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U.S. Judge Blocks Deportation of Banned Travelers; 11 People Detained at Atlanta Airport; Trump Speaks with Several More World Leaders; Yazidi Woman Left in Limbo After U.S. Travel Ban; Trump Speaks with Russian President Putin; Aired 4-5a ET

Aired January 29, 2017 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:02] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. Following the breaking news this hour here on CNN. I'm George Howell.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Cyril Vanier. And a Federal Judge is putting on pause parts of Donald Trump's travel ban. The court granted an emergency stay for citizens of seven Muslim majority countries who have already arrived in the U.S. and have valid visas.

HOWELL: That stay also covers those who are in transit, that basically means they will not be deported immediately. The ruling came a day after protests at airports across the country.

VANIER: A U.S. Homeland Security official says that in the roughly 24 hours between the executive order being signed and the court ruling, the U.S. had denied entry to at least 109 people. And abroad, nearly 200 others were told not to board their flights headed for the U.S.

HOWELL: The American Civil Liberties Union, better known as the ACLU, filed the lawsuit against the ban. They released this statement, saying, quote, "The ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil."

People across the United States were quick to speak out against this travel ban.

VANIER: And protesters flooded major airports around the country including San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

HOWELL: On the West Coast of the United States, one of those protests took over the airport in Seattle, Washington. That's where we find Gabe Cohen with our affiliate KOMO-TV at Sea-Tac Airport.

Gabe, if you could just set the scene of what's happening behind you there.

GABE COHEN, KOMO TV AFFILIATE REPORTER: George, this has become the story that I hear, protesters blocking those security checkpoints chanting, "No one gets in until they get out." And I want to bring you over here for a second to show you. Protesters have blocked off some of the exits here at Sea-Tac. That's where we've seen some of the most tense moments tonight as arriving passengers, getting off flights, tried to exit the airport only to have some of these protesters block their way.

We saw some minors scuffles. Police, though, have tried to stay ahead of the game as these hundreds of protesters have occupied the airport. They opened up a side entrance to the building. That's how they were trying to let arriving passengers out. But the protesters picked up on that. They formed lines outside and again we saw some of those tense moments. Police also trying to open up a checkpoint just behind where these protesters are standing here. They were carefully, struggling travelers through but protesters again forming lines, trying to block those travelers from getting through.

At this point, we don't know of any major delays tonight or tomorrow morning, but these protesters have vowed to stay here through the night, George.

HOWELL: A lot of people there in a very busy part of that airport that I know well. The protests, have they remained peaceful?

COHEN: As far as we can tell they have remained peaceful. We have seen some pushing and shoving again between arriving passengers, even people trying to leave the airport, trying to go through to get their flights as well as officers.

Officers for the most part, the police have remained cool, calm and collective as protesters push up against them. They've tried to keep them formed in a line, but police telling me tonight that they have no arrests. So as far as we can tell, it has remained peaceful, George.

HOWELL: Gabe, one other question. Is there any indication as to whether those protesters will be able to stay there in the airport or will they be asked to leave at some point? Because there are so many people there voicing their concerns about this travel ban.

COHEN: We don't know at this point. As of now, there hasn't been any indication that they're going to be escorted out. For the past hour or two, they've remained in a couple of places around the airport. Earlier in the night, they were moving throughout and police were trying to guide them a little bit. But as of now, from what we can tell, they're going to let them stay right here and protest.

HOWELL: Gabe Cohen at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington, with CNN affiliate KOMO TV. Gabe, thank you so much for the reporting.

VANIER: And we want to -- and we want to run you through the details of the travel ban. What does it do? It forbids people from seven countries from entering the U.S. for three months while vetting procedures are reviewed. Those countries are all predominantly Muslim. Here they are: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

HOWELL: The order also suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days until so-called extreme vetting procedures are put in place. Syrian refugees, they are barred indefinitely. Also, people holding certain visas will now have to undergo in-person interviews in order to renew them. VANIER: Now Mr. Trump's move to block travel from seven Muslim

majority countries has sent shockwaves around the world. Let's get the view in the Middle East. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us now from Amman in Jordan.

Jomana, what's the reaction where you are?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there was a lot of confusion and chaos to an extent, Cyril, when this news started spreading on Saturday.

[04:05:02] In contacting different airlines, different airports, it seemed that some were informed of these new restrictions, other were not. But it seems right now that this is slowly starting to become more and more official. Just a short time ago, we spoke to the national carrier of Jordan, that's Royal Jordanian, that is used by many travelers from some of these impacted countries like Iraq, for example, and Libya, amongst them.

They used flights out of Jordan, for example, to get to the United States. And according to Royal Jordanian just a few hours ago, they did receive these new restrictions and they said that effective immediately they are going to start implementing them.

A lot of shock as you had mentioned in this region. A lot of this realization that this region is going to be looking at a whole new America right now and its approach and how it deals with the rest of the world, is going to be very different. Of course it impact a lot of people, not necessarily just those categories that were mentioned. You have a lot of business people. You have a lot of students who go to the United States from these countries who will be impacted.

And it's going to disrupt so many lives. And we've seen reactions and in just the last few minutes we've also heard from the deputy Turkish prime minister, also tweeting his reaction saying, "Refugees welcome in Turkey, the world's largest refugee hosting country. We'd happily welcome global talent not allowed back in the United States." Cyril.

VANIER: Jomana, you've traveled across the region. You know the people there. And the question that this is perhaps less of a predictable reaction to what's going on in the U.S., people in that region have had to grapple with the threat of terrorism. Do you think there might be somewhere a level of understanding for what the U.S. is trying to do?

KARADSHEH: Well, I think there was always that level of understanding, Cyril. People do appreciate that when they apply, for example, for U.S. visas. They already had to go through some really stringent measures. They've had to go through -- you know, when the president speaks about this, you know, extreme vetting and, you know, all these background checks, this is something that has already been taking place and people do appreciate that, especially when you talk about people coming from countries where they had to live with terrorism and the threat from terrorism on a daily basis like Syrians and Iraqis, of course. And when you talk about extreme vetting, we're talking about, for

example, refugees. People who have applied for resettlement in the United States and they have gone through so many layers of vetting, background checks, interviews, screenings, and some of them have waited for years to try and get into the United States. So this has never been an easy process. And even for people applying for visit visas, student visas, everyone has had to go through various background checks and certain levels of security screening to get into the United States so while there was this understanding, you know, the real shock here is this complete ban that is going to take place right now.

VANIER: Jomana Karadsheh, thank you very much, with the thinking in the Middle East at the moment. Thanks a lot.

HOWELL: The Department of Homeland Security has looked over the recent rulings and it's saying now this, "That it will comply with the judicial orders, faithfully enforce our immigration laws and implement the president's executive orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people." The department says the travel ban affected less than 1 percent of the international air travelers who arrived in the United States.

Let's bring in now Scott Lucas. He is a professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and the founder of the news Web site EA World View.

Scott, a pleasure to have you with us. So this executive order came quickly and almost just as quickly the stay that was granted by a federal court judge. Are we likely to see more challenges, more court challenges to the president's executive order?

SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Well, absolutely. I mean, you don't -- the initial challenges were based on a couple of cases in New York, a couple of Iraqis who were detained. They actually have been released. But you're talking about hundreds of people who are still in detention across these airports. And it is not clear, although the initial court order says they cannot be removed from the U.S. it does not say that they have to be freed from detention. So unless I think you see the Trump administration put out a clear message that it is going to let everyone go, it's not going to detain anybody, while it tries to find tune the implementation of this rather arbitrary order, we will see both the political and the legal battle continue.

HOWELL: So you're suggesting that we will hear more from the Trump administration on this at the same time we know that there are more protests scheduled because of this travel ban. The president of the United States described this as an order that is designed to make America safer to ensure that terrorists are kept out of the country.

[04:10:03] In your view, does this promote greater security or does it create new risks?

LUCAS: Absolutely not. As your correspondents already made clear, there are already measures which had been asked. Especially since 9/11. To try to screen those who'd come into the United States including those Iran visas. And the salient point here is that of those seven countries which had been targeted by the Trump administration as of late zero attacks have been carried out by anyone who is a national or connected with those countries.

There have been a handful -- only a handful of attacks by foreign born extremists, killing 24 Americans since 2001. Compare that to the tens of thousands each year that are killed by guns for example in the country. So this does not appear to be a sensible reaction to security.

HOWELL: Some are asking about consistency, noting that a country like Saudi Arabia is not on this list. The president has pointed out, you know, concern about preventing things like 9/11, many of the people involved in that were from Saudi Arabia. But the president has also said that this list could grow, Scott.

LUCAS: I have no doubt that they may expand this list but not based on it sending it necessarily to Saudi Arabia. We could see this go into any country in Africa or the Middle East or into Asia. I doubt we'll see it on Europe because let's be very clear here. These initial countries were targeted because they have largely Muslim populations. That is not a security consideration. That is religious discrimination. And let's also be clear here that one of the driving forces behind this is the president's chief strategist Steve Bannon who had just been named to the National Security Council. And Bannon does want to extend these types of restrictive measures.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas, live with us from the United Kingdom. Scott, thank you so much for your time today and insight.

LUCAS: Thank you.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, Britain's prime minister is not pleased that the president of the United States has imposed a temporary travel ban that could affect citizens of the U.K. We'll hear what Theresa May had to say.

VANIER: Plus we'll also hear from a political commentator who says the controversial travel ban was the right thing to do. Stay with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(SPORTS)

[04:15:57] HOWELL: Welcome back. Following the breaking news this hour on the new travel ban by President Trump.

Right here in Atlanta, Georgia, at the world's busiest airport, 11 people were detained Saturday at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport due to this new executive order.

VANIER: They reportedly included a 76-year-old grandmother from Iran. A civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis and his colleague, Congressman Hank Johnson, went to the airport to meet with U.S. Customs officials to find out more details. Lewis says the travel ban is causing chaos.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: That's not right. That's not fair. We can treat human beings better. That's not right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: At least nine of the 11 people detained have now been released.

Earlier I spoke with Scott Arbeiter. He's the president of World Relief, which works with churches to provide refugee services and resettlement. Here's what he had to say about the travel ban.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT ARBEITER, WORLD RELIEF PRESIDENT: The first thing I would say is it's very reasonable for the prior administration and this administration to take very seriously the matter of security. And so we recognize how critical that is to all of us. At the same point, what we're disappointed in is this notion that security and compassion are mutually exclusive.

We really believe there is a way to exercise both our traditional American values of compassion and protect our security. It doesn't have to be binary. We don't have to shut the doors to tragically, already traumatized people and make it so stark as we have. We think there is a middle way that is in keeping with so many of our best values.

VANIER: But, Scott, somebody who supports this order would probably say, it is fair to take a few months, as provided by this order to review the vetting procedures.

ARBEITER: I think the question is whether or not you need to slam the door completely shut to do the vetting procedures because the assumption is, is that we have major security issues, but the reality is the facts don't support that.

I think the American people very rightly look at the flow of refugees going into Europe. It's an unregulated flow. They don't know who's going in and they would rightly say that's a security issue that we don't want. But no refugee comes to the United States because they chose to come. They only come if in fact the State Department chooses them, then vets them for 18 to 24 months, and goes through screenings from the FBI, Homeland Security, biometric screenings, multiple interviews. Only then are they allowed into the country.

And the Cato Institute just did a study and the danger posed by refugees and concluded that the likelihood of you or I as American citizens being harmed by a refugee where 1 in 3.64 billion. I think that's probably about the likelihood that we would win the lottery and get struck by lightning in the same day. VANIER: And I want to highlight one of those numbers that you just

mentioned. It is worth bearing in mind, you said refugees get vetted for 18 to -- to 24 months, that's a year and a half to two years, so that's very significant. Tell me something, how does religion inform this discussion on your view of things? You were a man of the cloth, you're ordained as a pastor.

ARBEITER: Well, World Relief is really the development arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, and our historic calling as Christians is to respond to the call of Jesus who said whatever you have done for you, do that to others. So we could ask ourselves if these were -- if these were our children that were trapped in the war- torn areas, if they had been bombed out of their cities, if they were homeless, looking for a place to accept them, what would we want done for them?

So our call is not just in the last few decades, historically, Christians have recognized that we need to offer our welcome to the most traumatized and vulnerable people in the world. And right now 65 million people are displaced.

[04:20:04] We cannot slam the door shut on them.

VANIER: Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, thank you very much for your insights, your views on this.

ARBEITER: Thank you, Cyril.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: We also have reaction from Britain's prime minister. Just a day after meeting with the U.S. president in Washington. Theresa May has now issued a sharp rebuke to Mr. Trump's travel ban.

HOWELL: Just a short time ago, she released the following statement. It reads as follows. "Immigration policy in the United States is a matter for the government of the United States. Just the same as immigration policy for this country should be set by our government. But we do not agree with this kind of approach. And it is not one that we will be taking. We are studying the new executive order to see what it means and what the legal effects are. And in particular, what the consequences are for U.K. nationals. If there is any impact on U.K. nationals, then clearly we will make representations to the U.S. government about that."

Hillary Clinton also reacting on Twitter, saying what you see here. Quote, "I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight, defending our values and our Constitution. This is not who we are."

VANIER: CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord is with us, a supporter of Donald Trump.

Jeffrey, talk to me first about the efficiency argument behind this law. The premise -- not this law, this executive order, the premise is that it's there to protect Americans. My question, what does it actually do to protect U.S. citizens? JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the idea of course is

to make sure that nobody sneaks in under the guise of being a Syrian refugee. And as you know, Cyril, you're a French, that is exactly what happened when 198 Syrian refugees came ashore on the Greek island of Leros, and two of them were -- four of them, I actually think, but two of them wound up participating in the attack on Paris later that year. That's what you're --

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: It seems to me that the French example, although no one who would call into doubt the fact that there are threats on both western Europe and the U.S. coming from, say, the Islamic State group and the al Qaeda groups, seems to me France and the U.S. are very different in that the U.S. already has vetting procedures that were not the case for France and that there is an ocean between the Middle East and the U.S.

LORD: Right, well, oceans sadly which once protected us don't anymore. And as we all know, in America, we had this attack in San Bernardino, the woman half of the team there of assassins, if you will, came in here on what they call a K-1 fiance visa. She was not vetted properly, there were apparently all kinds of things on her social media that indicated she was coming here to commit jihad. She was not checked out, she came in here, and 14 people who went to an office Christmas party in California are dead because of that.

That's unacceptable. I mean, you know, that's the most basic rule of society, right? You have to protect your country.

VANIER: This -- one of the motivations and the general context that is cited in this executive order are the 9/11 attacks. Now CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen explains to us essentially that there is a misconception now. That our view of security is tainted by the 9/11 attacks but citizens of the U.S. and legal U.S. residence have carried out all deadly radical Islamist terrorist attacks in the U.S. since that date. So what does that executive order do for this threat?

LORD: Just because that's the case doesn't mean it can't happen. It did happen. It happened in France. I mean, the Western world is as one here. The objective is, anyone who is a Westerner. So it can happen, and as I was saying earlier --

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: But, again, people who went to France and carried out those attacks infiltrated a large flocks of migrants. That's not happening in the U.S. And that's not in any danger of happening in the U.S.

LORD: But, Cyril, here's what happens. As I -- as I've mentioned earlier tonight, the Bush administration did not check on these things in pre-9/11. And they were castigated for not doing so because 3,000 Americans plus wound up dead after 9/11.

I am suggesting to you that the president of the United States, whomever that might be, is going to be damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he does it George Bush's way, he's going to be called negligent and incompetent and deaf to the facts. If he does it Donald Trump's way, he's going to be damned because he's taking all these precautions and all these inconveniences out there.

President Trump deserves the profile of courage award for standing up and doing this. He's going to -- he's going to get tremendous amount of criticism. But I assure you, I can totally tell you this. If in fact somebody came in here through one of these refugee situations and wound up killing Americans, you would start seeing immediately things in the media saying, he was incompetent, he paid no attention, he ignored things.

[04:25:15] That's just the way human life is, I guess, and certainly that's the way it is in the media. So bravo to him for taking all of these flack.

VANIER: CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord, thank you very much for joining us. Thanks.

LORD: Thank you, Cyril.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: When we come back after the break, protests over his travel ban didn't stop President Trump from signing more executive actions on Saturday. We'll be looking at his latest round of decisions.

HOWELL: Plus President Trump spoke by phone with the German chancellor Angela Merkel. He's been harshly critical of her refugee policy. We explore new relationship with an expert in Berlin.

Our breaking news coverage continues across the U.S. and around the world. This is CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Hi, everyone. Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Cyril Vanier.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Following the breaking news this hour.

VANIER: Part of the travel ban put in place by U.S. president Donald Trump has been temporarily stopped. A federal judge granted an emergency stay for citizens of seven Muslim majority countries. Those who have had -- those who have a valid visa and already in the U.S. or those who are in transit heading to the U.S. will not be immediately deported.

HOWELL: Just one day after meeting with President Trump in Washington, Britain's prime minister is offering a dim view of the president's executive order. Theresa May says she does not agree with President Trump's action. She added that her government is reviewing the legality of the ban as it might affect UK citizens. [04:30:03] VANIER: Search and rescue operations are underway in

Malaysia for a missing tourist boat. The Catamaran left the dock Saturday morning in Eastern Malaysia headed for a small island in the South China Sea. 31 People are said to have been on board including 28 Chinese tourists.

HOWELL: It was a very busy week for the president of the United States. Saturday he remained busy as protests picked up over his travel ban.

VANIER: Donald Trump spoke with several foreign leaders, and also signed a new round of executive actions.

Here's White House correspondent Athena Jones with more.

ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, a very busy Saturday for President Trump. He spent most of the day on the phone with foreign leaders, starting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who he invited here to the White House for a meeting on February 10th. He also spoke with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, France's President Francois Hollande and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Now Vice President Pence joined the president for that chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House describes that call as positive. They say it lasted about an hour. They discussed a range of subjects including mutual cooperation in defeating ISIS and working together to achieve more peace throughout the world including in Syria.

The White House says the call is a significant start toward improving the relationship between the United States and Russia that is in need of repair. The Kremlin also described the call as positive and business-like.

The president also took several more executive actions today, signing a memorandum that would overhaul the structure of the National Security Council. That move, the White House says, intended to adapt the structure of the council to better face the threats facing the U.S.

He also signed an executive order implementing a five-year ban on lobbying for administration officials and a lifetime ban on any officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. But one official here did acknowledge that it might be difficult to enforce those bans. Certainly long after the Trump administration has ended.

Finally, the president signed a memorandum calling on the Joint Chiefs of Staff to present to him within 30 days a plan to defeat ISIS. And as for that travel ban, the White House and the criticism surrounding the travel ban, officials here say that the moves are necessary because the current vetting process is, quote, "woefully inadequate."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Athena Jones there reporting for us. VANIER: More protests against the travel ban are planned to start

across the U.S. in just a few hours. Hundreds of protesters were out in a number of U.S. airports on Saturday.

HOWELL: One of those protests at Dulles International Airport just outside Washington, D.C.

Cheryl Conner with our affiliate WJLA has more from there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHERYL CONNER, WJLA REPORTER: Travelers at Dulles International Airport are getting an unexpected welcome home. People rolling suitcases looked at signs showing support for refugees and all nationalities.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a friend who can't have her family come for her wedding now.

CONNER: A woman from Iran who only wants us to report her first name, Janan (PH), says she has a legal resident here on a green card but she was detained for questioning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where do you live and are you (INAUDIBLE). Your husband walking.

CONNER: Similar stories in the baggage claim area Saturday night as Border Patrol agents dealt with the changes in President Donald Trump's executive order which affects people from seven Muslim- majority country including Iraq and Syria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my niece who's a green card holder and she is a student here and she just went to Europe and Turkey to meet a couple of friends and come back.

CONNER: Civil rights attorneys gathered to help legal residents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are being detained inside. We came with proper representation documents and we were not allowed in to see them.

CONNER: Throughout the night we heard dozens of people were held for questioning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just waiting to see my mother, you know.

CONNER: Voices louder than a jet engine filled the airport all night.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Julian Reichelt joins us now from Berlin. He's the editor- in-chief of Bild Digital. That's a Germany daily.

Julian, immigration and security are huge issues in Europe given both the vast number of migrants and asylum seekers who came into the continent and also the number of terror attacks. What's the take likely to be on the executive orders and a new immigration and refugee policy in the U.S.? What's the reaction going to be in Germany, you think?

JULIAN REICHELT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BILD DIGITAL: Well, the reaction in the media will certainly be these strong criticism against that executive order by President Donald Trump. But if you ask more average people I would predict that it's likely to find at least some support because what -- behind this executive order, the vetting process, is something that has come under huge criticism.

[04:35:06] Also here in Germany after enacting policy to let so many people into the country. Many people here now say that the vetting wasn't done right, that the government has no idea who actually entered the country and that this process has -- can be renewed, and that we have to come up with a whole new process. So I would predict a split reaction to this. You will see strong criticism in the policy circuits, in the media, but when you ask more average people, many here (INAUDIBLE) with the question who is actually coming into the country and do we know who's coming into the country, especially with a couple of terrorist attacks in the past month, one that killed 12 people in Berlin. So there will be different kind of reactions here in Germany to that executive order.

VANIER: And Julian, you seem to be describing a big split between authorities and the man on the street as to how they react to this.

REICHELT: Absolutely. I think that is very similar to what we're seeing in the United States. There is some sort of division. There is a certain part of society that very much agrees with Merkel's policies that very much supported her approach to helping so many people, that really renewed this country. You know, it really gave a whole new standing to Germany. But there is also a lot of concern among many people because it has become very obvious that the government has lost track about who is coming into the country and what do we know about those. For example, the terrorist of that previous attack in Berlin who used 14 different identities.

No one really knew who he was, no one really know where he was staying. And that obviously is -- a lot of concern of, you know, average people. So my guess is if you ask those people, should we get those policies in place before we let anyone else in, you'll probably get some sort of support for this kind of policy. And actually it's not too far away from what Merkel's allies within the European Union are suggesting right now.

VANIER: And it's worth pointing out to our viewers that the public perception and level of support for welcoming immigrants and refugees in Germany have actually changed quite drastically over time.

REICHELT: It has. It has. You know, it has become very nuanced. At the beginning there was something like euphoria about helping so many people but that was mainly about Syria. With that policy came, many people from many other countries, what is now being discussed as mainly people from North Africa, who are not under the same threat as people in Syria, obviously are. And then we have seen -- I don't want to call it a wave but too many terrorist attacks to keep this level of support to tumble, so people have started asking, was this the right policy, was it nuanced enough, did it put enough emphasis on vetting the people who are coming here? Did it put enough emphasis on, you know, keeping track of the people who have come to Germany? And the popular answer to that question in many places is not. So there still is a lot support for the empathy of these policies for the values behind it but not for the political execution and not for the detailed work that went into it because there wasn't -- just done enough to, you know, our allies who is coming into Germany.

VANIER: All right. Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief at the German publication, Bild. Thank you very much.

REICHELT: Thank you.

HOWELL: This new travel ban has left a great many people in limbo. CNN spoke with one Yazidi woman who was ready to board her flight from Iraq to the United States only to find that she would not be allowed on that plane to the U.S.

Arwa Damon has her story for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Talal and her husband, Yazidis, were in Sinjar when ISIS stormed to the area on a killing and kidnapping rampage. They barely escaped. For them, that was the end of any notion that they could build a future in Iraq.

Talal is not her real name but she is afraid that by speaking out she might ruin whatever chance remains to reach the United States. Despite it being the land of free speech.

TALAL, YAZIDI WOMAN (Through Translator): My dream was to go to America because it's the strongest country in the world. We feel that it's safe, it's the safest country. It has the strongest human rights.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And this is the Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry.

DAMON: But with one signature, that vision of America shattered. Talal says her husband worked as a translator for the U.S. military for years and applied for asylum under the Special Immigrant Visa Program.

[04:40:09] It was granted and he arrived in America last summer. On Saturday, Talal was on her way to finally reunite with him.

TALAL (Through Translator): I was about to get on the plane and they called my name. I went and they said, you can't board, you can't travel. I was shocked. I cried, why? Why me?

DAMON (on camera): Talal was given this document from Homeland Security at the airport that basically tells her how she can put in an inquiry and figure out why she was denied boarding, although that's pretty clear at this stage. What isn't clear is when she can apply again and what she's supposed to do next. So she and all the others are basically right now in a state of limbo.

(Voice-over): She is hardly on her own. The temporary travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations to the U.S. and the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees has left countless people reeling. Wondering how it is that the new leader of the so called free world can have so little compassion for their suffering.

TALAL (Through Translator): My brain isn't working. I'm in shock. If I think of something, I start to cry. I'm not crying because I'm weak, but because I have small dreams. And I thought if I went to America, they would benefit from my small dreams. And I could make them come true there. And I could be safe.

DAMON (on camera): What's your message right now to President Trump?

TALAL (Through Translator): My message is that we don't hate President Trump. We don't hate anyone. We love the American people. Have mercy. We don't have mercy in our country.

DAMON (voice-over): But mercy, even for those that have suffered the most does not seem to be on Trump's America first agenda.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Irbil, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Arwa Damon, thank you so much for that report.

Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, Donald Trump has phone calls with several world leaders including the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin. What was said between these two leaders, as NEWSROOM continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:45:18] HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN. The U.S. president Donald Trump conducted a series of phone calls with world leaders on Saturday including the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

For more that conversation let's bring in our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson, live in the Russian capital.

Ivan, it's good to have you with us this hour. Look, so both leaders have said favorable things about each other in the lead-up to President Trump's win. That was reported widely during the campaign. They finally got to speak by phone. Donald Trump now the president of the U.S. But what came out of this conversation?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think a very dramatic change in tone, George, between -- the communications between these two leaders. Shortly after the outgoing American President Obama had slapped new sanctions on Russia, deporting 35 Russian diplomats amid allegations of hacking. Here you have the first formal communications between these two leaders since President Trump's inauguration in which the White House said that, quote, "The positive call was a significant start to improving the relationship between the United States and Russia that is in need of repair."

The Trump administration has made it clear that it wants to cooperate with Russia particularly in the sphere of combating terrorism and combating ISIS. No concrete measures were announced as a result of this discussion, but the Kremlin said that they have talked about partner cooperation in the Middle East, in the Korean Peninsula, in nuclear nonproliferation, in dealing with the Iranian nuclear program. And already we're hearing signs from other key officials, key people here in Russia, the head of the Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund, with a combined amount of some hundred billion dollars announcing that this was a positive signal for business and investors, and saying that they're planning to present 10 projects for a joint Russian-U.S. investment in the future.

So again, nothing concrete coming out but certainly a dramatic change in tone between these two capitals -- George.

HOWELL: Ivan, the president has indicated before that it is too soon to talk about lifting sanctions, that those sanctions will remain in place for now. But the president's desire to create a closer relationship with Russia, it is met with a great deal of skepticism by many of his Republican counterparts, by many Democrats, and even members' of the president's Cabinet.

How is that divide -- the divide between the president and his many critics, how is that being perceived in Russia?

WATSON: Well, I think that there are strong admirers of Donald Trump here in Russia. There were celebrations among some political circles, some media circles when he won the election in November. And you've seen in some corners of the Russian media, for example, articles, reports, again, celebrating Donald Trump but saying that he has a steep hill to climb when dealing with other elements of American society that are still very strongly critical of Russia and critical of a possible rapprochement between the two leaders.

And of course he does have some opposition within this own party and among his own allies. You know, he's also had phone calls with the president of France, he's had a meeting with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, all of them have been sending very different messages when it comes to Russia and when it comes to sanctions there. Things that he will have to take into consideration as he wants to move forward as he has put it in repairing these very difficult relations that the U.S. has had with Russia in the final years of the Obama administration -- George.

HOWELL: Our senior international correspondent Ivan Watson live for us in Moscow. Ivan, thank you for the reporting.

VANIER: Australia says President Trump will honor the refugee settlement deal that the two countries agreed on last year. The topic was discussed during a 25-minute phone call between Mr. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull on Saturday. HOWELL: That deal says that hundreds of asylum seekers held offshore

-- in offshore detention centers, that they will be moved to the United States. Mr. Turnbull says the plan is a one-off agreement and that it will not be repeated.

The final round of primary voting has started in France to decide the Socialist Party candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

VANIER: Early indications are that surprise candidate, Benoit Hamon, the former Education minister, could beat former prime minister Manuel Valls. The former Economy minister Emmanuel Macron abandoned the race after finishing third in the first round of voting and he urged his supporters to back Hamon. The winner faces a tough fight, however, to keep the Socialist Party in power. The party has become deeply unpopular under the presidency of Francois Hollande.

[04:50:04] HOWELL: Cyril, I have to admit, I'm always happy when you're reading that. That's good.

VANIER: That's what I'm here for.

(LAUGHTER)

HOWELL: Still ahead, a cold snap is hitting parts of the United States. We'll tell you what to expect as CNN NEWSROOM continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(SPORTS HEADLINES)

HOWELL: We're following CNN breaking news this hour. We're switching over the weather now. There's some bitter cold weather that's hitting part of the United States. Snow is piling up across the Great Lakes and more gusty winds are in store for Southern California.

VANIER: And meteorologist Julie Martin joins us now at the World Weather Center -- Julie.

(WEATHER REPORT)

VANIER: Julie Martin from the World Weather Center here at CNN, thank you very much. And thank you for watching. I'm Cyril Vanier.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Another hour of news straight ahead. This is CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: The U.S. East Coast, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. Following the breaking news here on CNN. I'm George Howell.

VANIER: And I'm Cyril Vanier. A federal judge is putting on pause parts of Donald Trump's travel ban. A court granted an emergency stay for citizens of seven Muslim majority countries who have already arrived --