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Trump Bans Residents Of Seven Countries; Trump Signs Sweeping Order On Refugees; Trump And May's First Meeting; Year Of The Rooster; British P.M.: Trump Expresses Support For NATO; British Actor John Hurt Dies At Age 77; Serena Vs. Venus Williams In Women's Aussie Final. Aired 12-12:30a ET
Aired January 28, 2017 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[00:00:10] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: With strokes of his pen, President Donald Trump bans people from seven countries from entering the United States.
Special relationship between the U.S. and U.K. on displaying Washington as President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May walk hand in hand.
Plus this -- fireworks to welcome the year of the rooster as the lunar New Year begins. We'll be in Beijing for that.
Thank you very much for joining us. I'm Cyril Vanier live from Atlanta and your CNN Newsroom starts right now.
The U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order barring people of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S for three months or 90 days. Here's a map showing those countries Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.
The order also suspends the U.S refugee program for 120 days until so called extreme vetting procedures are put in place. The Syrian refugees for there part are barred indefinitely.
Also, people holding certain visas will now have to undergo in-person interviews in order to review them. Jim Acosta is joining us now. Senior White House Correspondent, Jim, Donald Trump campaigned on controlling borders and a tougher vetting of people coming to the U.S. He's delivering on that promise.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right Cyril, he is. But, to make no mistake, these are very sweeping actions coming from the new president. He signed this executive order earlier in the day over at the Pentagon.
We just got our hands on the executive order. This is it right here but the actions are fairly dramatic. He's talking about suspending visas for people coming into the United States from seven countries that have links to terrorism, Iran, Iraq, Syria, the Sudan, Somalia are among those seven countries of those visas have been suspended of 90 days as part of this action.
They're also implementing what they're referring to as extreme vetting methods for people coming into the United States from terror prone parts of the world. That would include biometrics scanning, more lengthy interview process. It's going to be much more of a draconian step that's being taken here as part of that extreme vetting process.
And then, I think that the part that is really going to send shock waves around the world and that is the suspension of the U.S Refugee Program. This is for political refuges, religious refugees coming into the United States of that program is suspended for 120 days while they get these new measures up and running. And permanently ended by the Trump administration is the Syrian Refugee Program which was bringing in people from that part of the world under the Obama administration. That program now ends.
And so, you will not have Syrian refugees coming into this country as part of this executive order. So, it is a very sweeping decision coming from the president.
VANIER: Jim, you mentioned religious refugees. During the campaign, Donald Trump raised a lot of eyebrows and got lot of criticism for advocating a ban of Muslims entering the U.S. To what extent is this executive order, a Muslim ban?
ACOSTA: Well, all the countries listed in the temporary ban on the visas coming into the country for 90 days. Those are Muslim majority countries. And so, you have critics already coming out and making statements about this.
Senator Kamala Harris from California, she's a brand-new senator. But she has been talked about as a potential 20-20 candidate in the next election if you can believe we're talking about that even though Donald Trump just entered the White House. But she said make no mistake in the statement. This is a Muslim ban.
The Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put out a statement saying that there are tears rolling down the cheeks of the statue of liberty. So, Democrats are really open arms about this. But, as you said, this is something President Trump campaigned on repeatedly throughout the election. He is delivering on that promise.
But we're going to have to find out what the details are in the coming days. The White House issued this executive order put out this paper statement to everyday detailing somewhat what is in here but there's still a lot of open ended questions.
The White House did not sit down with reporters and give us a briefing. That is something you would have seen in the previous administration. We did not get that today. So, lots of questions about what the president decided to with the executive order, Cyril.
VANIER: And look, Jim, just before I let you go, to be clear, different categories of immigrants and refugees are barred from entering the U.S. for different periods of time. While procedures are reviewed, that's what it says in the executive order, is it possible in your mind that you know, in two, three, four months things will be back to business as usual once that is complete?
ACOSTA: It's possible. It is possible. We just don't know at this point. And one thing that we should point out about this 90-day suspension of visas coming in from seven countries that have ties to terrorism, those seven countries may not be all of them.
[00:05:14] We've been talking to White House officials this evening who said that there are may be more countries added to the list. And so, make no mistake. This is a very aggressive action that's being taken by the Trump administration. They talk at length during this executive order at the top of the executive order about 9/11, something that occurred 16 years ago.
And so, President Trump campaigned during that election cycle as someone who was going to crack down and ramp up the war on terrorism, the war on ISIS. And this is just the beginning of that process, I think.
VANIER: Jim Acosta, Senior White House Correspondent. Thank you very much for your time.
ACOSTA: Thank you.
VANIER: And let's get more on this CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem joins us from Boston, Massachusetts. She's served in the U.S Department of Homeland Security under President Obama.
Juliette, in your view, are refugees and immigrants a security threat? I asked the question because that is the premise of this executive order.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The answer -- the short answer and the right answer is no. This is an order or series of executive orders by President Trump that are using national security and 9/11, the memory of 9/11.
Attacked 9/11 is reference three times in the executive order, to just to by sweeping refugee ban, immigration ban, country-specific ban that we've never seen proposed before. That we've never seen anything quite like it in the United States. It's a pretty historic moment and not in a good way, I would say for the United States today.
VANIER: Did the vetting process for the immigrants or refugees deserve to be tightened in any way?
KAYYEM: Well, look, I think any vetting or immigration process is constantly changing having served in the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that does this work. They're constantly trying to make things better and make them tighter, a quicker and more efficient as well.
So, there's no question any of the programs could get better but the idea that you end it in the process of trying to reform it would never have crossed I think anyone's mind either in the Bush administration or the Obama administration. For one, is, you know, obviously the statement it makes to the world about who the United States is and who they'll accept but the other is that terror threat even assuming that's what this is about. The terror threat is not country specific at this stage. France certainly knows that. Belgium knows that. Germany knows that. And we know that a lot of the terror threat is actually coming homegrown and we've seen it in the United States.
VANIER: But have there been instances where either refugees or immigrants posed a terror threat or helped a U.S national who posed a terror threat?