ROBERT COSTA: Hello.
I'm Robert Costa.
And this is Washington Week Extra, where we
pickup online where we left off on the broadcast.
The Justice Department filed court
papers today to salvage the Trump administration's latest travel ban.
Earlier this week,
federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked the executive order, saying temporarily
blocking visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries violated the First Amendment.
Carol, is the White House prepared to take this all the way to the Supreme Court?
CAROL LEE: That's what the president says, that he'll fight it all the way to the
You know, they filed notably in Maryland, not in Hawaii, which gives
them a different set of judges to review, and it's - obviously, Maryland ruled slightly
differently than Hawaii did.
But this is a president, if you heard him this week, he was - he's really irritated that
he watered down, as he said, his ban, and now it's still being challenged, because he
didn't want to water - I mean, he even said let's bring back the old ban.
But there were a lot of problems with that, and they had to make some changes - and they
did - to try to get it to a point where it wouldn't be so vulnerable in court.
And a number of ways that they did that: they dropped Iraq, which is obviously an ally to
the U.S. and was very upset by this; and they said it wouldn't apply to current visa
But you have a president who was persuaded to do that, and then, you know, when
he gets handled a ruling like this, then is upset and wants to go back to what he
originally wanted to do.
ROBERT COSTA: How do you just think about the strategy when you hear from your sources
at the White House?
CAROL LEE: In terms of how they're going to -
ROBERT COSTA: Is the Justice Department handling it all, or is it a political strategy
of trying to revise it from -
CAROL LEE: Well, there's - too, there's, you know, they have to fight a legal battle and
then they have to fight the battle of, you know, public opinion.
And part of the reason, if you look at filing in Maryland and having a different set of
judges look at this and have it be a smaller thing to look at, they need a victory.
And if you - it won't end the challenges, but it will at least give them something.
Right now they have nothing in their column on this, and that's hurting them publicly.
ROBERT COSTA: Ylan, you've been reporting a lot at CNBC about how businesses, both in
the U.S. and abroad, are reacting to this ban.
YLAN MUI: Yeah.
So, you know, there are a lot of social and moral and legal questions
around the travel ban.
But President Trump, you know, sort of presents himself first
and foremost as a businessman, and businesses do not like the travel ban.
In fact, I think it was 55 technology companies filed an amicus brief in the Hawaii case
supporting the lawsuit against the travel ban.
They are really worried about how this
could impact their employees.
The names included Kickstarter, Lyft, Airbnb - Pinterest
even joined in the fight.
So they're not only worried about the travel ban, but they're
also worried about his stance on immigration.
So some of these tech firms are worried
that they might not be able to recruit high-skilled workers that are not available in
the U.S. from other countries if he revises the H-1B visa program.
At the same time,
companies that use workers on the lower-skilled end of the spectrum are also unhappy
about his stance on immigration.
They're worried that they won't be able to hire
farmworkers to work in the agricultural industry or construction workers to build new
So on both ends businesses are really worried about this.
ROBERT COSTA: How has the White House - and congressional Republicans as well - how are
they responding to this kind of outcry?
YLAN MUI: Well, there is - they've doubled down, clearly, on the travel ban.
They're not backing away from his stance on immigration because it is so popular with the
voters who got him into office.
ROBERT COSTA: We heard from the president this week when he honored the birthday of one
of his predecessors - Andrew Jackson, the seventh American president.
Jackson's Nashville estate and talked about how he is the modern-day Jackson.
Jackson is an icon of the Democratic Party, and the comparison is a bit complicated.
PETER BAKER: It is more complicated.
Look, both of them were wealthy men who styled themselves as populists, and they both
took on the Eastern establishment and they won office despite obvious - you know, they
both beat the biggest dynasty of their era, right, John Quincy Adams for Jackson, the
Clintons for Donald Trump.
The difference, of course, is that Jackson actually won
a majority twice of the popular vote, and Trump hasn't done that yet.
And Jackson had been a senator, had been a member of the House, had been a member of the
- had been a general and had led in big circumstances.
We haven't yet seen whether or
not President Trump can translate that business experience into this kind of political
But he was willing to embrace Jackson, even with Jackson's - the darker
side of Jackson's presidency, including, you know, the Indian removal and sort of his
blustery and dueling kind of nature that I guess Trump finds some similarity in.
ROBERT COSTA: Have we seen other American presidents turn to Jackson in the past?
It seems kind of rare, at least in modern times.
PETER BAKER: He's sort of fallen a little bit in the last couple decades in the
You know, Democrats for a long time had Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners,
right, honoring the two men they sort of credited with creating the modern Democratic
Well, they're now dropping Jackson from a lot of those dinners because of the
race issue, because of his - you know, his - the Trail of Tears with the Cherokees and
So, you know, he's kind of - and he's also now going to the back of the $20
bill instead of the front.
That's kind of a big demotion for him at this point.
ROBERT COSTA: Dan, I always have this kind of argument with my sources at the White
They say, oh, the president really loves Andrew Jackson, and he gave one of
his most passionate speeches this week in Tennessee.
But sometimes I wonder in the
course of my reporting, does Trump really value Jackson as a historical figure, or
is this more of a project of Stephen Bannon, the White House strategist?
DAN BALZ: I don't really know the answer to that, Bob.
It does have the feel that it's more of a project of convenience at this moment rather
than something that Donald Trump has thought about and studied over a long period of
I mean, he gave no real evidence during the campaign that Jackson was his role
model, or that he, you know, had truly studied a lot of presidents and their history.
You know, but presidents, you know, look for symbols, and once you're in the Oval Office
you want to make some connections to the past.
And so, for him, you know, I think as Peter says, there's a - there's that kind of raw
quality of Jackson, and I think that that in part may appeal to Donald Trump.
ROBERT COSTA: I mean, talking about the Jefferson-Jackson dinners, you've covered so
many of them in your career.
DAN BALZ: Unfortunately, yes.
ROBERT COSTA: What do you think Republicans make of Jackson becoming this champion for
the Republican president?
DAN BALZ: I'm sure they're puzzled by it as well.
They may not think about the - you know, the Democratic Party connection so much.
I think it's just, you know, most Republican presidents latch onto Abraham Lincoln.
I mean, that's the - that's the smart choice and it's the safe choice, and a good choice.
So when somebody like President Trump latches onto Jackson, I think there are a lot of
Republicans who are saying, well, OK, if that's what he wants that's fine with us, and
you know, as long as he does what we want him to do as president.
ROBERT COSTA: Excellent.
I hear the president loves showing people his Jackson
pictures and statues inside of the Oval Office, so at least in that way he
seems to be into it a little bit.
CAROL LEE: He also said he was reading a book, or trying to read a book, on Jackson.
YLAN MUI: Looking at a book.
CAROL LEE: Looking at a book.
ROBERT COSTA: Was is the Meacham book, or was it - he didn't tell us.
CAROL LEE: He didn't say, but he said he was trying to - he was looking at it and trying
to read it, didn't have a lot of time.
ROBERT COSTA: I know he does get the printouts every day of the articles about himself
and the White House, and is reading them.
PETER BAKER: He's got other things to read.
ROBERT COSTA: Certainly.
We'll see if he reads the Jackson book.
That's it for this edition of the Washington Week Extra.
Test your knowledge of current events on the Washington Week-ly News Quiz.
I'm Robert Costa, and we'll see you next time.