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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Bans People Of Seven Countries; Trump Signs Sweeping Order on Refugees; Google Advises Some Employees To Stay In U.S.; British P.M.: Trump Expresses Support For NATO; President Trump, Mexican President Pena Nieto Speak By Phone; Donald Trump Set To Speak With Vladimir Putin; British Actor John Hurt Died At Age 77; Lunar New Year Celebrations Begin Around The World. Aired 1-1:30a ET

Aired January 28, 2017 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[01:00:12] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. President Donald Trump has banned people of seven countries from entering the United States.

The special relationship between the U.S. and U.K. on display in Washington as Mr. Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May walk hand in hand.

Plus this.

And that was at CNN Beijing a few hours ago. For everyone in Asia and beyond we welcome the year of the rooster.

Thank you for joining us. I'm Cyril Vanier live from Atlanta and your "CNN Newsroom" starts right now.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he is keeping radical Islamic terrorists out and keeping America safe. Critics say he is trampling on the U.S. tradition of welcoming immigrants. Friday Mr. Trump signed a sweeping order of barring people from the seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. for three months. Those countries you see them there, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

The order also suspends the U.S. refugee admissions program for 120 days. That's four months. And Syrian refugees are barred from the U.S. indefinitely.

Also people holding certain visas will have to undergo in person interviews in order to renew their visas.

All right Jim Acosta is joining us now, Senior White House Correspondent. Jim, Donald Trump campaigned on controlling borders and a tougher vetting of people coming into the U.S. he is delivering.

JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right Cyril he is, but make no mistake these are some very sweeping actions coming from the new President. He signed his 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 is 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. Those visas have been suspended for 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 biometric scanning, more lengthy interview process. It's going to be a much more draconian step that's been taken here as part of the extreme vetting process. And then I think 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 for political refugee, religious refugees coming into the United States, 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 the 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 a lot of criticism for advocating a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. To what extend is this executive order a Muslim ban?

ACOSTA: Well all the counties listed in that temporary ban on this visas coming into the country for 90 days, those are all 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's been talked about as a potential 2020 candidate in the next election if you can believe it we're still talking about that even though Donald Trump has just entered the White House. But she said make no mistake in a statement tonight, this is a Muslim ban.

The Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer put out a statement saying there are tears are rolling down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty. So Democrats are really up in arms about this, but as you said this is something that President Trump campaigned on repeatedly through out 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 everybody detailing somewhat what is in here but there are still lots 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 a lot of questions about what the President decided to do with this executive order, Cyril.

VANIER: And look, Jim, just before I let you go, to be clear, different categories of immigrants, refugees are barred from entering the U.S. at 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 review is complete?

[01:05:08] 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. We've been talking to White House officials this evening who said that there may be more countries added to this list. And so, made mistake, this is a very aggressive action that's being taken by the Trump administration. They talked 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: All right, Jim Acosta, Senior White House Correspondent. Thank you very much for your time.

ACOSTA: Thank you.

VANIER: I spoke earlier with CNN U.S. security analyst, Juliette Kayyem and I asked if she believes that refugees and immigrants are a security threat.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN U.S. SECURITY ANALYST: Using national Security and 9/11 the memory of 9/11, in fact 9/11 is reference three times in the executive order to justify a sweeping refugee ban, immigration ban, the 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 deserved to be tightened in any way?

KAYYEM: Well I 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. You're constantly trying to make things better, make them tighter, quicker and more efficient as well. So there's no question that any of these 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 minds either in the Bush administration or the Obama administration.

For one it's, 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 the terror threat even assuming that that's what this is about, this 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 pose a terror threat or helped a U.S. national who pose a terror threat?

KAYYEM: No there's -- the only case that you have to actually in the last couple decades is of course the San Bernardino case where she came in on -- not on a refugee visa but actually on a marital or fiancee visa, the wife, you know, the couple that killed in San Bernardino. So that's one case out of millions. And so, the idea that you would sort of close an entire program because there's potentially that one case is just a -- it seems like an over broad response.

So while it's fair to say can the United States get better about this, use more state biometric information, try to streamline the process, certainly that's always true of any massive immigration system like what the United States have. But I think the combination of ending the refugee program or suspending it within the country-specific ban, which is clearly, I mean there's no other way to look at it, a Muslim ban in these instances or Muslin country, majority-Muslim country ban. That combination is one that both operationally is going to be -- is going to have very difficult consequences.

I think the details as Jim was just saying are not quite known yet and then obviously symbolically to the rest of the world including our Arab allies and our European allies who are dealing with their refugee crisis. So, it's -- the executive order says is a big gesture that President Trump promised for national security reasons. For those of us in national security it's not something that we worry about the refugee process.

VANIER: But look --

KAYYEM: But also the details are really unclear at this stage and I think a lot of reporters and analysts are trying to figure out how exactly would extreme vetting look and what does it mean for people for example who are in transit right now.

VANIER: Yeah as you said there's a lot of uncertainty and we're going to get more clarity I would expect over the next couple months, two, three, four months as those deadline pass and those reviews and those processes are indeed reviewed.

You mentioned European countries and how they would feel about this. But, you know, it's interesting because Donald Trump has been looking to what happened in Europe and the flow of migrants coming in, a lot of them from the Middle East, many of them from Syria. And in Europe there have been instances where those people coming in were either members of ISIS or they were able to help ISIS in the some way, and we know that ISIS have the intention of using that barrage of people going into Europe to infiltrate some of their people.

[10:10:15] So isn't there an argument there that, you know, that you need to increase vetting procedures for that very reason because it's happened? KAYYEM: Yeah, and I think that's what we'll -- I think that's why the United States vetting procedures are so strict. I mean it, you know, it would takes 18 to 24 months for any Syrian to actually get through the refugee process here. But obviously America's oceans become, you know, obviously the fact that we're geographically isolated just means that we have a different experience. We're more like Canada I would say than we are, say like France or Turkey or any other country in Europe or on the continent.

So I do think that there are differences and that's why our process before had been so stringent to ensure you didn't have any of the instances like we've seen in Europe. But, you know, and so that's -- that's the argument for ending the entire program by the Trump administration. I think what you're going to see over the next three months in terms of the clarity that you described, just try to figure out what does extreme vetting actually mean in each instance.

So, will it apply differently to some countries or individuals and that's what we don't know at this stage.

VANIER: All right.

KAYYEM: What is that look like.

VANIER: Yeah, we do need more clarity on that. Juliette Kayyem, thank you very much.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

VANIER: On the latest executive order signed by Mr. Trump. Thanks a lot.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: And here's a look at the number of immigrants the U.S. accepted last year from the seven countries targeted by the executive order. A little over 12,000 refugees from Syria, more than 9,000 each from Iraq and Somalia, much, much smaller numbers from Iran, Sudan and Yemen and Libya, just one person coming from Libya in 2016.

Now Google is warning its employees from the affected country to stay in the United States. CNN obtained an internal advisory that was sent in a frequently asked questions format. One asks, "I am a national of a listed country and in the U.S. should I cancel my travel abroad?" Google replies. "Please do not travel outside the U.S. until the ban is lifted." Here's another question, "What if I have urgent international business travel plans?" Google says, "Please cancel your trip as you will not be able to reenter the U.S. until the ban is lifted."

And Donald Trump says his extreme vetting of immigrants will help keep America safe but critics including the youngest ever Nobel Laureate are already condemning his new executive order. In his statement Malala Yousafzai said, "I am heart broken that America is turning its back the proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants, the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair chance at a new life."

And Donald Trump is having incredibly busy first week as president, engaging with world leaders and he's not done far from it, a report from Washington coming up after the break.

Plus, a flamboyant spring festival show begins the Lunar New Year. More on the celebrations live from Beijing later on in the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:15:22] VANIER: U.S. President Donald Trump has held his first meeting with a world leader since taking office. He hosted British Prime Minister Theresa May, a key NATO ally at the White House on Friday. Mr. Trump has been critical of NATO in the past. But speaking with him at the news conference, Mrs. May said the U.S. still backs the alliance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: On defense and security cooperation we're united in our recognition of NATO as the bulwark of our collective defense and today we reaffirmed our unshakable commitment to this alliance. Mr. President I think you said -- confirmed that you're a 100 percent behind NATO. But we're also discussing the importance of NATO continuing to ensure it is as equipped to fight terrorism and cyber warfare as is it to fight more conventional forms of war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: And on Friday, Mr. Trump also spoke to Mexico's President on the phone and he will speak with Russia's Vladimir Putin later on Saturday.

Our Jeff Zeleny has more on the President's busy week engaging world leaders.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Actually I'm not as brash as you might think

JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump welcomed British Prime Minister Theresa May to the White House pledging to uphold the special relationship with the United Kingdom.

TRUMP: Madam prime minister, we look forward to working closely with you as we strengthen our mutual ties in commerce, business and foreign affairs. Great days lie ahead for our two peoples and our two countries.

ZELENY: The world was watching the east room of the White House for Mr. Trump's first meeting with a foreign leader. Yet it was the more challenging diplomatic test he's facing with Mexico and Russia that took center stage. The President taking steps to cool an escalating standoff with Mexico. He spoke on the phone for nearly an hour today with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto who canceled a trip to the U.S. over Trump's demand that Mexico pay for a border wall between the two countries.

TRUMP: I have great respect to Mexico, I love the Mexican people.

ZELENY: Yet he stood his ground insisting that Mexico would one way or another pay billions.

TRUMP: As you know Mexico with the United States has out negotiated us and beat us to a pulp through our past leaders. They've made us look foolish. The United States cannot continue to lose vast amounts of business, vast amounts of companies and millions and millions of people losing their jobs. That won't happen with me. We're no longer going to be the country that doesn't know what it's doing.

ZELENY: A statement from the Mexican government said the President also agreed at this point not to speak publicly about this controversial issue. That line does not appear in the White House statement about the call. A week into his presidency, Mr. Trump says it's too early to say whether he will lift sanctions imposed by President Obama against Russian President Vladimir Putin. He's set to talk with Putin by phone on Saturday. After being criticized for his praise of the Russian leader Mr. Trump took a more measured approach today.

TRUMP: How the relationship works out, I won't be able to tell you that later. I've many times where I thought I would get along with people and I don't like them at all. And I've had some where I didn't think I was going have much of a relationship and it turned out to be a great relationship.

ZELENY: Standing by his side, Prime Minister May considered America's election had taken the world by storm.

MAY: I'm delighted to congratulate you on what was a stunning election victory.

ZELENY: It was Mr. Trump's first time taking questions from the foreign press like this one from the BBC.

LAURA KUENSSBERG, BBC REPORTER: What do you say to our viewers at home who are worried about some of your views and worried about you becoming the leader of the free world?

TRUMP: This was your choice of a question? There goes that relationship.

ZELENY: The President said he believes waterboarding and other forms of torture work but would follow the lead of Defense Secretary James Mattis, a retired general who opposes such extreme measures.

TRUMP: I don't necessarily agree but I would tell you that he will override because I'm giving him that power.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: As millions of people celebrate the Lunar New Year we're

going to tap the expertise of CNN's international weather center to see if the weather might impact the celebrations in Asia.

Meteorologist Julie Martin joins us for a look at that. First though, Julie, tropical developments down under?

JULIE MARTIN, METEOROLOGIST: That's right. This is tropical cyclone three, Cyril. It is in the South Indiana Ocean here right off the western coast of Australia moving out to sea those gust right now though, a 100 kilometers per hour. It's moving to the west southwest so that's the good news. This is not going to be a threat to land. However, mariners will have to watch for this one, and really the big story here is going to be the rain that this system dumps on both the western and northern territories.

[01:20:10] We do have gale warnings up here in orange along the western coast of Australia. That means that the winds could be up around 67 to say 87 kilometers per hour. So it's going to be gusty out there, it's going to be very rainy as well. So we'll see those considerable rains start to really funnel in here in Australia over the next 48 hours to 60 hours. And there you see where you see the deep yellows and oranges at the bulk of it.

Moving across Asia though a couple of around rain for the Korean peninsula heading into Japan as we had over the weekend and into Monday as million of folks of course here celebrating the Lunar New Year all across the region. It shouldn't slow then down too much, the bulk of the rain really going to be confined to places like central Japan and it's not going to be all that much, maybe a quarter of a millimeter or so in total. And looking at snow in the higher elevations as well in places just like south of Tokyo here also just north of Seoul in the higher elevations.

The Lunar New Year though, the year of the rooster, again 2.9 billion people are expected to travel. You're taking a look here at Hanoi, Vietnam. Now, this is one of the places where you are in luck if you're celebrating, looking at great weather here, warm and sunny, highs in the 20s. It's going to be pretty clear here through Tuesday. That's where you're going to get next chance of rain.

Here in Jakarta, Indonesia not exactly the case, we've got hot weather, near 30 degrees, thunderstorms as well. Stormy here as we head over to Malaysia for the next few days as well and hot with temperatures in the 30s.

In Hong Kong cloudy, just a few showers here with highs in the 20s but overall no huge travel disruptions for this lunar holiday.

VANIER: All right, Julie Martin, thank you very much and we'll have more on how you celebrate especially if you're in Beijing with David McKenzie our correspondent there shortly after the break.

First though I want to tell you about long-time British actor John Hurt who has died. That's him as wand maker Garrick Olivander in the first two "Harry Potter" movies. Hurt became a prominent film actor in the 1960s. He was cited for a breakout role in "A Man for All Seasons". Among his extensive movie in T.V. credits were "Alien", "Midnight Express", "The Elephant Man", "1984", "Indiana Jones" and "Dr. Who". He was honored with numerous awards over his long career. Hurt was knighted even in 2015. No specific reason was disclosed for his death. John Hurt was 77-years old.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Millions of people around the world are spending the next couple of weeks celebrating the Lunar New Year. Beijing started off the year of the rooster with a massive GALA to begin the first day of that Lunar New Year. We're joined live by David McKenzie in Beijing who's been through many of these celebrations. David, what do New Year's celebrations look like in China? I understand there's -- one of the components is there's a big T.V. show.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well that T.V. show is almost -- it's more than a T.V. show, it's really a national institution. The CCTV GALA which last just more than four hours. Everyone around China will sit around the T.V. and watch this. And then it's really the jury is out every year whether it's a win or not quite so much.

[01:25:04] Last year was considered the worst ever at least by those online. This year, you know, people are a bit more positive about the reviews. Some of the best comments I've seen online are about the boy band that was featured which have a very unfortunate nickname of "fresh meat" here in China. But certainly it's a massive spectacular. It's seen by more than 700 million people here in China and beamed across the world. Cyril.

VANIER: So what do the Chinese expect from this year of the rooster, David?

MCKENZIE: What they expect really is that this will be a two-week holiday, at least for people across China. For many of them it is their first and only holiday of the year. After the spectacular it's worth mentioning the fireworks displays which, if you're not familiar with China you would think fireworks displays are more professional displays put on by organizations.

Here, anyone can go buy fireworks, huge fireworks and set them off and ring in the New Year from midnight on late Friday. And certainly Beijing this year was no different despite the call from the local government to ease off fireworks because of pollution worries and at least one province banning them outright. It's very difficult to end those traditions that are so deep-seated in China for thousands of years in fact.

VANIER: All right, David McKenzie reporting live from Beijing. Thank you for the update. We'll continue to cross over to you over the coming hours. Look forward to it, thank you very much.

And the most famous sisters in tennis Venus and Serena Williams will face off in the Australian Open final in about three hours. Serena the number two player in the world was favored to win all along, however she probably did not expect to be playing her sister who is currently rank number 17 in the world.

Even more surprising is Sunday's men's file. Fierce rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will battle for grand slam title for the ninth time. Both were thought really to be past their glory days. And it is their first meeting at a tennis major since the French Open in 2011.

Thank you very much for watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Cyril Vanier. I'll be back in a moment with the headlines and then it's "Ecosolutions". Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)