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Reince Priebus
  Meet the Press  MSNBC  January 29, 2017 11:06am-11:18am PST

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am going to protect the price. >> ryan priebus. >> thanks for having me, chuck. >> i want to start with timing on the executive order and the sense of urgency in trying to implement it immediately. was there any thought given of creating a 72-hour grace period, a one-week grace period in order to allow order patrol agents to understand what the rules are, allow agencies and the federal government to understand what the rules are. it seems that a lot of chaos yesterday could have been avoided if you included a grace period. >> i don't think you want to have a grace period, chuck, because then people who want to do bad things will move up their travel date two days in order to get into the country before the grace period is over. i think it is one of those things and if you ask a lot of people at the customs and border patrol, they will tell you you have to rip off the band-aidtm
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and move forward. it wasn't chaos. the fact of the matter is 325,000 people from foreign countries came into the united states yesterday, and 109 people were detained for further questioning. most of those people were moved out. we've got a couple dozen more that remain. and i would suspect as long as they're not awful people that they will move through before another half a day today. and perhaps some of these people should be detained further and if they're folks that shouldn't be in this country, they are going to be detained. so i apologize for nothing here. >> okay. you don't think that anything -- there was no decision -- you didn't put out any of the rules in advance to some of these agencies. why not. >> of course we were working with the agencies. we were working with the agencies for a long time. so i'm not going to get into every little conversation that was had. but this was not an executive order that was simply signed by the white house and suddenly
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transferred to the department of homeland security. they knew what was going on and they conducted themselves pursuant to the order. >> one of the things in the order apparently is to include green cardholders, and that is something that there has been a report that the department of homeland security recommende that it not include green cardhoers. why did the white house choose to overrule the department of homeland security on that one? >> we didn't overrule them. it doesn't affect them. but here is the deal. if you're coming in and out of one of those seven countries -- by the way, identified by the obama administration as the seven most dangerous countries in the world in regard to harboring terrorists and affi affirmed by congress multiple times, then you're going to be subjected temporarily with more questioning until a better program is put in place over the next several months. this is something that 75%, 80% of americans out there agree with. we don't want people that are
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traveling back and forth to one of these seven countries that harbor terrorists to be traveling freely back and forth between the united states and those countries. >> you just said something at the beginning of your answer and it seemed like an aside. this order does not impact any green cardholders from these seven countries. >> of course it does if you are traveling back and forth. you are going to be subjected to further screening. >> let me ask you this. are you going to do that to american citizens as well that travel in and out of these seven country sns. >> i would suspect if you are an american citizen traveling back and forth to libya, you are likely to be subjected to further questioning when you come into an airport. >> let me ask you this. why are you confident that's constitutional? i'll ask it this way because green cardholders, they go through extreme vetting to get the green card, number one. but number two, when they get that green card, they are entitled to all the protections. >> i'm not suggesting that. >> i understand that. but are you -- by having to put
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in an extra hure for a green card holder in order to get bk into the country, how are you confident that doesn't violate their rights and that it doesn't end up making this order unconstitutional? >> first of all, the order is not affecting green cardholders moving forward. that's number one. >> i'm confused by that. you keep saying going forward. you just said it did. i'm confused. you said it does. >> if you had just slowed down for a second and listened, i could answer your question. >> i understand that. but you've twice confused me, so i'm trying to understand the clarity. >> it's because you don't stop talking, chuck. i love you, but let me answer the question. this isn't in regard to the executive order. the executive order doesn't affect green cardholders moving forward. i said that. but what i'm suggesting to you is that customs and border patrol, i would suspect, if they have a person that's traveling back and forth to libya or somalia or yemen, i would
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suggest they ask a few more questions at jfk when someone is coming back and forth within their discretionary authority as a customs and border patrol agent. i would suspect most persons would agree that might be a good thing to do. what i'm not suggesting to you is that that is in the order moving forward. i'm suggesting that within the discretion of the cbp that those questions would likely be asked. >> okay. you say it doesn't affect green cardholders moving forward, but you just said it does impact green cardholders from those seven countries. those two things don't compute. >> no, it computes, chuck, because there is discretionary authority that a customs and border patrol has when they suspect that someone is up to no good that's traveling back and forth to libya or yemen. i'm not suggesting it is in the order. i am suggesting at every level in an airport, a customs and border patrol agent has the authority to use their discretion to ask questions. we're off on a tangent that has
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nothing to do with the executive order. >> let me ask about the executive order because the countries chosen and i know you say this is countries that were codified by congress, chosen by the obama administration. here is what i'm confused about. when you look at those folks that have committed terrorist acts in this country, killed americans, pakistan, saudi ara bee yeah and egypt. you have had more terrorists come from those three countries than any of the seven that you have. in fact, in saudi arab yeah more have come to kill americans than the seven countries combined. why was saudi ara bee yeah, pakistan and egypt not on this list if you are so concerned about this issue. >> we are concerned about the issue, chuck, and that's why we put these seven countries initially into the executive order that were identified previously by congress, by both
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the house and the senate and the obama administration as been the seven most watched countries. but you bring up a good point. perhaps other countries needed to be added to an executive order going forward. but in order to do this in a way that was expedition and that would pass muster quickly, we used the seven countries already codified and identified by both the obama administration and the congress. but you bring up a good point and perhaps other countries need to be added. this is all done for the prottion of americans and waiting another tee days and waiting another the wee is something that we don't want to get wrong. president trump is not willing to get this wrong, which is why he wants to move forward quickly and protect americans. >> and just to clear things up, the trump organization has business ties in a couple of the countries that were not included, including saudi ara a arabia. did that have any impact why it was not included on the list?
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>> of course not, chuck. like i said very clearly, the countries that were chosen in the executive order to protect americans from terrorists were the countries that have already been identified by congress and the obama administration. that does not mean that other countries wouldn't be added later to subsequent executive order. but, again, this -- what we're talking about, out of 325,000 people trying to find a per ver bee y'all needle in a haystack was accomplished yesterday with a little over 100 people detained for further questioning from these countries. people are moving out of the system and moving forward. this obviously is going to be, i believe, a very smooth and effective operation for the safety of americans across the country. >> we move on to a couple of other things. there was an issue on friday, the white house put out a statement on holocaust remembrance day and there wasn't a mention of jews in the statement of any -- of the
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victims of the holocaust that a majority of them were jewish. many of us thought it was an error. it turns out it was not. a conservative columnist wrote this, the final solution was aimed solely at the jews. there is no proud way to offer a recommend ambulance of the holocaust that does not offer that simple awful fact. to universal liez it to all those who suffered is to screw up the holocaust of its meaning. mr. priebus, do you understand why many jews were offended by the white house's decision not to note that the holocaust was about eradicating the jews? >> i recognize, in fact, obviously, that this was what the holocaust was about and it's a who i beliehorrible event anda miserable time in history that we remember here at the white house and certainly we'll never
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forget the jewish people that suffered in world war ii and obviously still incredible wounds that remain in a time in history that was of great, incredible horrific magnitude and everyone's heart here is impacted by the memory of that terrible time. and, so, for the record, that's the case. >> do you regret -- does the president regret -- >> ill will to anybody. i don't know about regret. >> no regret? not acknowledging the pain that -- >> we acknoge it. we acknowledge the horrible time of hol cast and what it meant for history. >> whitewash jews from the statement? >> i'm telling you now that's the way we feel about it and it's a terrible time in history, and obviously i think you know that president trump has dear family members that are jewish
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and there was no harm or ill will or offense intended by any of that. >> so you don't -- but you don't regret the statement. you don't regret the words that were chosen in the statement and the words that were not included. >> i don't regret the words, chuck. everyone is suffering in the holocaust, including, obviously, all of the jewish people affected and the miserable again si -- again side is something we consider to be sad and something that could never be forgotten and if we could wipe it off the history books, we could, but we can't. and it's terrible. i don't know what more to tell you. >> one last question. an executive order, the president reorganized the national security council and, look, he could put anybody on it that he wants. what i'm curious about is why is the top intelligence official and the top military official in this country not a full-time member of the national security
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council in the trump administration? >> they are. if you read the order, they are invited to be attendees at any time they want to. >> that's not what it said. it said when it is necessary. it looked like it was invite only. so you're saying every national security council meeting should include the chairman of the joint chiefs and the chairman of central intelligence. so it is not correct, then, because in the order it said as needed. >> if you read the order, they are invited as attendees to the security council at any time. >> we had a l