three branches of government and wants to defend individual rights and
uphold the constitution. everybody should celebrate him. >> is it going to come to the nuclear option? would you support changing the senate rules? >> i really think those conversations are premature. i don't know why people would be questioning gorsuch. if you start reading his opinions, as i have the last three weeks, he's the kind of guy who, i'm sure, late at night when he gets home from his chambers and takes off his rope, he probably has personal political views. reading his opinions, i can't figure out what they are. he knows what a judge's job is. he's not trying to be a superlegislator. i think it's premature to talk process fights when i think people across the political spectrum should be excited about this judge when they read his opinions. >> confident he'll be confirmed? >> i think he will. >> let's talk about. you talked about the three brampls of government. during the campaign, you were actually quite critical of president trump. you said he displays no understanding of the checks and balances with three separate but co-equal branches of government. are we seeing that again with
this attack on a so-called federal judge. >> i'll be honest. i don't understand language like that. we don't have so-called judges, so-called presidents, we have people from three different branches of government who take an oath to defend and uphold the constitution. we don't have any so-called judges. we have real judges. >> and on the travel ban as well. you have been critical of the travel ban. you say it will make our country less safe. the question for you is what can the senate do about that? >> well, actually, back up. i would like to give the full context of what i said. i applaud what the president is trying to do in focusing attention on the fact that we haven't taken borders seriously enough. and we haven't done enough vetting of a lot of folks from nations that have failed states. you look at places like syria and libya, there hasn't been enough vetting going on over the course of the last couple of years. and so i applaud the president's goal. once we affirm the goal of trying to make sure you don't have jihadis infiltrating
terrorist flows, we have to make sure we do it in a thoughtful way that is thinking about the 10, 15, 20-years-long battle we'll have against jihadists. there are two ways to go wrong. one would be to not acknowledge that terrorism and jihadi-motivated terrorism comes from specific places in the world. and is connected to specific ideologies. but another way to fall off a cliff would be to imply that the u.s. is at war with islam. this wasn't a muslim ban. it was a travel ban. it was done in a clunky enough way that initial weekend that jihadi recruiters could present it to the people they're trying to recruit as if the u.s. is against all muslims. we know we're not at war with all muslims. we're at war with the subset of islam that believes in killing in the name of religion, as jihadis do. we have to have a long-term focus.
i think the administration has taken some important steps to improve upon the clunkiness of the initial weekend. >> on russia. you heard senator klobuchar. another one of your republican colleagues, marco rubio weighed in this morning on twitter. he said when has a democratic political activist been poisoned by the gop or vice versa? we are not the same as putin. signed mr, marco rubio. your response to the president? >> i'll be honest. i don't know what the president is trying to do with statements like he allegedly has on "o'reilly" on the super bowl tonight. i have only seen clips. there may be a broader context. let's be clear. has the u.s. made mistakes? of course. is the u.s. at all like putin's regime? not at all. the u.s. affirms freedom of speech. putin is no friend of freedom of speech. he's an enemy of freedom of religion. the u.s. celebrates freedom of religion. putin is an enemy of the free press. the u.s. celebrates free press. putin is an enaemy of political
dissent. the u.s. celebrates political dissent and the right of people to argue free from violence. there is no moral equivalency between the united states of america, the greatest freedom-loving nation in the history of the world, and the murderous thugs in putin's defense. there's no moral equivalency there. >> are senate republicans in the same place as president trump on the issue of russia? >> i don't understand what the president's position is on russia. but i can tell you what my position is on russia. russia is a great danger to a lot of its neighbors and putin has as one of his core objectives fracturing nato, one of the greatest military alliances in the history of the world. so putin is a mess. he's committed all sorts of murderous thuggery. and i'm opposed to the way putin conducts himself in world affairs. i hope that the president wants to show moral leadership about this issue. >> on the issue of spending, you have warned that the u.s. is on a path to a greek-style crisis.
and that health entitlements are the single greatest culprit. president trump has vowed not to touch medicare. can you support a budget that increases the debt and deficits that does not touch medicare? >> let's have a long-term conversation about what's actually wrong. because when you go to town halls, i do town halls across nebraska, lots of folks know the $19 or $20 trillion number. that's the publicly held bond debt number. the real number of the u.s.'s unfunded obligations we're passing on to our future generations is more like $70 to $75 trillion. the vast majority is health entitlements. medicare. obamacare. medicaid. there's also social security interest on the debt. fundamentally health entitlements are the things that will bankrupt our kids. we need to fix that for the long term. we have to honor the commitments made to the people already retired or near the retirement age. we need to tell the truth about the fact that when we set the
retirement age at age 65, life expectancy was 62. now it's about 80. my 5-year-old kid in the background getting ready for church this morning has a 50-50 statistical probability of living to age 100. he's not going to retire at age 65 and play 35 years of middle class entitlement golf. we should tell the long-term truth about health entitlements and start fixing it for people 50, 55, and below. nobody is trying to change medicare for people already on it. >> you have been so critical of president trump during the campaign. and you voted -- you actually voted -- you wrote in mike pence for president. what -- from what you have seen over the first two weeks, has it increased your confidence in the president's leadership? >> you know, frankly, i don't think we do a great job in this country any more distinguishing
between campaigns and governance. it's helpful now that we've moved on from the campaign is to get into a governance posture. the president is the president. regardless of who you voted for. donald trump, hillary clinton, donald duck, i don't care. we should all hope that the president does a good job. that he's surrounded by wise counsellors. that he advances u.s. interests. and we should vigorously debate policy differences. we have too much all or nothing. people think if they voted for somebody, they should reflexively defend everything they do or say. and if you voted against somebody, you should oppose everything they say. we should go on a case-by-case basis. when the president does something great like he did in nominating neil gorsuch, absolute rock star, i'm going to applaud him, salute it, celebrate it, and try to campaign hard for gorsuch to get confirmed. when there are places where we differ, not just with this president but with future presidents, we should have vigorous debate. in the constitutional system of
three branches, peaceful, vigorous debate is a feature not a bug. we need less winner take all politics. >> senator sasse, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for being in nebraska. when we come back, "the roundtable" weighs in on another tumultuous week for president trump and his team. (vo) do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light. do not go gentle into that good night. ♪ ♪
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baldwin and "saturday night live." let's talk about all this on our "roundtable." joined by our political analyst matthew dowd. cnbc critter sara fagen. democratic congressman andre carson. rep congressman tom cole. and jennifer palmieri. who served as communications director for barack obama and hillary clinton. constant news over the weekend on that executive order. the refusal of the stay early this morning. this is shaping up to be a real showdown between the administration and the courts. a good chance we're getting to the supreme court. >> we're drowning in tweets. we're thirsty for a sense of wisdom. i think this is part of the problem when you have a president who is all about action and not about reflection or contemplation in any of this. he gets himself in a situation where it's basically unvetted policy that gets put out there. that has many constitutional problems in the course of this
one. he needs victory. he needs to convince the public he's going to rule or lead in a unified way. every part of this continues to divide the country. >> yeah, there's a -- i think an appreciation by his supporters that he is aggressive and moving quickly. and the spirit of what he's trying to do. is -- prudent. but the way it was executed was so poorly that it makes it harder for him to bring people together to try to implement policy. i mean, the thing that -- when you're in an administration, particularly early in the stages. and you're trying to work with congress. you have to see, every action has an impact down the road. he needs to do things now to bring people together and not divide them. he's not doing that. >> and congressman carson, i'm wondering based on the tweet he sent yesterday, now, if he gets a court to agree with him, it raises the question, are they bowing to pressure from the executive branch? >> in this case, thank god for the founding fathers for setting
up the three branches of government. his impulsivity worries me. he's fanning the flames of zen phobia and -- xenophobia and isl islamophobia. >> i think we have had two presidents in a row that tried to unite the american people. they've failed. this president has decided to get things done. it was a bumpy rollout. they had to make changes afterwards. it goes to matthew's point. they hadn't thought all of it through. the concern about the security of the american people. it polls well, if you wanted to use that as a measure. he's had an interesting opening two weeks. but i think he's going to be a lot more effective than most people give him credit for. >> there's a lot of process and style problems. i think we should note he campaigned as a demagogue. and he's presenting as a demagogue. if you were setting out to have that be what your presidency was about, he's taken all the steps to do that. at a substantive level, we
should all be very concerned. in terms of how they're operating the white house, they had this chaos theory. this is just chaos. a good chaos theory means you have a disciplined strategy behind the scenes of how you're going to roll out policy. you do it in a way that inflicts chaos on the press and your opponents. what they have done here is just chaos. they're doing what their base wanted. they're keeping the base content. >> we're in the promise-keeping business, you heard him say. >> but what their problem is doing that, first of all, they're doing it badly. it's bad policy, too. but they're igniting on our side, an opposition and passion in the opposition that we have never -- literally we have not seen in in country. more so than the tea party. >> i think they misread the election, in my view. the donald trump administration. they think that the majority of the country is with them on these things. >> maybe they don't care. they care about having the base solid. that's enough to get through their policies. >> nah.
>> here's the problem. that exists as long as republicans don't start to peel away. which will ultimately happen. it's happened to other republican presidents. my concern is this. as much of these policies are based on the fears of his base, instead of the facts elements of this. ben franklin said once, if you give up freedom to get security, you deserve neither. and in this case, there is no connecting the dots to the seven countries he chose. there's no real connect the dots in the realm of this. i have to say, everybody can say this is not a muslim ban. it is a muslim ban. if i campaigned to say i want to keep the irish out of the country and when i became president, and i said, i'm not going to do that. i'm going the keep people of ireland out of the country. everybody would know what it is. >> we have over 40 countries
majority muslim countries not affected by this at all. if you look at these seven countries, isil is a big part in the countries. in the case of iran, they don't cooperate. you have state sponsors of terrorism. to suggest this is a muslim ban is wrong. >> it's absolutely -- >> congressman? >> trump has business interests in a lot of the countries that are not on the list. >> would you build businesses in syria today? in somalia? >> has a single terrorist -- tom, has a single terrorist from one of those seven countries committed an act in the united states? >> by that definition, any country that has you want them under a ban? >> why isn't saudi arabia under the ban? >> you look at places where governments are not functioning. and can't help you vet people. do you think we can adequately vet people in syria? >> he campaigned on a temporary muslim ban. that's what he campaigned on. >> he also pulled back from that. >> there are bigger challenges, for him, i think. if you step
back and think about the last ten days. it's, in many ways been the best of trump and the most challenging of trump's actions. >> the best you're saying the supreme court pick? >> the supreme court, from the great tactical move in the campaign of releasing the list and bringing conservatives to his side to the execution of a terrific judge. it's been a great, you know, period of time for him. at the same time, you have this travel ban going on. the confluence of these things, could make it such that, you know, he puts gorsuch in a much worse position. if we end up in the supreme court on this travel ban, the politics of the court confirmation process, the most important thing to donald trump's base, the most important thing, and that's to me where the administration needs to step back and think more strategically and more broadly. >> and that's exactly where senator schumer went on that. >> they could have waited three weeks or a month on the travel ban if it was that important to them. >> i'm going to bring this on to jennifer. here's a judge who got a 99-0 voice -- a voice vote confirmation. he's got the support of liberals like neal katyel.
and then what the republicans are saying is it's up to the democrats to see if you're going to pull the nuclear trigger or not and change the rules on the supreme court. >> i think democrats have to pull all the way back and have a theory of the case about how they're going to be in opposition to this president. i think they have an enormous burden on them. they can't get -- i think they should follow the rules of our democracy. the founders put good guard rules in place. they should follow the rules. they should not follow convention. >> what does that mean? >> so that moons, that means -- they have to do, they resist. but that's different than obstructing. i think they have to do everything that is allowed under the constitution, under senate rules, to hold trump accounta e accountable, to try to ferret out what this judge might think about presidential powers. whatever the -- whatever is in
front of them, they have to push to to furthest spot that's allowed under the law. not following convention. convention says a president picks the cabinet and you largely defer to them. in this case, when you have someone like ben carson who says, i don't think i'm qualified for the job. governor perry who wanted to get rid of the department he's supposed to head. they shouldn't be confirmed. they can't get caught up in how republicans acted or how democrats did it under president bush. they have got to be as aggressive as possible in defending our policies. >> i think washington has a high level of hypocrisy. i think the level of hypocrisy that has come out of the united states senate on both sides of the aisle is amazing. here's we have a senate that republicans didn't allow a vote on merrick garland. who was approved on the court of appeals. by a majority. >> some say that is reason enough not to fill the court. >> i don't agree. it's their job to hold hearings and vote. let the votes fall where they may. the democrats ought to say, we're going to do extreme vetting on this. it's going to be a vote. that's what the constitution says.
that's what the rule is. you can't keep changing the rules based on who holds political power. >> you have a vote. where do you stand? >> i agree to some degree. this is a great lesson in civics for the american people. people are weighing in. i share his view. >> i think democrats are in a real pickle on this one because of the qualifications and the impeccable standards by this judge being viewed by nearly everybody who has ever worked with him. democrat or republican alike. chuck schumer trying to play the obstructionist has nine democrats up for election in 2018 in states that donald trump won. five of whom donald trump won somewhere between 19 and 21 points in these states. is he going to drive these folks off the cliff? >> it's hypocritical for the republicans to talk about obstruction when they did what think did. >> it's a completely different situation, matt.
one, you're in a final year of an administration. and two, the republicans controlled the senate. >> it was a year out. it was a year out. it was a full year. that shouldn't matter. >> with all due respect, president obama in the senate tried to filibuster a supreme court nominee. vice president biden said you should not bring in anybody in the last year if it would tilt the balance of the court. >> that's right. they didn't say don't meet with the guy. >> i want to pose a slightly different question to you. do you think this white house is looking at the polling in a conventional way? and how is it going to affect republican members of congress like you, if he sticks in the 40s or below, on his overall popularity rating, how much does that matter to you and your colleagues? or is what is more important how he stands in your district? >> politically, the district or the state is more important. in reality, if he's in the 40s
overall, that means in my district, he's probably in the 80s. you don't look at it in terms of the overall electorate. you look in terms of your own position if that is a driving factor. it shouldn't be. it's something that politicians take into consideration. >> do you think that will be the ultimate decider? >> well, as i said the other day to you, george, to me, polls, approval ratings are like an offensive line. if the line is weak, the defense is empowered and emboldened. they'll blitz and try to disrupt the quarterback. i think tom is right as until donald trump's numbers start deteriorating in a serious way among republicans, the polls won't matter until that happens. >> three-quarters of our conference has never served with a republican president. they've never served with a president that can reach into their base and generate hundreds of telephone calls and pressure. his position is powerful. >> the question will be, what will the difference that jennifer talked about earlier, the protests cropping up? how powerful is that going to
be? >> i agree with matt. if it's just the democratic tea party, it will probably not dissuade the administration from taking any action it wants to put forth. if it starts to come from republicans. if you see senators like ben sasse, very respectful, earlier on the program, quick to condemn some of donald trump's comments. if you start to see that among a majority of the senate, members of the house, the republican base and conservative writers, it's going to get a lot harder for them to accomplish what they want to. >> do you see that coming? >> i think we're seeing buyer's remorse as we speak. vice president pence talked about the first few weeks of action. i think we're seeing distraction and disaster. more and more independents, more and more libertarians, more and more republicans are saying, i actually voted for this guy. he does not represent my values. >> that is going to have to be the last word today. thank you all very much. we'll be right back.
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>> i'm monica malpass on "inside story." big local protest to president trump's executive orders, but will they matter? let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning, i'm monica malpass, and welcome to "inside story." let's meet our insiders today. and they are nia meeks, communications executive. >> good morning. >> good morning. welcome to you. dom giordano, radio talk show host. >> good morning. >> welcome back. nice to have you, sir. jim eisenhower, attorney. good morning. thank you, jim. >> good morning, monica. >> and jeff jubelirer, communications executive. >> hello, monica. >> thank you, jeff. all right, let's talk about some of these executive orders that have happened in the last couple of weeks. and one of them, for certain, really incited a big protest in philadelphia international airport at the international terminal. 5,000 people turned out to protest because of, of course, the executive order that set a ban on immigrants from seven mostly muslim countries. in fact, two syrian families who had green cards and they had visas, allhe