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Trump Signs Sweeping Order On Refugees; Google Advises Some Employees To Stay In U.S.; Trump Set to Speak With Putin; British PM: Trump Expresses Support For NATO; Trump's ISIS Strategy Takes Shape; Trump Cites Unverified Data In Election Fraud; British Actor John Hurt Dies At Age 77; Lunar New Year Celebrations Begin Around The World; Bigly Or Big League; Tennis Legends Face Off In Australian Open Finals. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 28, 2017 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: More than 100 million people are now banned from entering the United States. An executive order signed Friday by President Donald Trump has produced outrage and a lot of questions. Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I hope we have a fantastic relationship. That's possible, and it's also possible that we won't.
VANIER: We're just hours away from the first phone call between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. And also in the show, this.
Year of the rooster is something to crow about. People around the world are celebrating the Lunar New Year. We'll tell you about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Thank you very much for joining us. I'm Cyril Vanier in Atlanta, and this is "CNN Newsroom."
Critics say the U.S. is slamming the door shut to millions of refugees and immigrants. President Donald Trump says he's keeping the country safe from radical Islamic terrorists. On Friday, Mr. Trump signed the sweeping order barring people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. for three months. A White House official says those countries are Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
The order also suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, or four months. And Syrian refugees for their parts are barred from the U.S. indefinitely.
And also this, people holding certain visas will now have to undergo in-person interviews in order to renew them. 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's delivering on that promise.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Oh, that's right, Cyril, he is. But make no mistake, these are some 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. 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 United States from terror-prone parts of the world.
That would include biometric scanning, a more lengthy interview process. It's going to be a much more draconian step that's being taken here as part of 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 is for political refugees, 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 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 a lot of criticism for advocating a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. To what extent is this executive order a Muslim ban?
ACOSTA: Well, all of the countries listed in that temporary ban on those 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 that there are tears 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 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 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 on the previous administration. We did not get that today. So lots of questions about what the president decided to do with his executive order, Cyril.
[03:05:00] 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?
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, make no 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 this 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: And welcome now to our viewers here in the United States. I'm Cyril Vanier. You're watching "CNN Newsroom."
The world is reacting to the latest executive order U.S. President Donald Trump has signed. He wants to indefinitely stop Syrian refugees from entering the country. Mr. Trump also wants a 90-day ban on visitors from seven countries with a Muslim majority.
Christians from these countries would get priority entrance under President Trump's plan. The executive order also wants new screening procedures to find out how applicants feel about America. Mr. Trump says he's trying to keep terrorists out of the United States.
CNN Politics Reporter Eugene Scott joins me now from London. Eugene, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised about this. This after all is in keeping with President Trump's campaign promises. EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: This is very consistent with
what the president promised in December 2015. But I think some people are surprised because back then, he was criticized vehemently by many people in his party as well. And so people weren't sure that he was going to move forward with this idea. But it appears that he has, and it actually could end up being broader than what he originally proposed.
VANIER: Look, refugees are going to be prioritized on the basis of religion. That's as per the language in the executive order. Does this square with the U.S. constitution?
SCOTT: Well, certainly not according to some of Donald Trump's critics. We've already seen some Islam non-profits that are sensitive to refugees say that they will take the president and the government to court because this executive order reeks of religious discrimination which is, as you mentioned, in direct violation with the U.S. constitution.
I think another thing that's worth paying attention to is many humanitarian groups who acknowledge that Christians are persecuted in the Middle East, acknowledge that also Muslims, it is also Muslims that are being persecuted by other Muslims and that that group is definitely in need of safety and refuge as well.
VANIER: Look, there's already pushback to the executive order, pushback and condemnation here in the U.S. from Democrats. We heard from Senator Chuck Schumer and also from rights groups. You mentioned some of them. But how do you think the other side of the political spectrum is going to look at this?
SCOTT: I think an important group to pay close attention to is actually the American Christian community. It is demographically overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump, but it is also a demographic that has a long history of refugee resettlement in the United States, and quite a few people and individuals affiliated with non-profits that do help resettle refugees have already spoken out against this. It will be interesting to see if they further that.
VANIER: Eugene Scott reporting from London. Thank you very much for your insights.
Also, I want our viewers to take a look at the numbers. What are we actually talking about here? The number of immigrants that the U.S. accepted last year from those seven countries that it targeted by the executive order. They include more than 12,000 refugees from Syria, more than 9,000 each from Iraq and Somalia, and much smaller numbers from Iran, Sudan, Yemen, just one person surprisingly perhaps from Libya in 2016.
And another number I want to throw out there, the -- in 2016, the total number of refugees accepted by the U.S., 110,000. When the refugee program restarts under the Trump administration, they want to halve that to 50,000.
Google for its part is warning its employees to stay in the United States if they come from countries affected by President Trump's temporary admission ban. CNN obtained this internal advisory, it was issued in a question and answer format. This is what it looks like.
One question asks, "I'm a national of a listed country and in the U.S., should I cancel my travel abroad?"
[03:10:05] So Google says, "Please do not travel outside of the U.S. until the ban is lifted." Another question now, "What if I have urgent international business travel plans?" Google replies, "Please cancel your trip as you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. until the ban is lifted."
Let's go and get more on how people in the Middle East now are responding to President Trump's orders barring millions of refugees and immigrants in the region from entering the U.S. for now.
CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Istanbul in Turkey. Ben, there are almost 3 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey. Those are the very people who are barred from entering the U.S. indefinitely. What's the reaction likely to be where you are?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Reaction is likely to be one of shock and frankly horror that the United States with so many people look to as a beacon of freedom has suddenly slammed shut its doors.
Now, I haven't had time yet this morning to speak to any Syrian refugees because I've been on the phone with Iraqi friends who are extremely distressed about this decision. I spoke to one Kurdish man who in fact was planning to go to the airport but was told by the airport authorities that because he and his family, who have received refugee visas, that they simply cannot board their plane. So they had to go with their bags, go back to their homes, and they are utterly shattered by this.
Other Iraqis I've spoken to have said, "How is it that we, who worked with the Americans, many of them worked with the U.S. military in danger, under fire, have suddenly seen the doors to the country that they served slammed shut?" So, across the board, the reaction is one of shock and frankly miscomprehension. Cyril?
VANIER: Yeah, we're seeing the power of the pen there, Ben, and how the policy changes radically from one hour to the next.
Ben, you have reported extensively across the entire Middle East, across Iraq. You were in Egypt before. All these countries, you know them by heart. What do you make of the argument that this sends such a negative message to Muslims around the world and particularly in that part of the world that it could actually be counterproductive for U.S. security?
WEDEMAN: I don't think there's any doubt that it will be counterproductive. This is a gift to ISIS. It shows that indeed that the United States, as far as ISIS propaganda goes, is not a country that welcomes people from the countries that ISIS is fighting to take control of, Iraq and Syria, that there is no mercy from the American side, mercy that some people -- a very lucky few, and it should be stressed, a very lucky few who actually get into the United States as refugees that that is no longer the case.
So certainly, it plays it perfectly into the ISIS propaganda matrix and they will make hay out of it. And of course, you know, I guess I've lived in the Middle East most of my adult life. Two of my children were delivered by Muslim doctors. I've been treated by Muslim doctors when I was wounded in Gaza. The idea that somehow Muslims are no longer welcome in the United States simply because of their fate, I think, will not go down well and is a stain on the United States.
VANIER: Ben Wedeman reporting live from Turkey. Thank you very much.
We're going to continue to get coverage and reactions to that executive order later in this hour, reaction from a man who helps international refugees settle in the United States and why he's calling this an unfortunate day for the U.S.
Also coming up in the show, U.S. President Donald Trump is set to speak with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. What this could mean for U.S. sanctions against Moscow ahead.
[03:15:22] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Richard Quest and these are the top business headlines.
Theresa May and Donald Trump have discussed the next steps of a potential trade deal between the United States and Great Britain. Speaking after talks with the U.S. President at the White House, the British Prime Minister said a deal would benefit both nations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We are discussing how we can establish trade negotiation agreement, take forward immediate high- level talks, lay the groundwork for U.K.-U.S. trade agreement, and identify the practical steps we can take now in order to enable companies in both countries to trade and do business with one another more easily.
And I'm convinced that a trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K. is in the national interest of both countries and will cement the crucial relationship that exists between us, particularly as the U.K. leaves the European Union and reaches out to the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke to Mr. Trump a day after canceling his visit to Washington. Two presidents discussed trade between the two countries for more than an hour. Both Mexico and the U.S. described the talks as constructive.
The U.S. has seen another year of sluggish growth. The annual GDP for last year came in at 1.6 percent according to government figures, the slowest pace of growth since 2011.
You're up to date with the business news headlines. I'm Richard Quest in New York.
VANIER: Welcome back. U.S. President Donald Trump has held his first meeting with a foreign 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 a news conference, Mrs. May said the U.S. still backs the alliance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: On defense and security cooperation, we're united in our recognition of NATO as the bulwark of our collective defense. And today, we've reaffirmed our unshakeable commitment to this alliance.
Mr. President, I think you said -- you confirmed that you're 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 it is to fight more conventional forms of war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And we're likely to be finding out more on Mr. Trump's foreign policy views very soon. He's going to be speaking to a number of foreign leaders on Saturday. That meeting with Theresa May came just a day ahead of a planned call between the U.S. leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For more on how the Trump presidency is being viewed so far in Russia and indeed in China, I'm joined now by our David McKenzie in Beijing and Ivan Watson in Moscow.
Ivan, what's the -- you know, there's been so much baggage between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. So much talk, so many things said. Finally, the two men are going to get to speak to each other directly. Is this going to be the moment of truth?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I guess we'll see. You know, the Kremlin's been trying to lower expectations and saying, you know, this is just going to be a call of protocol, typical to congratulate, for the Russian president to congratulate the U.S. president on his inauguration.
And of course, there has been so much controversy, the allegations of Russian hacking involving the U.S. election. The sheer fact that Donald Trump has a history of attacking almost every political figure including the pope, but has typically had very nice things to say about the Russian President Vladimir Putin, which has attracted criticism from top senators in his own party.
[03:20:07] Now, when he was asked about this at a press conference on Friday, this is how he responded to questions about the upcoming call with Vladimir Putin. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As far as, again, Putin and Russia, I don't say good, bad or indifferent. I don't know the gentleman. I hope we have a fantastic relationship. That's possible. And it's also possible that we won't. I've had many times where I thought I 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 to have much of a relationship and it turned out to be a great relationship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Now, the U.S president was asked about whether or not he planned to lift U.S. sanctions against Russia, and he responded at that press conference saying it was far too early.
There is some excitement here in Russia about a possible detente between Washington and Moscow with a Trump administration.
Aleksey Pushkov, a Russian senator here, a very outspoken political figure, he said that this could be the beginning of a new day here and the prospect of improving ties between Russia and the U.S. was horrifying Russia's foes in the U.S including U.S. Senator John McCain, who's been very hawkish traditionally about Russia.
VANIER: Ivan, stay with us. I want to bring in David McKenzie who's in Beijing.
David, if we look at things on your end, it's been a slightly different relationship between Donald Trump and China ever since Mr. Trump was elected. He's had a very confrontational tone versus Beijing.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think since he's actually become president, he hasn't said very much at all about China or certainly hasn't been as robust as he was during the campaign trail, where he routinely bashed China and said that he would get hard on China from day one of his presidency.
Well, we're now at day eight, I guess, and he hasn't yet made that move.
But here in Beijing, people are certainly anticipating that. Senior academics who have been inside government meetings have said there's a real concern if Donald Trump starts some kind of trade war with China. That is the issue most people believe will be the sticking point between the two countries, the two largest economies in the world, because Donald Trump several times threatened to put a tariff -- slap a tariff on goods coming out of China to the U.S. and complaining about the trade deficit that the U.S. has with China.
Certainly, they're going to wait and see what his next move is. But, in the last few days, they've been urging caution both in terms of trade and in terms of geopolitics to President Trump. Caution is certainly not something we've seen from the president up until this point. So I think they're going to wait for his move on the matter.
VANIER: And a question to both of you. You know, really if you connect the dots of Mr. Trump's various statements on both those countries, whether it's Russia or China, it seems that fundamentally, he hasn't made up his mind on where he wants to go on those relationships and he still could go really either way. What does it look like to you, Ivan?
WATSON: Well, I think it's very interesting that while much of Donald Trump's rhetoric in past months has been kind of magic to the ears of top Russian officials, you know, his denigrating of the NATO military alliance, his calling for Brexit and kind of anticipation of elements of the European Union. That is welcome to the Kremlin.
He also was listening to the British prime minister on Friday, who was taking a much harder tone on Russia, saying that Britain doesn't plan to lift sanctions until the Minsk accords are seen through, some kind of resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, and also saying that Donald Trump had reaffirmed 100 percent his support for the NATO military alliance.
So, a big question is going to be what kind of influence can allies like Britain have over perhaps persuading Donald Trump to walk back some of his past rhetoric that has seemed to be so welcomed by the Kremlin.
MCKENZIE: Well, I think if you look at the tea leaves at least here in because the government here doesn't necessarily always talk very forthrightly and openly with the press, in fact, very rarely.
You have seen a real sense from state media that they believe that Donald Trump is an unpredictable president. So that plays into what you are saying.
However, if you look as well at who he has picked, who President Trump has picked for his trade team, particularly in the White House, they are very sort of anti-China or at least economists who believe that China has had a detrimental effect on the U.S economy.
[03:25:14] Then again, other members of that team are more business- friendly and China-friendly.
So, there is a sense and President Trump has said it before, that he wants competing ideas in his cabinet and in his trade representatives. Which way he goes will be -- remain to be seen. But certainly, he believes he'll take a position of strength with China which could spark a trade war with Xi Jinping.
VANIER: All right. Thank you very much, David McKenzie in Beijing, Ivan Watson in Moscow.
We're waiting for the results, of course, of that phone call between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin coming on Saturday. Thanks to you both. And the drought is not over in California, but for the first time in
three years, a series of storms has bailed the state out of the worst category. Meteorologist Julie Martin is here now to explain what this means for the water supply and the residents there.
JULIE MARTIN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. It's going to be a while before California can fully rebound from a drought that's now lasted since 2014. But certainly, the last couple of weeks have helped the state tremendously.
Let's take a look at what they were dealing with all across California over the past couple of weeks. In some cases, flooding rains in places like Long Beach, California.
Los Angeles picked up about half of its yearly rain total, all in just one month. So, really impressive rain totals here and it has helped tremendously.
Taking you back out now to the graphics, we're going to show you what we're talking about. The rainfall totals for January alone, where you see these pinks and reds here on the map.
We're looking at seven, eight inches of rain as I mentioned in California. And this is all snow here in the Sierra. Much-needed snowpack because that's where the water supply comes from for California eventually. Again, series of storms really just parading into the coastline, bringing that heavy rain and snow day after day.
Here's what happened. This was January 17th of 2017, exceptional drought. That's the worst category, the state still 2 percent here, extreme drought, 24 percent, so most of the state here still covered in drought. That is of January 24th. We're down to zero for exceptional drought.
Really impressive when you take a look at the maps here in December. Look at all of that deep red on the state of California. That is the worst category of drought, exceptional drought. We are now down to zero in California. That's 238,000 square kilometers they were dealing with. And now, they are out of it.
This is another way of looking at it. This drought started back in 2014. The governor of California, by the way, says not so soon, the drought isn't officially over yet. He declared that back in 2014, meaning millions of Californians had to cut back on the water supply, things such as watering lawns and the drinking water of course.
So, it's really going to be a wait and see, Cyril, to see just how much of an impact this has on things like that in the days and weeks to come.
VANIER: All right, Julie Martin, thank you very much, the collateral benefits of storms on the west coast. Thanks a lot.
And still coming up on the show, reaction to the White House putting the brakes on immigrants and refugees coming to the U.S. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[03:31:47] VANIER: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Cyril Vanier. Here are the world's top stories.
President Donald Trump is tightening U.S. borders in a move that he says is necessary to keep out Islamic terrorists. He has signed an executive order barring anyone from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The order also prevents Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely.
Donald Trump says he had a very warm phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The leaders agreed to work out their differences over Mr. Trump's planned border wall. The telephone conversation came just a day after the Mexican leader canceled a face-to-face meeting with his American counterpart.
Millions of people around the world are celebrating the Lunar New Year. 2017 is the year of the rooster. China and other Asian cultures welcome the Lunar New Year with two weeks of celebrations, ending with the Lantern Festival.
President Trump's temporary ban on refugees provoked a number of angry responses in the hours and even the minutes after it was issued. Statement from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "These policies do not reflect the values of the United States or of New York City. We must continue to embrace refugees in need who are victims of terror, not terrorists. We must protect and celebrate religious pluralism. In this great city of immigrants, we will remain true to our values and always welcome all who yearn to breathe free."
And this one from the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society which aids refugees from Muslim countries, "By halting immigration and refugee resettlement from targeted countries, the administration would be splitting up families who have parents and children in the process of approval for immigration and refugee resettlement."
Joining me now is J.D. McCrary, executive director of the International Rescue Committee that helps resettle refugees here in the United States. You have about a decade of work under your belt working with refugees. What's your reaction to what we heard on Friday, the executive order suspending the arrival of all refugees for a period of time to the U.S.?
J.D. MCCRARY, EXEC. DIR., INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE: It is an unfortunate day for the United States. America has shut its door and betrayed its very founding of welcoming the stranger and being a cornerstone of refuge for the world's most persecuted.
VANIER: But do you understand the security concern that drives the executive order which is to vet the procedures until such time as the government is confident that all people who are going to be coming in will be people who are safe for the U.S. to welcome?
MCCRARY: Correct. But the truth is, that vetting process was already well established and had a long history of working very effectively.
VANIER: So, you've dealt with this issue. You know about the requirements to accept refugees into the U.S. Have you at any stage ever felt, "Well, this deserves some tightening, we should take a closer look at this people"?
MCCRARY: Absolutely not. Who we are welcoming are mothers and children and fathers, and they are the very people who are fleeing the persecution that the president outlined today that we are trying to avoid. These are folks who have also been through that and are seeking a safe refuge to start over here in America.
VANIER: But, if you look at what happened in Europe, for instance, and there was a flow of refugees coming in particularly from -- but not only the Middle East, from Syria going to Europe.
[03:35:03] And, we know because ISIS said as much, that terror groups wanted to use that opportunity to get some of their people infiltrated into Western Europe to carry out attacks and strengthen their networks. Do you understand the concern there that that could happen in the U.S.?
MCCRARY: That is correct. But it could not happen in the U.S. because there is a path to Europe that does not involve the extensive vetting that American refugees go through before they arrive here into the United States.
VANIER: You're saying they're already essentially much better vetted when they come here.
MCCRARY: Much more so. Much more so. We know exactly who they are. We know exactly where they're from. We know exactly what they've been through. They have been -- their names, their contact information, all of their data has been put through every security and law enforcement database that the United States has. It is impossible to make it all the way through the vetting process in which to cause harm in the United States.
VANIER: What are you hearing from the refugees?
MCCRARY: They are very concerned. They're very concerned for their families, they -- specific -- or the Syrians, for instance. They have families in Syria, in the refugee camps, in Turkey, in Lebanon, in Jordan. They may also have family in Europe. And they're all spread out through the process as well. So they're very concerned that they may not see their families ever again.
VANIER: Now, certain categories of refugees are to be prioritized under the new refugee policy of this administration. And that's the religious minorities. That means essentially that that's going to ensure that Christians from the Middle East are prioritized over Muslims. Is that something that concerns you?
MCCRARY: It's not that Christians don't face persecution as well. But the entire United States system is based on need. And the most vulnerable people, the most vulnerable families, the most vulnerable individuals in any specific situation are then offered the opportunity for refuge. So, it's unfortunate to pull out a specific religion, a specific ethnicity, a specific nationality, and prioritize them over someone else who is also in desperate need.
VANIER: All right, J.D. McCrary, thank you very much for your voice. We needed to hear from the refugee community --
MCCRARY: Thank you.
VANIER: -- and from people who work with them. Thanks a lot.
MCCRARY: Thank you.
VANIER: And just a week into his presidency, Donald Trump is already breaking with past U.S policy on ISIS. He has discussed new alliances and new tactics for taking on the terror group.
CNN's Jim Sciutto filed this report about Mr. Trump's plans to defeat the extremists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: In his first visit to the Pentagon as commander in chief, President Donald Trump announcing new extreme vetting measures for immigrants from Muslim majority countries trying to enter the U.S.
TRUMP: I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don't want them here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Present.
SCIUTTO: Also on the agenda, a new and more aggressive plan to fight ISIS. Mr. Trump is establishing a series of objectives for fighting the terror group and setting a 30-day deadline for the Joint Chiefs of Staff to report back.
Still, some of the options under consideration do not represent a radical departure from the current strategy of air power backing local fighters on the ground. A U.S. official tells CNN the Pentagon may propose arming Kurdish fighters inside Syria, an option the Obama administration decided against, deeming it too risky.
It may also recommend deploying U.S. artillery and attack helicopters to the battlefield in Syria, as well as adding more American boots on the ground to support the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels, their offensive to retake the ISIS de facto capital of Raqqa. Trump telling Fox News that the U.S. will win the fight.
TRUMP: We are fighting sneaky rats right now that are sick and demented. And we're going to win.
SCIUTTO: Today, in a press conference with British Prime Minister and U.S. ally Theresa May, Trump said he is also considering cooperation with U.S. adversary Russia against ISIS. This, although both his Defense Secretary James Mattis.
JAMES MATTIS, U.S. DEFENSE SECTRETARY: I have very modest expectations about areas of cooperation with Mr. Putin.
SCIUTTO: And CIA Director Mike Pompeo told lawmakers during their confirmation hearing that Russia has done little to nothing to combat the terror group.
MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: Russia has reasserted itself aggressively, invading and occupying Ukraine, threatening Europe, and doing nothing to defeat -- to aid in the destruction and defeat of ISIS.
SCIUTTO: Trump is scheduled to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin this weekend.
This amid growing speculation on Capitol Hill that President Trump may ease or lift U.S. sanctions on Russia, imposed by the Obama administration for Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2014, an interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
[03:40:00] TRUMP: As far as the sanctions, very early to be talking about that. But, we look to have a great relationship with all countries ideally. That won't necessarily happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: President Trump is not backing down on his claims of massive voter fraud. In the face of widespread fact checking though, he's citing new unverified data. More on True the Vote, next.
VANIER: U.S. President Donald Trump is turning to a new source of his unverified claims that more than 3 million people voted illegally for his opponent Hillary Clinton. Our Drew Griffin has the details on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Where does Donald Trump get his information of massive voter fraud? Not from study after study, report after report, analysis after analysis that has found no evidence. But from a non-profit group that has released no evidence.
Its leading voice is the former executive director of the Mississippi Republican Party. He's now CEO of a health data company based in Texas and a conspiracy theorist. And this morning on CNN's "New Day", Gregg Phillips wouldn't say what his proof actually is.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You said we know that 3 million illegally voted.
GREGG PHILLIPS, VOTER ACTIVIST: Right.
CUOMO: You did that already. PHILLIPS: We didn't name a soul, though. We didn't name a person.
CUOMO: Right. And you still haven't.
PHILLIPS: But we will.
CUOMO: Do you have the proof?
CUOMO: Will you provide it?
CUOMO: Can I have it?
PHILLIPS: We're not -- we're going to release everything to the public.
PHILLIPS: As soon as we get done with the checks.
GRIFFIN: President Trump apparently can't wait either. After Gregg Phillips' appearance on "New Day", the president tweeted, "Look forward to seeing final results of vote stand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3 million votes were illegal. We must do better." Vote stand is Gregg Phillips' mostly empty app site with no proof of anything.
[03:45:04] It's affiliated with True the Vote, a non-profit that raised a million dollars in 2014 according to its latest tax filing, paid half of that amount in salaries, including $120,000 to its director, Catherine Engelbrecht, who raises money by hiring private fundraisers and posting frightening but vague YouTube posts like this.
CATHERINE ENGELBRECHT, VOTER ACTIVIST: Is election fraud a real problem? Yes. How bad is it? Well, we have over 800 convictions listed in our online election crimes database. But, that number does not scratch the surface because for every case of fraud that's actually run through the multiyear gauntlet of litigation that's generally necessary to get a conviction, another 100 cases are never prosecuted at all.
GRIFFIN: How does she know that? Good question. Here are the facts.
There is no proof of widespread voter fraud in the United States. In study after study, Republican-led, Democratic-led, independent-led, academic-led, going back years and years, no one has been able to prove there is systemic vote fraud in U.S. elections. And we've been down this road before. In 2002, Republican President George Bush with his Republican Attorney
General John Ashcroft launched the Ballot Access and Voting Integrity initiative to crack down on election crimes including vote fraud.
After six years, the total number of people convicted for voter fraud, less than 150. A Rutgers professor who analyzed data from the initiative concluded the percentage of illegal votes was statistically zero.
And as for the elected secretaries of state who actually run elections in their states? Not one, Republican or Democrat, has voiced any concern about massive voter fraud in the November 8th election, prompting the National Association of Secretaries of State to say, "We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Apparently, all of that is not enough evidence for the president. Despite no evidence, despite many Republicans saying there is no evidence, the president has tweeted he will call for a major investigation into voter fraud.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
VANIER: Veteran British actor John Hurt has died. He played wandmaker Garrick Ollivander in the first two "Harry Potter" movies. Hurt became a prominent film actor in the 1960s, cited for a breakout role in "A Man for All Seasons." And among his extensive movie and TV credits were also "The Elephant Man", "Midnight Express", "1984 Alien", or "Indiana Jones.". He was honored with numerous awards over his long career. He was knighted in 2015. No specific reason was given for his death. John Hurt left us at age 77.
PATRICK SNELL,CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there. I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN world sport headlines. You know, the English FA Cup is not just the oldest football competition of them all. It's also traditionally famed for giant-killing upsets and intense local rivalries, too. On Friday, a pair of East Midlands foes going head to head as second to Derby County hosting Leicester. And the Rams looked like they were going to pull off the upset after holding a 2-1 lead until four minutes from time, that's when Leicester skipper, Wes Morgan, spared his team's blushes, two all it would end (ph). They head to a replay at the King Power.
Arsenal head coach, Arsene Wenger, learned his fate after last weekend's confrontation with a fourth official in the closing stages of the Gunners last cast (ph) win over Burnley.
[03:50:05] The Frenchman handed a four-match touch line ban and given a $30,000 fine just after admitting an English FA charge of misconduct. It had been alleged the 67-year-old man (ph) verbally abused and made physical contact with the official in question after he's sending up the ban starts with immediate effect. Tiger Woods guesstimate (ph) the cut in his first start in an official
PGA Tour event since August 2015. We'll have to wait after an opening run for (ph) 76 at this week's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. Woods following up with a level par 72 in round two. That means he's cut from the tournament in his first start of the year after ending it four over.
So look at your (ph) world sport headlines. I'm Patrick Snell.
VANIER: All right, we want to tell you what millions of people around the world have been doing over the last few hours and will continue to do over the next couple of few weeks. While they've been celebrating the Lunar New Year, Beijing started off the year of the rooster with a massive gala as you can see.
We're joined now by David McKenzie, who is in the Chinese capital. David, tell me something. I understand that a big part of the celebration in China is what goes on on TV, the TV extravaganza.
MCKENZIE: Well, that's right. You know, in the U.S., you might all gather around to watch the Super Bowl. Here in China, everyone gets together and watches the gala on CCTV.
Now, this is a four and a half hour marathon of a review show. Mostly song and dance, but also Chinese opera and comedy, very patriotic, often propaganda, but it is a mainstay of the Chinese New Year. And it's watched by more than 700 million people. So it really is, you know, the whole nation tuning in, either loving it or hating it, but it's part of the tradition here as they kick off the new year, which officially gets going at midnight and then the fireworks start ringing out.
VANIER: So it looks like there were a lot of fireworks since you bring it up. What's the breakdown on the fireworks?
MCKENZIE: Well, you know, every year at midnight at the start of the Lunar New Year, you have this massive explosion of fireworks throughout China, particularly in the big cities.
Now, you can see behind me the pollution is pretty bad today. Officials in Beijing said, "Well, please don't really do too many fireworks." I think people ignored that based on what I was hearing overnight. But, there certainly is this tradition of fireworks in the country.
Now, people around the world might think of fireworks as something you'll go to a professional display here in Beijing and other cities. You can go by a box of fireworks, light it off on the street and it's as big, if not bigger, than anything you'll see on the 4th of July. Cyril.
VANIER: So it's now the year of the rooster. What does that mean? What's the significance of that? The rooster. MCKENZIE: Well, every year, you have a different animal represented
in the zodiac. It's a 12-year cycle. We're moving from the year of the monkey into the year of the rooster.
Now, the rooster, generally, if you're born in this year, you're considered to be popular, on time, diligent. And one thing to bear in mind, if you happen to be born in the year of the rooster, and I don't know when you're born, Cyril, but this potentially is an unlucky year for you but everyone else sees the year of the rooster specifically this year the year of the fire rooster as a pretty good year to be born in. Other years sometimes people even avoid giving birth until the year changes over so they can be on their lucky year. Cyril.
VANIER: David McKenzie reporting live from Beijing, the only man who makes it twice in the same show. Thank you very much for your time.
And finally, words have meaning, especially when they're said by the President of the United States.
[03:55:02] Right now, we're putting to rest the debate over something Mr. Trump often said on the campaign trail. Is it bigly or big league? Here's Jeanne Moos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: First, President Trump gallantly pulled out a chair for the CEO of General Motors. Then he dropped the B word.
TRUMP: It's happening. It's happening bigly.
MOOS: Not once, but twice.
TRUMP: We're bringing manufacturing back to the United States big league.
MOOS: Inspiring U.S. News & World Report and others to report, "Trump pushes for bigly manufacturing revival." But it was also the revival of bigly, a word often attributed to Trump during the campaign.
TRUMP: I'm going to cut taxes big league and you're going to raise taxes big league. And we have to solve it big league and strongly.
And that's what's happened big league.
MOOS: What did he say? What we need is an acoustic wave form and spectrographic analysis.
Actually, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley did those tests and determined that Trump was saying --
TRUMP: Big league. Big league.
MOOS: Big league, not bigly. Though bigly is in the dictionary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bigly. Bigly. MOOS: An adverb meaning in a big manner.
TRUMP: We're going to win bigly.
MOOS: Cue the mockery. Win bigly? Good grief. We will make America win bigly and grammar loses goodly. Make America bigly again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bigly wronger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not funny. Bigly not funny.
TRUMP: America's going to start winning, and winning bigly.
MOOS: But bigly began losing when an interviewer asked the Donald himself what he'd been saying.
TRUMP: I use big league.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was right.
TRUMP: Good, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big league. You've settled it.
MOOSE: But that didn't stop Merriam-Webster from honoring bigly as the most looked-up word that was never actually used in 2016. Now, President Trump is not using it again.
TRUMP: It's happening bigly.
MOOS: The good, the bad and the bigly even made it onto a t-shirt. We need to cut bigly down to size.
TRUMP: Cut taxes big league.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you just say bigly?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.
MOOS: New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bigly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And a major showdown just got underway at the Australian open. The queen sisters of tennis are squaring off in the final. That's Venus and Serena Williams, of course. They're challenging each other for another title. But this one is likely Serena's to lose. The world number two is ranked 15 spots higher than her sister.
On the men's side now, hardly anyone expected another chapter in this legendary rivalry, the one between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They haven't faced each other, after all, in more than six years but Sunday will be their ninth match-up in a grand slam final.
All right, that's it for us. Thanks for watching "CNN Newsroom." I'm Cyril Vanier.
George Howell is on next with another hour of "Newsroom". You're in good hands.
Watson, David McKenzie, Julie Martin, Jim Sciutto, Drew Griffin, Chris Cuomo, Patrick Snell, Jeanne Moos>