Spicer Says Trump Won't 'Apologize For Putting Safety of This Country First'

The White House press secretary is interviewed about Trump's busy first full week in office on "This Week."
14:20 | 01/29/17

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Transcript for Spicer Says Trump Won't 'Apologize For Putting Safety of This Country First'
So let's turn straight to white house Press Secretary Sean Spicer good morning Sharon. I know there are many people who support this spring you heard those strong reaction so stories of people stranded at airports detained just what priests. Veterans calling this un American. Let's look at the facts what happens there's 325000. People. From foreign countries to travel into the United States yesterday. There were 109 people that this actually address that it coming post entry from seven countries that we've identified. If in fact actually the Obama administration identified mile Obama administration had previously identified needed further travel restrictions. We've gone in as Terry pointed 1990 day ban. To ensure that we have further vetting restrictions so that we know who's coming this country the safety of the American citizens the safety of our country. It's gotta be Paramount and that's what the president did yesterday is to ensure that the people that we're letting in tore country. Are coming here with peaceful purposes and not to do us harm so this really comes down 209 people who are all being processed through the system. To make sure that they when they've they've gone out of the country. Gone somewhere that is one of those seven countries in coming back that they've done so and not tried to calm go there and and do anything that would cause our nation harm a 109 people. Probably Muslims what message does this and for Muslims worldwide what is sends is that that we're gonna protect our country our country and our people. There are 46 other countries with Muslim populations that are not part of this. And I think that that's an important thing to knows when you talk about Algeria Jordan Kuwait home hundred UAE. There's 46 Muslim majority countries that are not in the senate the seven countries were identified by the Obama administration. Needing further. About what about the countries like Pakistan like Afghanistan. Where where there have been terrorized and now we're gonna Goudie right we're hoping that lesson we're looking at all of this holistic which. But I think the first step but why it was first where you haven't I dare let it twice because I think these were the Obama administration put these first and foremost. As in that these countries need to have further travel restrictions based on the intelligence that we hat flip so you you know. Though those were identified by the previous administration there were further traveled some restrictions. Already in place from those seven countries what the president did was take the first step through this executive order. Of ensuring that we're looking at the entire system. Of who's coming in refugees that are coming in people who are coming in from places that have a history or their intelligence suggests that we need to have further extreme vetting. For that let's talk about Iraq. You saw that an Iraqi interpreter. For America. Was detained temporarily. I have been in Iraq with those interpreters they have seen line absolutely American soldiers and now you're saying you can't commit now that's not what's in Martha not at all. Witness who gonna make sure that we don't let someone slip through the cracks who seeks to our country harm that's it the person was processed it I know that it. In some cases are going to be a bit of an inconvenience. But the inconvenience or any humiliation. No. There's a 109 people that was slow down over 325000. Foreign visitors to Cayman but what what do we say to the Stanley Witt Witt loses somebody of a terroristic. To whether it's Atlanta or San Bernadine or the Boston bomber those people each of whom had gone out to country. And then come back to granted they're not I'm the kind of that's accompanied a family is left we took the first step in ensuring that a terrorist attack wanna continue to occur on this country it's a what do we say to the family. What he individual who gets hurt or the family it's on who gets killed because we didn't take these steps protecting this nation. And our people is the number one priority of this president and our government. Ten and you want to protect them against crisis right now water eventually gets everything Americans are fighting side by side. With the Iraqis have you had any reaction or any indication. That the Iraqis will now say. Americans can't come in here. I don't look look we are working through all the diplomatic channels necessary. To make sure that our our friends and our allies around the globe understand. But our position is to protect our borders and make sure. Again this is about slowing the process down those 109 people are being processed through the system to make sure. That the vetting is applied that they didn't do anything nefarious when their overseas. And I think that's what we should be doing we shouldn't let people just re enter the country. Who are not citizens of the United States. Because they've gone to a place that we have concerns about. They should be asked certain questions they should go through extreme that it to make sure that when they re enter this country that they continue to do so with peaceful purposes. How much of the heads out did you give Homeland Security you've seen the scenes of these airport you heard David Curley. Reported that people they needed were no idea what we couldn't do was telegraph our position. Ahead of time to ensure the people flooded in before that happened before it went in a plate so the appropriate leadership was notified. And cables were being sent out through the State Department has we speak. The the issue was I know that when you get down to the TSA level and some of the customs and border officials who are on the front lines. We had to do in a way that ensured the safety of America was preserved and if we telegraph that a had a time. The now would've been a massive security problem. So we did was made sure that we recording with the appropriate leadership at the appropriate level some of the departments and agencies. Both Homeland Security border and customs protection. Okay the executive order also stipulates that after the refugee program is reinstated and the 120 days the government will prioritize religious minorities persecuted in their country. How will you determine what religion. People r.'s hundred how do you vet them during this 120 day period we're gonna put a system in place that looks country by country group by group. Make sure that we put appropriate vetting in place against a religious tap home know what what we're gonna do is to make sure that people have been persecuted. For either religious or other reasons have an opportunity. To apply and go through a vetting system that ensures it they're coming to this country to seek asylum to seek. And a new life for themselves and a family but to do so with peaceful purposes. Okay president trump said during an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network the persecuted Christian refugees should be seen as a priority. Why are some countries they showed why are Christian refugees because there are worthy wicket let me finish wire Christian refugees more worthy of admission to the United States than Muslims or even jail for what it's it's a question of making sure that in some of these countries. They are there persecuted group. And so it's just a it's a fact that when they live in a majority country having other religion. They are a minority being persecuted not able to practice their religion in some cases. Under threat. And so it's just a fact that they are being persecuted in some of these countries and we need to make sure that we recognize some significance. Come to this country. An in built a practice their religion in accordance with our loss because its troops do you feel the threat is so great. From these countries and so great. From these refugees Y just ninety days why just a 120 days can you really get this done I think we can't and that's the point is to make sure. We put the safety of our nation first and foremost. And that we put a plan together during that period to put those extreme vetting measures in place but this is nothing new. President trump talked about this throughout the campaign and the transition and he's doing exactly what he told the American people who's gonna do. It's interesting he's did they criticism that's coming is from someone who's got in office hit the ground running. Had a flurry of activity to do exactly what. He said he was going to do when it was bringing back jobs fighting for American taxpayers and cutting the cost and waste out of government programs. Or doing what he said over seas and protecting this nation. But he's not gonna apologize for putting the safety of this country first and foremost. I want to turn to Yemen. President trump. As president as commander in chief. Suffered the first loss of an American service members in Yemen. Today in a raid on al-Qaeda operatives. And three service members were injured in that raid another. When we lost an aircraft and a hard landing what can you tell us about that raid. And who did they get. Did they got fourteen individuals. They killed fourteen individuals in captured a whole host of information about future plots is going to benefit this country and keep us safe. We mourn for the loss of life of the service member who so bravely fought for this country. And was killed. Then obviously as you mentioned three other work. Injured in the raid another one. When the aircraft went down. That aircraft that a couple of not that aircraft was destroyed and hard landing or it was it was and there's a hardware and aren't any of straight and we destroyed that plane to ensure that. We didn't allow any part of our technology out there. But it is when you so they don't continue A continues to show. On the he extends his condolences. A but more importantly he understands the fight. Their servicemen and women conduct on a daily basis to keep this country safe and that's why these orders so important people are over. Throughout the world in some of the east and import regions like Yemen. And countries or other. To ensure the safety of this country and we need to take steps if they're gonna go out there and put their lives on the line. Every day. To fight nicest to fight other people who are seeking to do us harm. To capture information that will protect future plots. That we do our part to make sure that we're not having an open door to allow people right to march right into our country let let me literary let me direct order though ties right into that. Because we've got to do our part here to make sure that while they fight. So gallantly oversees the we're protecting the country and our borders. I want to turn of the Russian sanctions president trump talk to Vladimir Putin yesterday about mutual cooperation in defeating crisis and working together to achieve more peace. Throughout the world including Syria right. Kellyanne Conway open the door Friday to removing sanctions against Russia and the readout from the Kremlin said they underlined the importance of restoring mutually profitable trade and economic connections. Could president trump agreed to remove those sanctioned with us out consequence yesterday was saying was the first call that they had we'll continue to work with them. To combat crisis especially in Syria and deal with this crisis and left by that there's an area in which we've got to work with ten for gonna defeat nicest. And I think that's the first step we have not made any decisions on un sanctions. The president will continue to have conversations in our team will continue to to Li a.'s with with them. With Russian step with Russian officials but no decisions were made that really wasn't brought up in the call yesterday. Republicans John McCain said for the sake of America's national security and that of our allies president trump should put an end to this speculation about lifting sanctions are you not willing to do that the president doesn't take anything off the table. He is a world class negotiator part of the reason he's been so success on part of the reason. That he was elected president is because people understand that not only as a successful businessman. When he's an amazing negotiator. And he doesn't come in telling people what he's gonna take in our off the table to get the best deal possible for this country. He's gonna work with it Russia or any other country for that matter and areas of shared agreement. And it protecting this country going back what we've been talking about so far he's gonna work with and if we can come up with a plan a partner with an an anyway. To defeat nicest the we're gonna do our I want to turn to the national ski. Or did council the National Security Council executive order that has now been put in place. Removes the Director of National Intelligence the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the NSC. Principals meetings they are now only invited when quote issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed. But allowed instead in all of the meetings White House chief strategist Steve Bannon former national security advisor Susan Rice tweeting this morning. This is stone cold crazy after a week of crazy. Who needs military advice or Intel to make policy on ice so Syria Afghanistan DP RK. Adding chairman of joint chiefs and in cabinet level principals meetings. And where's the CIA. Cut out of everything she also re tweeted this trump loves and trusts the military so much she just kick them out of the National Security Council. And put in a Nazi in their place thus. Clearly inappropriate language from a former ambassador. Look that stone cold crazy. Within the comments that you made look though the reality is is that general Flynn former head of Defense Intelligence Agency. But significant reforms to the NFC in to the homeland Security Council had a bye Tom boxer who's an expert in all of this area. We are instilling reforms to make sure that we we streamline the process the president to make decisions on key important intelligence matters. You've got a leader and in in general Flynn who understands intelligence process in the reforms are needed. Probably better than anybody else when you talk about the missteps who have made by the last administration with all due respect I think investor right. Might want to wait let's see how we can't do this because it took so far. They've got an expert team of folks that of common to understand the nationals to toward our intelligence system. And how we can modernize its streamlined without the chairman and without an ENI what we've got an unbelievable group of folks they're part of the Tennessee. They're making decisions to get tip that the president gets plenty of information from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He continues to meet with them on a regular basis he would speech by secretary of defense what they have done is modernize the National Security Council so that is less bureaucratic. And more focused on providing the president with the intelligence he needs and Steve Bannon. He Benedetti provide a use of former naval officer he's got a tremendous understanding of the world the geopolitical landscape that we have now. And and so he's giving military advice and now it's not handling it like part of this is analysis the data comes in. And how we since the size that data to make the best decision for our country. If something it's not just about intelligence. It's about the intelligence that comes in in the analysis that comes out of that having key decision makers in the chief strategist for the united state of for the president. To come in and talk about what the strategy is going fort is crucial the data comes in raw and what these key individuals do is help provide guidance for the president to make decisions. Having the chief strategist for the president in those meetings Wu who has a significant military background to help make died with the president's final analysis going to be is crucial. Okay thanks very much for economic us this morning Sharon good seeing you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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