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Extreme Vetting; Statue of Liberty in Tears; New Supreme Court Justice. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 27, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." That is the Statue of Liberty of course. Unless you're from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Yemen or Somalia.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
President Donald Trump signing an order for extreme vetting of immigrants and saying persecuted Christian refugees will be given priority.
Plus, for the second time in a week, streets of Washington flooded with demonstrators. This time, they're antiabortion activities, will they be happy with President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court?
And with the eyes of the world watching did President Trump pass the test in his first face-to-face with a world leader?
Lot to get to tonight. But I want to get right to CNN's White House correspondent, senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. Jim, good evening. I see you there right in front of the White House. The president went to the Pentagon late this afternoon where he took action to limit the flow of refugees coming into the country. Here's the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don't want them here.
We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Jim, what more do we know about the president's action today?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: These are -- these are very sweeping actions, Don, in the executive order. I mean, just going through them it's pretty striking. Ninety days that we're seeing a suspension of visas being issued for people coming from the seven countries you mentioned at top of the show, seven countries that have had ties to terrorism.
Countries like, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, the Sudan, and so on, and then what is something that I think a lot of people are just getting their minds around at this point and that is the suspension of the U.S refugee program, the entire U.S. refugee program for 120 days.
And as part of that suspension the Trump administration is now ending the flow of Syrian refugees in the United States. That program is over. And also part of this, the Trump administration is implementing what they're calling extreme vetting measures.
They want to have basically uniform vetting measures for people coming in from basically all over the world. So, they want to make sure that folks who are coming in are subjected to biometric screening and that sort of thing. Especially coming from that part of the world that they're concerned about.
but Don, you know, one thing we want to point out to our viewers, is that at this point all of the countries that are affected by this 90- day suspension of visas those seven countries are all Muslim majority countries.
And when it comes to refugee program they're saying going forward that when they look at admitting refugees into the country in the future after this 120-day refugee suspension is lifted that there will be a prioritization given to people who are religious minorities in some of these countries.
So that basically means Christian refugees who are coming into the country that are going to be given a priority status over Muslims refugees or people of other religious backgrounds because presumably in most of these countries if you're a minority person from a religious background you're going to tend to be a Christian.
So, these are very sweeping changes. We haven't gotten a whole lot of guidance from the White House as to how this is going to be implemented and what the next steps are but we expect that to come in the coming days.
LEMON: I wonder what the reaction is. There are people seeing this is a religious test. Is that how people are viewing?
ACOSTA: That is how people are viewing it. I mean, if you look at the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer he put out a statement tonight saying that there are tears flowing down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty.
Senator Kamala Harris from California put out a very strong statement, she's been talked about as candidate for 2020 saying make no mistake, this is a Muslim ban.
And so you know, this executive order, Don, was signed in the afternoon over at the Pentagon but we did not get our hands on the actual physical document although I have it right here until after the evening newscasts were over in the evening.
There was no background conference call given to reporters, there were no officials coming out and explaining this is what this means. We were just given this executive order. So, a lot of it is subject to interpretation at this point and I think it's going to be hotly debated on the Sunday talk shows and well into next week.
LEMON: Yes. Jim, the president also has had first face-to-face meeting today with Theresa May. What came out of that meeting?
[22:04:57] ACOSTA: I think what came out of that meeting was, you know, -- let's make sure we get the stuff out of the way that I think is important. That is that the U.S. and United Kingdom are showing that once again they have a special relationship.
President Trump went out of his way to greet Prime Minister Theresa May at the West Wing Portico door. That is something that is rarely done over at the White House and he chose Prime Minister May for his first joint news conference that says a lot about the U.S. British relationship.
But having said all of that, there were some differences on display. Theresa May made it very clear that she wants to continue the sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Crimea, that is something that President Trump is open to lifting.
And we might hear about that in the coming days. He has a phone call tomorrow with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
And Theresa May also made a point of saying President Trump you told me that you are 100 percent behind the NATO alliance. That was an interesting corner that she tried to put him in diplomatically.
I thought during this news conference, because as you know, Donald Trump has said throughout the campaign and even into the transition that he thought that the NATO alliance was obsolete. And so, it was some interesting diplomatic jujitsu on display being demonstrated by the British prime minister.
But I think more than anything lots of similarities, lots of agreement on many, many issues. But those are some big differences we saw on display there.
LEMON: Jim Acosta at the White House. Jim, thank you very much.
Now I want to bring in CNN's Michael Smerconish, also Michael Reagan, the author of "Lessons my Father Taught me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Regan," he's also a News Max contributor and also obviously the son of the former president.
Thank you so much for joining us this evening both of you. Mr. Smerconish, what do you think about the president announcing this new extreme vetting measures on immigrants from Muslim countries, limiting the flow of refugees into the country. is this a religious test?
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: Yes, it is a religious test. I'm surprised that there weren't a few more nations that were put on that list so as to give cover to what I think is an inevitable legal challenge that will come on that basis and say this is a prohibition that is based strictly on religion and not necessarily on geography.
So, that was first thought. My second thought was for better or worse because that's a divide in the country; he's doing what he said he was going to do. You know, this was part of the campaign; it was a very controversial part of the campaign. It seemed, Don, like he backed off his Muslim ban pledge.
But in fact here it is, one week into this new presidency. And there been any number of things that have transpired so many of us --- I'll take the heat for this, awaited the pivot that never came.
SMERCONISH: He was consistent from the moment that he descended that escalator at Trump Tower until this moment in time in terms of saying and then doing what he planned.
LEMON: Michael Reagan, a muslin ban, here it is. A Muslin ban without saying a Muslim ban. But before you react, I want to read a part of this statement. This is from your father in his U.S. immigration refugee policy. This is from 1981.
He said, "First of all," he starts off by saying "Our nation is a nation of immigrants more than any other country of immigrants. Our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage, and so on."
And then he says, finally at the end, "We recognize that immigration and refugee problems require international solutions. We will seek greater international cooperation in the resettlement of refugees in the Caribbean base and international cooperation to assist a solid economic development to reduce motivations for illegal immigration."
"Immigration and refugees policy is an important part of our past and fundamental to our national interest. With the help of Congress and the American people we will work towards a new and realistic immigration policy, a policy that will be fair to our own citizens while it opens a door of opportunity for those who seek a new life in America."
So, it sounds a lot different than the policy that we heard coming out today.
MICHAEL REAGAN, "LESSONS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME" AUTHOR: Boy, absolutely agree with that statement my father made. But then we had 9/11. Then we had Paris, France. Then we has San Bernardino, all the other problems that we have had with the extremist, the radical extremists who have blowing up buildings and killing people.
And I would make -- I would believe that my father would make a completely different statement based on that scenario than the scenario he was making a statement on back in 1981.
LEMON: It is a different and it's a different time. And he's absolutely right. You know, the question is, this isn't permanent thing, this is a hold for now. So that they can -- we can see if people can be vetted better to come into this country.
SMERCONISH: Yes. I don't -- I don't know, and I find interesting what Michael said about his father for whom I had the utmost respect would have gone along with this. I guess I shouldn't debate Michael Reagan on what his dad would have done. But I don't want this--
LEMON: But you're going to.
SMERCONISH: But I'm going to. I don't want you can see that ground because I can imagine that the gaper would have taken this position, Michael.
REAGAN: Michael, we're in a different time, a different place. The world is under attack by radical extremist Jihadists. We weren't under attack by Jihadists back in the day.
But let's look at the day. Do you think my father would open the doors to Soviet Union, to people here wanting to come to the United States of America unvetted? No. He wouldn't have done that.
[22:10:08] And I think you have to look at in the time frame that we in fact are in today. And I think the president, as you said, he's going to so that.
LEMON: You're not saying people are coming here unvetted, though, are you, Michael?
REAGAN: No, but even the FBI said that they have no way to vet the people coming in the way they need to be vetted who are coming to the United States of America. Look at what is going on in Germany, look what's going on in France with the refugees going into those countries, they're having problems.
We see those problems. And what the president is trying to do is make sure we don't have any more problems than we've already had. He promises he would do this.
LEMON: I'll ask you, I'll ask Mr. Smerconish. Do you think that this is a religious test? And it goes against our Constitution?
REAGAN: Well, but remember in the document he doesn't say religious test that we can call it the religious test all we want. But the fact to the matter where in fact are the terrorists coming from?
And you're right, Michael, he could have put more countries on there and maybes should have put more countries on there. But reality is these are where the radical Jihadists are in fact coming from, this where they're living and this is where they're planning to kill innocent people.
SMERCONISH: Michael, can I say, I've been sitting here with my wheels spinning. Because I know if what I'm about to say leaves my lips, there's going to be a hue and cry but to hell with them I'm going to say it anyway.
LEMON: Would that ever stop you?
SMERCONISH: First of all, I'm one who fully embraces the lingo of radical Islamic terror. This is not coming from the left that which I'm about to say. We were total victims on December 11. Undeniable. But they are after we invaded the wrong country. And we walked into and lit a hornet's nest on fire.
And part of me as sitting here saying we bear some responsibility for the dominos that fell thereafter. And some of the folks who are now precluded from coming into the United States frankly causally could look at United States and our wrong-headed invasion of Iraq and that was the beginning point. And so, if you put them in alert they have nowhere to go.
REAGAN: But, Michael -- Michael, many on us the right and the left have argued that point about originally going into Iraq, was that the right choice, was that the wrong choice. We've argued that, that's been on the docket for what, 20 years now it seems we've been arguing that point.
But let's look at the last eight years, in fact when red lines are drawn. And we, in fact, allow the Russians to cross that red line and nothing happens to them at all. Look at things that Barack Obama put in place. Look the fact when he brought our people out of the Middle East and allowed ISIS and the rest of them to flourish in that area of the world.
SMERCONISH: Yes. Well, I got -- I got to take issue as father of three teenage sons I'm thrilled he got us out of there. Because otherwise they be there today fighting somebody else's war.
LEMON: And we have to remember that President George W. Bush he is the one negotiated who negotiated the status forces that he say that we had to get out of that part of the world.
SMERCONISH: And quick, Don, can I take one other point?
LEMON: But that could have been renegotiated. Yes. But I want to ask you about something else. Quickly, go ahead.
SMERCONISH: OK. All right. Peter Bergen, our colleague, Peter has written a tremendous book and has documented how -- you know, this is a serious issue. But the threat that we most face today are individuals who are here, many of them Americans who have become radicalized.
SMERCONISH: They're the ones I'm most worried about.
LEMON: That was going to be my question. What do you about it because a lot of it is home-grown terrorism, most of it is not people who are coming in from other countries, Michael.
REAGAN: Social media and what have you, you're absolutely right. We have to go over those people who are overstaying their visas and work with those and figure that way to get those people out the United States. And there's a lot of work to be done.
But what would we be saying if Hillary Clinton would have won, would been happy is she would have say, hey, open borders, come on, cross, live here and be happy the rest of your life. No. I wouldn't have been. Maybe you would have been. Well, I think, you're looking -- we're looking at a worse situation.
LEMON: But we would be on television debating it.
REAGAN: You have a president trying to protect America.
REAGAN: Now you know I didn't support him for a very, very long time.
REAGAN: But we elected him.
REAGAN: And he is doing exactly what he said he would do.
REAGAN: So give him time to see how it's going to work out. If America is safer world is better, then we're going to applaud him.
LEMON: Michael Smerconish, I think it's safe to say we would be debating if there were an open door policy whether or not that was right for the country as we are--
SMERCONISH: We don't have an open door policy.
LEMON: Right. If that were the case is what he said.
LEMON: The premise that he set up. But listen, I have to run. The producers are telling me -- the producer is telling me I have to go. I was struck by the Trump supporters you had on this evening, and the disconnect from both sides. And I think you're right on. If you listen to democrats, you know, most of them sort of a, what is it call, Trump dementia? I forget what it's called. And then, you know, and on the opposite side as well.
SMERCONISH: I don't get -- I don't get the people who are so hostile toward me saying why would you give them that platform? Hey, we had an election in this country and the 46 percent represented by guests that I had tonight, you know, they won the election. I want to hear what they had to say and this issue of silos and bubbles is a two-way street.
LEMON: But even beyond -- but even beyond the silos and bubbles what bothers me most, it doesn't matter if someone is conservative or liberal or who you support.
[22:15:05] What matters is if you are informed. And you know, I won't say that those folks weren't but there a lot of people who are just not informed and they are basing their judgment on things that are not true and on misinformation.
REAGAN: But Don.
LEMON: I let Michael Smerconish, and then you.
REAGAN: But Don - Don, let me tell you--
LEMON: Hang on, let Michael Smerconish, and then you.
SMERCONISH: The facts have never been fungible in the past the way they are today.
SMERCONISH: And I share your sense of frustration.
LEMON: Go ahead, Michael Reagan.
REAGAN: but Don, there are people watching this show right now saying the same thing about the left as you just said about the right. We have got to find the ways--
LEMON: I didn't say about the right. That's he's taken. I didn't just say about the right.
REAGAN: But that's how -- but that's how it's being interpreted.
REAGAN: That's how it's being interpreted.
LEMON: But that's wrong. That's wrong. Just like if there are -- they are alternative facts.
REAGAN: I want to see the days -- I want to see the days where Tip O'Neill--
LEMON: That's wrong as well.
REAGAN: -- where Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan get together and get things done. I'd love to see President Trump and the leader of the Senate get together and get things accomplished for the better of all of us.
LEMON: Yes. You guys are going to get -- I'm already in trouble. They tell me I'm over. We've got to go. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Fascinating conversation. I really enjoyed it. Have a great weekend. And you make sure CNN's Smerconish every Saturday. Make sure you tune in at 9 a.m. Eastern, and again at 6 p.m. You better go to sleep then so you can be fresh tomorrow.
When we come right back, restricting refugees really -- is it really the way to keep us safe here in America? And will the world see us differently if America rolls up the welcome mat?
LEMON: President Donald Trump making good on a campaign promise, signing an executive order today that limits flow of refugees into the United States by instituting what he calls extreme vetting of immigrants.
I want to talk about this now with David Miliband, he is the president of the International Rescue Committee. So good to have you on.
DAVID MILIBAND, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE PRESIDENT AND CEO: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: So let's put this some of the things that this executive order would do. Let's put up on the full screen here.
He signed this executive action limiting the entry of refugees into the United States. So, it bans a person from a certain terror-prone countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and then on and on and on.
[22:20:03] And says it would be down more than half from the current level of 110,000 by the end of the fiscal year. So, what do you make of this?
MILIBAND: So, it's a very, very sad day, isn't it? Because America is no safer than it was 24 hours ago, but 60,000 people who have been through the vetting process around the world, victims of terror around the world, aren't going to able to come here. And what's more America's reputation as a humanitarian leader has been lost. And a propaganda gift for those extremists who want to say that America doesn't want Muslims to some here. So, I think this is a dangerous day really, a hasty and harmful set of decisions.
Because remember, it's hard to get to America's refugee than through any other route at the moment. These are victims of terror who are seeking haven.
LEMON: You said it won't make us safer, explain to our audience why it won't makes us safer. Because there are many out there watching saying, you know, the people who have come in who can possibly harm our country they're are looking to, you know, Sharia law and all of that into for terror into bombers and hurt us. They won't be getting in. There's a possible--
MILIBAND: Well, the one good thing -- the one good thing is I can (Inaudible) and explain what the current system already is. It takes up to 36 months for a refugee to be vetted outside this country by American authorities, 12 to 15 government departments of the U.S. including the CIA vet individual cases.
Biometric testing that was referred to in your previous segment means that Americas choose the refugees who are going to come here and become productive residents and then patriotic citizens.
And the record of this country is of successful refugee resettlement. Look, my organization we work in war zones around the world delivering humanitarian aid and we resettle refugees here. And the experiences, I met refugees today from Iran, from Syria, they've arrived in the last couple of weeks. They're here and grateful for the chance to make a new start for themselves.
LEMON: So, you speak -- I'm sure you've heard what CAIR had to say. They were swift in response, CARE is a Council on American-Islamic Relations and now it's going to mount a federal challenge to the executive order. Do you think they are going to have any success in there or is it symbolic?
MILIBAND: Look, I'm not here to give you the legal advice. Obviously, your -- this is a nation of laws not just the nation of people. And the Constitution has to be upheld.
The point I want to make is that we've got a situation where around the world there's a global refugee crisis. There are tens of thousands of people who literally who have given the docket that they can't come here and they are being left in limbo by this.
And America's allies in the Gulf and elsewhere are left having to explain to their own population how to explain that America has shut the door on refugees.
MILIBAND: That is a very sad state of affairs.
LEMON: You know Malala Yousafzai, right, the young girl who was -- they tried -- they tried to kill her, right?
MILIBAND: She's an Afghan girl who was shot by the Taliban.
LEMON: Yes. And she's also a Noble Peace Prize winner.
LEMON: So, here's what she said. She said, "I'm heartbroken that today, President Trump is closing the door on children, mothers and fathers fleeing violence and war. I'm heartbroken that America is turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants, the people who help build our country really to work hard exchange for -- in exchange for a fair chance at a new life."
And then I won't read the entire thing but this is what Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said, "Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty." And then he goes on to say that this is, "This is one of the most backward and nasty executive orders that the president has issued." What do you make of -- put up the cover the New York Daily News tomorrow as well.
MILIBAND: I now live and work in the U.S., I'm from the U.K. One of the great things about America is that it says it wants people from around the world to become -- to come here and make something of their lives.
And when you hear friends of America like Malala Yousafzai, who has always looked to America as a source of freedom saying that this is a backward step. I think it's a chance for the administration to show that it can indeed listen.
Actually there was an item that they are saying that former Vice President Cheney has said that anything like a Muslim ban would be against the traditions of America.
Right over to Chuck Schumer on the democratic side. There is a real issue now around the world about how to take on Islamic extremism, and it seems to me very, very important that we are strategic in the way we form our policy as they are in the terror that they try to spread. And the defeat of forces depends on our alliance of countries like this with Muslim majority nation and people around the world. This is not the way to--
LEMON: So, just to be clear, I'll ask you the same question I ask my last two guests in the segment before this. Is this a religious test, which is basically against the Constitution?
MILIBAND: Well, there's no question that the executive order says in terms that religion will be privileged above other reasons. So, ironically, if you're a political dissident in Cuba, or Russia or China you don't get the same sort of treatment under this executive order as if you are claiming religious discrimination.
LEMON: Yes. Do you think there is a myopic element to this that some in America may be celebrating this? But the globally how does this played? Does this change America's role and position on the global stage?
MILIBAND: It undoubtedly changes America's reputation around the world. And I think it makes America's role around the world more difficult precisely because of the alliances that you need with countries that are hosting millions of refugees.
They are America's allies countries like Jordan, they're got a million refugees and then they see America quibbling about whether or not they can take 50,000 and they wonder what kind of alliance they've got.
[22:25:11] LEMON: You know, this is Holocaust Remembrance Day, today that we remember the people who suffered religious persecution. What do you think of the American president doing this on this day?
MILIBAND: Well, this is where the professional and personal come together, Don. My family are a family of refugees, my dad was a refugee to the United Kingdom in 1940 when the Germans invaded Belgium. My mom survived the war in Poland and came to Britain as a refugee in 1946.
Many of the members of their -- of my family didn't make it through the war.
MILIBAND: And it wasn't just anyone. It was Jews who were slaughtered across Europe. And it's striking to me that we had International Rescue Committee today, yes, there's a backlash, yes, people are saying we're afraid. But other people are saying hang on, we want to stand up, because the people today who are fleeing terror in Syria and elsewhere, are actually we can see ourselves from 70 years ago. And I think that's an important message.
LEMON: I've got to go, but do you think when people say this is a different time. We're living in different times now, people are actively trying to kill us.
MILIBAND: It's a different time. But tragically, in 1940, 1941, 1942, and 1943, Jews weren't allowed to come to America. It was only in 1944 that they were welcomed into America or any kind of any significant numbers. We should learn the lessons of history. Of course, we should move forward but let's learn the lessons.
LEMON: Thank you.
MILIBAND: Thank you very much.
LEMON: I appreciate it. Always a pleasure.
Up next, President Trump revealing new interview, he hints about his Supreme Court nominee, he talks about giving priority to Christian refugees and has some surprising things to say about faith.
[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[22:30:00] LEMON: The president sitting down with the Christian Broadcasting Network today for a wide ranging interview on everything from his refugee policy to the Supreme Court to his faith.
I want to bring in now David Brody, he is the chief political correspondent for CBN, for Christian Broadcasting Network. And he did that interview. David, thank you so much for joining us.
You spoke with the president today. The end of his first week as leader of the free world. How did he seem to be setting -- settling in his new job?
DAVID BRODY, CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK CORRESPONDENT: He looked pretty comfortable to me, Don. I interviewed him 10 times, obviously the first time as a sitting president. But nine other times during the campaign he came into the blue room where were interviewing and really seemed very at ease and comfortable.
It's interesting. I mean, one of the things with Donald Trump all along, or now President Trump, has been that he seems to be comfortable in his own skin and that doesn't seem at all to have changed as president.
LEMON: So, he signed executive actions today, David, to limit the flow of refugees in this country, it's getting a lot of play. In your interview with the president he tells you Christian refugees will be a priority. I want to play that again and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRODY: Persecuted Christians we've talked about this, overseas.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right.
BRODY: The refugee program that or the refugee changes you're looking to make as it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?
BRODY: You do.
TRUMP: Yes, they're been horribly treated. You know, if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible very, very, at least very, very tough to get into the United States. If you were Muslim you could come in but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.
And the reason it was so unfair is that everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so, the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So, we are going to help them.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: What did you make of his answer?
BRODY: Well what I was struck by, Don, is that he interrupted right as I was asking the question because -- and he interrupted with yes, as in they will be a priority. He was very forceful on that.
You know, we've talked about this before, him and I, in previous interviews. But as president, obviously, words definitely matter. And the fact that he is going to prioritize persecuted Christians I thought was pretty, pretty strong language, especially the fact that he interrupted that question and say yes.
He got right to the -- I didn't know if he would hem and haw on the priority because then you open up to maybe some potential criticism out there. But he's been pretty consistent on this all along, Don.
LEMON: Did he understand. Because many people will see this, might see as a religious test of sorts about people who can be admitted to the country.
I wonder how your viewers will feel about that. And did he also understand that when you look at the number of refugees, according to Pew that were -- that entered the country, it was that far off, 38,000 versus 37,000 Christian to Muslim.
Did he -- the number is up right there. Did he understand that and how do you think your viewers are going to react to that?
BRODY: Well, I think what he said in that interview today is going to be very simpatico with how our viewers feel. And what do I mean by that exactly is look, the reality is Donald Trump kind of looks at things more in the broad picture or the broader scope.
For example, radical Islamic terrorism, so he believes and very correctly that there are Islamic groups killing folks in the Middle East. This just in, Don, we know this. But Donald Trump sees that as generality of what's going on, and therefore, Christians are indeed persecuted overseas.
And so therefore he's just kind of lumping those together and saying something needs to be done. I mean, the reality is that Christians overseas, are the last I checked, not going around and chopping the heads off radical Muslim terrorists. And so, he's kind of looking that from that perspective.
LEMON: Yes. Especially if you look at the population and what the -- it's less than 5 percent Christian, right, from Syria and most of them 97 percent, I think it's 99 or 93 percent Muslim, 5 percent Christian of the religious composition there. And that's an estimate from 2010.
So, David, the president he is planning to announce his pick for the Supreme Court next week. You asked about that. Let's play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I think also its who is going to get approved. And you know, we have to go through a process after I pick the person that I'm going to be picking, who I think I know but I'm not 100 percent. I can't guarantee it.
[22:35:00] And I put out 20 before the election, I said these are the people I'll pick. And I think that the person that I pick will be a big, big -- I think people are going to love it. I think the Evangelicals, Christians will love my pick. And will be represented very, very fairly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Yes. So, when he says that Evangelicals will love his pick, I'm sure he's aware that whoever he chooses has to get approval of Congress first, right. So, what does that tell you?
BRODY: Well, a couple of things. First of all, the Evangelicals as you know, Don, voted for Donald Trump, number one reason was because of the Supreme Court pick. No question about it. And so, I don't think --I think it's a pretty much a no-brainer that this better be a pretty good pick that Evangelicals they gather around.
And obviously we heard of Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman, and Bill Pryor. So, one of those three most likely. Though, Bill Pryor, of course having potential issues among the Evangelicals as it relates to transgender rights.
So that may have been a tipoff a little but in the interview that maybe Bill Pryor isn't necessarily going to get the nod because there has been squabble in Evangelical circles about Bill Pryor.
LEMON: David, you asked the president about his spiritual journey, about God. And I want to play a part of that answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I would say that the office is so powerful that you need God even more because your decisions are no longer gee, I'm going to build a building in New York or I'm going to do this. These are -- these are questions of massive life and death.
Even with regard to health care. You know, we're working very hard on health care, but there you're talking about life and death and you're talking about better lives, people lives of people living better because they have better health care at a lower price which we're working very hard on.
So, yes, you realize these decisions are all so important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you make of that -- of his answer?
BRODY: Well, you know, Donald Trump and I go back about seven or eight years or so. And you know, he's a very private man when it comes to his faith. He doesn't wear it on his sleeve. That's not shocking. And so, I think some of what he said today is pretty revealing in the
sense that he's on a journey. I mean, I don't think there's any question about that. And if you kind of dig deeper, and of course that the Christian Broadcasting Network, we're digging a bit deeper and we know that he has been -- how do we say, the gospel has been presented to him on numerous occasions and really kind of talking about the love of Jesus and all of that. So, I--
LEMON: Were you surprised to hear him in the context of health care when he talk about life and death issues?
LEMON: And about the realities that he has to consider?
BRODY: Not at all. Because there is a compassionate streak to Donald Trump. He doesn't typically wear that on his sleeve either. But if the remember one of those debates, Don, he talked about how he doesn't want to see anybody to go homeless in the United States.
I mean, there is that compassionate streak which actually gets him in trouble sometimes with conservatives, you know, because anyone to maybe spend a little bit more than conservatives want to spend.
So, the point is that there is -- there is a pattern of compassion in the personal Donald Trump, the inside Donald Trump, the one that many people -- remember, Ben Carson said, there are two Donald Trumps and I think that's part of his fabric.
LEMON: Yes. I've interviewed him a number of times, you have as well. The person that you've meet in person is not necessarily the person you see up on the podium or behind the microphones when you see on television, they're often, you know, they're often contradictory.
David, your entire interview airs this weekend. Anything else from the interview you'd like to share now?
BRODY: Well, there are quite a few things that are still out there. We'll fins on Sunday night 11 o'clock by the way on another cable channel. But I will say this--
LEMON: Christian Broadcasting Network. That's OK.
BRODY: Well, yes, it's actually on freeform over at the former ABC family channel. But look, one of the things he did talks about is tax reform. And I will tell you now that I asked him within those first 100 days do you expect to have some sort of tax reform bill on your desk?
He said not necessarily to sign but he wants a structure in place in that first 100 days. And so we talked a little bit about that and there are few other things as well. LEMON: David Brody, I always appreciate it. Thank you, sir.
BRODY: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Thank you.
Coming up, less than a week after the women's march around the country thousands of antiabortion activists descend on D.C. for the march for life.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Thousands of antiabortion activists gathering in Washington today for the March for Life not even a week after the women's marches in D.C. and around the world.
Let's discuss now with CNN political analyst, Kirsten Powers is here, also CNN political commentator Kayleigh McEnany and Tara Setmayer, and political contributor, Hilary Rosen.
Hello to all of you. Thanks you coming on. Less than a week after those massive demonstration -- I'll start with you, Kirsten, in many U.S. cities around the word. And then today we saw a large crowd of demonstrators in Washington standing up for what they believe in, and don't believe in abortion. Is that, can you fairly compare these two marches?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know what the numbers were in terms of the turnout for this. I mean, they have from different -- different years have, you know, one year they have like 650,000, so you know, I don't know what it was this year.
But I think that, you know, they're not necessarily the opposites, right? Because the women's march was about a lot of issues. If you look at the sort of issues that they laid out, it was about disability rights, gay rights, civil rights, women's rights, so it was a lot of different issues. This is a much more narrow and pro-abortion rights obviously.
This was more narrow, this was very focused on the pro-life cause, specifically abortion, I think you know, they would maybe say other pro-life issues like opposing the assisted suicide but it was mostly about abortion.
LEMON: Yes. When you look at this march, and you look at this one was specifically, Tara, about antiabortion. Last week was about a number of issues, about LGBT issue, it was abortion rights; it was about women's issues and health care and on and on and on. Is it -- would it be fair to say that last weekend's march was mostly in opposition to President Trump?
[22:45:00] TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's fair to say that last week's march was probably inspired by the election of Donald Trump. And they've been planning it for a while. It's something the left is very good at, we've seen this organized protests, well-funded. But I think we need to be very cautious about dismissing the women's
marches last weekend. you know, a friend of mine wrote a piece for Evan (Ph) wrote a piece in the New York Times talking about it's very reminiscent of the tea party movement and that they may have learn those lessons.
LEMON: Van Jones said that as well.
SETMAYER: Yes. And so, I think that that comparison is relevant. Because we don't want to sit here and just gloat into glory. You know, I'm a conservative so, we're like, yes, and we're in control everything now and those are crazies over there marching.
And there's some element of that. But there are also legitimate concerns that women across the country have about a Donald Trump presidency given his own behavior and his past statements. So, I think we need to pay attention to what those grievances and not take that for granted because midterm elections are right around the corner and that could come back to bite republicans.
LEMON: And you know what, she's right because many said that about the tea party. If look at who is in control of the Congress now the House and the Senate, I mean, a lot of these people it sparked by the tea party. Republicans are in control in large part because of the tea party. People dismissed them, and said, you know, some people said they are racist, that they, you know, sort or violent in some way, trying to cast them as that the same way, or nut jobs as you said.
SETMAYER: Right. I mean, there were some element of that--
LEMON: Other words. Yes.
SETMAYER: But not overall.
LEMON: So, what do you think?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I do think that we are learning on our side from some of the intensity and resistance of the tea party. I think the big difference though, is tea party actually protested within their own party as much as they did in the opposition.
But there's no question that last week's march was a mobilization of the resistance against Donald Trump. I mean against the perception and the fear of what he will do. And what we already have now started to see him do when it comes to family planning globally, when it comes to immigration.
And think, you know, our challenge is going to be on the left, our challenge is going to be to make this resistance mean something on an ongoing basis. To make folks feel nervous about it. Like frankly, we saw the house republicans worry a little bit this week in their retreat about their Planned Parenthood strategy. LEMON: If I were in the administration where -- you know, I'm not --
I'm not a political person or savvy politically I would be concern about that and I think you said that they have to mobilize. Kayleigh, I want to ask you about these numbers, right.
Because as we know, the majority of all women, the majority of all women voted for Hillary Clinton but a majority of white women voted for Donald Trump. This is the most recent Quinnipiac poll about President Trump.
It says that all women 33 percent favorable, 57 percent unfavorable. Among white women 47 percent favorable, 48 percent unfavorale. And then among, let's say will President Trump be a uniter, right, all women, 34 percent, a uniter said - well, uniter, 60 percent said a divider, and the among white women 42 percent say uniter, and 51 percent divider. Does he have some work to do when it comes to all women?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I think so. I think if he does what Ivanka Trump has encouraged him to do, which is paid maternal leave. I think that would be a really great step and surprise a lot of women and say, look, this is someone who really cares about, you know, my right to be a mother, but also be a working mother if I so choose.
But what I will say is I think the march on behalf of all women or so they claimed, when it was really on behalf of liberal women was characterized by a lot of misplaced anger.
I think you saw Madonna stand up there and say she wanted to blow up the White House, and Ashley Judd compared a sitting president to Hitler. And then I watched the March for Life today and I saw a very positive message.
MCENANY: Bringing back the culture of life. Women standing there saying I would have been here right now if my mom had selected abortion, standing up for babies with Down syndrome. I saw a very positive message and I didn't see that.
LEMON: OK. I will let you respond because I know you want to, right after this break. We'll be right back.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Back now with my panel of all men talking about the women's march.
SETMAYER: Well, we're from Jersey, so sometimes they say they got to sit like men, right. Jersey girls right here.
LEMON: All right. They said it, I didn't. So, you wanted to respond to what Kayleigh was saying. She was talking about some of the women -- I don't know, you were saying unhinge or they were--
MCENANY: No, I was saying you had Madonna wanting to blow up the White House versus Mike Pence wanting to create a culture of life. The tones couldn't be more different.
ROSEN: You know, I was -- it was the most positive day, you're taking two lines that were taken out of context.
MCENANY: No. Ashley Judd, Michael Moore, you can go on.
ROSEN: I'm sorry. You know what, there was an entire day filled actually with love, with no violence, not a single arrest, a huge amount of good energy. I just don't have the characterization.
MCENANY: Even Van Jones said he was disappointed with some of the activities. So, I mean, he was there.
ROSEN: He -- I can't accept that characterization of, you know, close to a million women coming to Washington being in their communities around the country and you characterizing it as negative. It was not negative for each other.
Was it tough on people who have been against them, was it tough on a president who has threatened their very livelihoods? Absolutely. But it was not about you know, random violence, it was about taking care of themselves.
MCENANY: There was a lot of negativity and conservative women weren't welcome. I watched through it, I was derided, other people derided who were conservatives and pro-life groups weren't allowed to participate.
ROSEN: You know what?
MCENANY: It wasn't a women large poll--
LEMON: I have some supporters on.
ROSEN: Well, a lot of groups were actually invited to participate--
MCENANY: They were renounced.
ROSEN: You know, here's the thing, people are afraid of being deported. People are afraid of having their health care taken away, people are afraid of their rights being stripped by courts. Don't act like that should be sunshine to Donald Trump and the people who are against it. (CROSSTALK)
MCENANY: They should listen to the president's words and they'll know they say listen to liberal commentators they think their rights are being taken away. If they listen to the president they have--
ROSEN: I'm sorry. The president next week is going to appoint a Supreme Court justice who, if they get a majority of votes will do exactly all of those things. So, there's no--
SETMAYER: This is the -- this is the problem.
LEMON: Kirsten, I thought you wanted to say something but go on.
SETMAYER: This is the problem right here. The problem is that you have Trump supporters that say, well, just listen to the president's words, listen to what he said.
[22:55:03] Women did listen to what Donald Trump said, he said that he bragged about grabbing women by the genitals, he called women fat pigs, he said that women breast feeding was disgusting.
He said all of these horrible things about women throughout his career but, no, no, that was just entertainment. So, apparently he's found Jesus and he's all of sudden turned into a person that doesn't say these things or feel this way anymore. But women they are looking at this go, and we can only go base off what you've said and how you've acted thus far.
So, I understand why there are so many people that have these fears and think these things. Because he, Donald Trump have said so many things that people are not -- he's not taking responsibility for them--
ROSEN: But he's not acting on policy. And I'm willing to even forget that stuff.
SETMAYER: That's right. But I'm saying that there's a reason why people feel the way that they do.
ROSEN: It's policy that matters more now.
LEMON: OK. Go ahead, Kirsten.
POWERS: Look, I think one other thing that I'm little concerned about, is there was major demonstration today, a pro-life demonstration and we're not really talking about it, we're getting into argument about Donald Trump.
And a lot of those women actually are not conservative. There are plenty of women I have friends who are progressive women who are Christians who are pro-life who -- the USA Today have story about some women who were at both at the women's march and at this march but who did feel that they were not that welcome because the march organizers did disinvite a pro-life group which I think was very short sighted.
And that I think that, you know, if you look at what the Democratic Party needs to do, I think it would be better if they would be more open to welcoming in women to the women's march, for example, who agree with them on everything else except disagree on abortion. And that shouldn't be the issue that separates women.
LEMON: Well, maybe that issue is just, I mean, is that issue just so core to women -- and I'm just, this is devil's advocate, I mean, I don't know. Obviously, I'm not a woman. But why can't people stand up for what they believe in and said you are the polar opposite of what my moral values are.
POWERS: But are you the polar opposite? I mean, is that really true.
LEMON: On this particular issue.
POWERS: No, not necessarily. Because there are a lot of different kinds of pro-life people.
POWERS: So, for example, you could be pro-life person who doesn't want to overturn Roe v. Wade, you usually just have somebody that wants to change the conversation.
LEMON: I got--
SETMAYER: And even though we characterize it as antiabortion--
LEMON: I've to get to the -- to the top of the hour. No, I don't think anyone is pro--
ROSEN: You can also not want women's health care taken away in a Planned Parenthood clinic just because other money go to a Planned Parenthood clinic to provide abortion.
LEMON: I've got to go. But you can also not feel that abortion is right for yourself but then not want to make that decision for other women.
POWERS: That's true.
LEMON: Do you agree with that? Thank you, said by the guy, I just want to make sure these guys are free. Thank you.
We'll be right back. Top of the hour, a new show.
SETMAYER: Come on.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)