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CNN NEWSROOM

U.S. Travel Ban Legal Maneuvers; New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champions; Trump Slams Federal Judge Over Travel Ban Ruling; A Look at Some Syrian Refugees Living in the U.S.; Legal Battle Over Trump's Travel Ban; Lady Gaga Stuns at Super Bowl Halftime Show. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired February 6, 2017 - 00:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:00:11] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: More maneuvering in the legal battle over the U.S. travel ban with arguments due to be filed in the coming hours.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, families like this one from Somalia are being reunited in the States while the travel ban has been temporarily suspended.

VANIER: Plus, the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, its quarterback Tom Brady's record-breaking fifth NFL championship.

Thank you very much for joining us -- everyone. We're live in Atlanta. I'm Cyril Vanier.

CHURCH: And I'm Rosemary Church. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

The coming hours are crucial in the legal battle over U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban.

VANIER: The states of Washington and Minnesota which are challenging the ban must submit their arguments to a federal appeals court early on Monday. Then it's the U.S. Justice Department's turn.

CHURCH: The executive order is on hold after the Appeals Court denied the Trump administration's emergency request to reinstate it. That means people from seven Muslim majority countries included in the ban can travel to the U.S. for now.

VANIER: The U.S. President is angrily lashing out at the district court judge who suspended the travel ban.

CHURCH: ND Mr. Trump's suggested on Twitter the judge would be to blame if there were an attack.\

Jessica Schneider has more.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After raising eyebrows and getting backlash after his Twitter tirade on Saturday, President Donald Trump once again took to his Twitter feed on Sunday continuing to rail against the justice system.

President Trump tweeting this, "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens, blame him and court system. People pouring in -- bad."

And then in a second tweet, President Trump said this, "I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country very carefully. The courts are making the job very difficult."

President Trump once again putting the target right on the federal judge and the court system not agreeing with the decisions that have been made over the weekend and not agreeing what the circuit court did early Sunday morning.

But Vice President Mike Pence is also talking about it saying that he believes that the travel ban will be put back in place. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's simply no question under the constitution and frankly under federal law that the President of the United States has the authority in the interest of national security to determine who has the right to come into this country. And we're going to challenge the judge's order on that basis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: This legal fight will certainly continue into the week and coming weeks and months.

But in addition, we're looking at a confirmation battle as well. Next up is Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Education secretary. We're expecting a vote in the Senate on Monday morning.

And at this point two Republican senators have said they will not vote for Betsy DeVos. That will mean that Vice President Mike Pence will likely come in and break what is expected to be a 50-50 tie. People are expecting that nomination of Betsy DeVos for Education secretary to be confirmed because of that vote by Vice President Pence.

Jessica Schneider, CNN -- Palm Beach, Florida.

CHURCH: And CNN's senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein joins us now live from Los Angeles. He's also the senior editor for "The Atlantic". Always great to check with you.

Let's start with the tweets President Trump posted over the weekend attacking the federal judge in Washington State. Have you ever witnessed the head of the executive branch going after the judicial branch so publicly and what might this signal?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: NO, I mean, you know, the analogy that people sometimes use is almost 200 years old when Andrew Jackson the President that Steve Bannon wants Donald Trump to model himself on reportedly said the decision by John Marshall, the greatest Supreme Court justice of the 19th century. Mr. Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.

I think the comments from President Trump on Twitter today are some of the most disconcerting he has made for many Americans including some in his own party in terms of directly individually attacking a federal judge, a Republican appointed judge confirmed unanimously by the Senate who made a decision that displeased him.

It's reminiscent of what he did last summer when he was a presidential candidate and attacked Judge Curiel, basically argued that he could not adjudicate fairly because he was of Mexican descent. Of course now, the bit difference, he is President of the United States.

So this is something that I think is going to be very interesting to see how Republicans react to when they are back in Washington this week. They wanted to turn the other cheek on almost everything Donald Trump has said since he's taken office. This may be a bridge too far for them.

CHURCH: Yes. We'll wait to see how that all turns out.

[00:05:01] But Vice President Mike Pence believes the travel ban will eventually be reinstated. But this could very well be a long drawn- out process. How damaging has this issue already been for the Trump administration and what's the potential damage going forward, do you think?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, there's no guarantee it will be reinstated. President Trump is in the same sort of difficult position that President Obama was often in during his administration.

Basically what we see here is that the Democratic states of Washington and Minnesota are using a weapon against President Trump that Republican states forged to use against President Obama. Under President Obama we saw Republican attorneys-general repeatedly suing in conservative areas of the country to block Obama initiatives such as his clean power plant, his Medicaid expansion and most relevant, his expansion of his dreamer program to provide legal status to adults here who had citizen children.

And what happened in that case was that went from a conservative justice -- judge in Texas into the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then reached the divided Supreme Court. And ultimately President Obama was blocked and stalemated.

President Trump is now in a difficult situation because the next court that will hear this case will be the Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit -- the one in the Ninth Circuit in the U.S. which is the most liberal and Democratic-leaning circuit of all of the circuits in the U.S. appellate court system.

And then waiting at the end of that, of course, is a 4-4 divided Supreme Court. So there's no guarantee at all that he is going to prevail on the legal merits of this going forward. CHURCH: Yes. And as we heard, Monday's confirmation vote for

President Trump's Education secretary pick, Betsy DeVos may be in trouble with two GOP senators vowing not to support her. Mike Pence will need to step in, of course and cast its deciding vote. But is there any possibility another Republican senator may also refuse to support her. Can you see that at all?

BROWNSTEIN: It is possible. You know, if you were going to be that last vote you probably would not say anything until the final minute. Still it's most likely that you get a 50-50. People have to understand how rare it is for cabinet officers to be defeated. The last one with either party controlling the Senate was John Tower in 1989, President H.W. Bush had nominated as secretary of Defense.

I believe the last time a president's cabinet nominee was defeated on a floor vote on the Senate with his own party controlling the Senate was 1925. So there's a lot of deference to the President. We saw that, for example where John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio had raised big questions about Rex Tillerson but ultimately fell in line and voted for him.

I still think most people would be surprised if Betsy DeVos is not confirmed but her confirmation hearing was so disastrous that it really kind of stretched the boundaries and gave you the sense that what can a nominee do when in there where the President's party controls the Senate to be defeated if this wasn't enough.

CHURCH: And Ron -- just very quickly, going into the third week of the Trump administration, how is it looking and how has it gone so far, do think?

BROWNSTEIN: I think it's a very clear answer. I mean what you see under Donald Trump the President is that it is accelerating, intensifying, widening all the divides that we saw under Donald Trump the candidate.

Most of what he is doing is drawing good marks from his core constituencies of Republicans, blue-collar whites and non-urban voters but he is facing enormous even unprecedented resistance among other groups in the electorate -- millennials, minorities, college-educated whites, Democrats. He has the lowest support -- a lot of people are enthusiastic about what he is doing but he has the lowest approval rating and the highest, by far, disapproval rating any president this near in his presidency.

One interesting statistic, eight days into his presidency he reached 50 percent of the country disapproving of his performance in the Gallup poll. For President Obama it was about 600 days; for Ronald Reagan it was about 700 days; for George W. Bush about 1,200 days. So we have a deep level of polarization. And I think all the signs are that he will continue to govern in a way that hardens the lines that we already see emerging in American society around this presidency.

CHURCH: All right. Ron Brownstein, joining us there from L.A. where it's just after 9:00 in the evening -- thank you so much for your analysis. BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

CHURCH: We appreciate it.

President Trump is suggesting now that the rollout of a replacement to the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare could take until next year. Here's what he told Fox News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Can Americans in 2017 expect a new healthcare plan rolled out by the Trump administration this year?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the process and maybe it will take until sometime into next year. But we are certainly going to be in the process. Very complicated -- Obamacare is a disaster.

You have to remember, Obamacare doesn't work. So we are putting in a wonderful plan; it statutorily takes a while to get. We're going to be putting it in fairly soon. I think that yes, I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments. But we should have something within the year and the following year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[00:10:05] The New England Patriots have won the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. They stunned the Atlanta Falcons, rallying from 25 points down to win 34-28 in overtime.

CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump watched the game at his Mar-A- Lago estate in Florida. He tweeted his congratulations saying this, "What an amazing comeback and win by the Patriots. Tom Brady, owner Bob Kraft and Coach Bill Belichick are total winners. Wow."

VANIER: All right. CNN sports correspondent Andy Scholes was at the big game, of course, in Houston, Texas. He joins us now.

Andy -- look, how did the Patriots pull it off? To be honest I was preparing for the show at halftime I thought Atlanta had it in the bag.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Everybody did -- guys. Everyone thought once Atlanta got that big halftime lead that this game was over. Even in the third quarter when they were up 25, everyone was like well, we can go home. This one's is in the bag. No one had ever come back from more than a 10-point deficit in the Super Bowl. But this one's going to go down as one of, if not the greatest Super Bowl of all time.

And there's little question now. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football. He has now won five Super Bowls.

But as we said, you know, it was not easy for the Patriots. Let's take a look at how it all went down. They were down 14-0 in the second quarter when Brady made a huge mistake throwing a pick six. Robert Alford intercepted takes it 82 yards the other way for a touch. That made it 21-0, Falcons.

And like I said, no one had ever come back from a 10-point -- more than a 10-point deficit in Super Bowl history. Patriots were down by as many as 25 but they went on a furious rally in the fourth quarter.

And this right here may be the greatest catch in NFL history. Julian Edelman (ph) snatching that ball before it touched the ground. The Patriots would end up scoring a touchdown on this drive, needing the two-point conversion to send this game into overtime and Tom Brady would find Danny Amendola (ph) for the two-point score. And for the first time ever we had overtime in a Super Bowl.

Patriots get the ball and Tom Brady would march them right down the field and James White finishes the drive-off with a two yard touchdown run. New England wins 34-28 and Tom Brady adds to his legend as once again the Super Bowl MVP.

CHURCH: Wow. What could the Falcons have done to have turned this around? And of course, remind us again, where does this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: It was better in the second half. It's hard to win a game in the NFL. And to beat this team and to get down 28-3 and you know, it was just a lot of mental toughness by our team. You know, we're all going remember this for the rest of our life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Ok. So Andy -- let's go over what the Falcons could have done to perhaps have turned this around. What's going to be running through their minds as they go over this and remind us where this ranks in terms of comebacks in sports history?

SCHOLES: Well, the poor Falcons -- their team and their fans are never going to forget this game, I'll tell you that. They now own the biggest blown lead in Super Bowl history. And it's going to be tough to recover from something like this for a team.

You know, you've seen teams blow games like this in NFL history before. It's definitely tough to rebound. But for the Patriots, I mean -- incredible. And Tom Brady, he set all kinds of records in this game. He, you know, threw the most passes in Super Bowl history in this one. He also threw for the most passing yards, 466 yards -- never done before in the Super Bowl.

And Tom Brady now has four Super Bowl MVP trophies, which is the most in NFL history. And he added the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to his resume today. And like I said guys, little question now he's the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football.

(CROSSTALK) SCHOLES: And this moment I wanted to tell you about as well.

CHURCH: Oh, you're going to add to that?

SCHOLES: Well, I just wanted to go that moment there.

VANIER: You've got be reminded --

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: -- just before you add to that, Andy, bear in mind, we're sitting here in Atlanta. The control room kind of went silent when that happened.

SCHOLES: I imagine it did because we have some co-workers here as well in Houston working with us that are from Atlanta. They were celebrating at halftime thinking this game was over. And they are not looking so hot right now, guys, I tell you that.

CHURCH: Yes. It's the same here.

VANIER: CNN Sports correspondent Andy Scholes -- thank you very much for breaking it down.

CHURCH: Thank you.

Well, a legal battle is brewing over President Trump's travel ban. After the break -- why the next hours and days will be critical to Mr. Trump's executive order?

VANIER: Plus, you will hear from a family from Somalia who finally reunited in the U.S. after being caught in the travel ban.

Stay with us.

[00:14:51] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Welcome back.

President Trump's controversial travel ban is still on hold but a legal battle is just getting started.

CHURCH: Mr. Trump has been attacking the federal judge who put his travel and refugee ban on hold as Sara Sidner explains why the following days will be crucial for a resumption of the ban.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is looking at two different things. They already ruled on one thing but the Department of Justice cannot have an emergency administrative stay, which basically said will you allow the travel ban back in place while you consider the next part of this suit?

And the justice said, no, we want to consider this whole thing. We are going to consider the second part of what you ask, which is will you allow the travel ban back in place during the appeals process?

And that's where they are right now. They have asked the other side, that is Washington and Minnesota, to go ahead and file paperwork so that they can read the briefs on all sides and make a final decision. They are expecting all of that to happen 6:00 p.m. Monday Eastern time or 3:00 p.m. Monday, California time. And then we will likely have a decision by Monday evening on this.

[00:20:02] If they decide for the Department of Justice, then Seattle and Minnesota could respond and take it all the way to the Supreme Court or if they decide against the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice could go to the Supreme Court.

In the end, this case may likely head back to federal court Washington who had put this temporary halt on the travel ban while it decides the merits of this case.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Sara Sidner reporting there.

We've still got lots of questions. And than thankfully CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson is there to answer some of them. He joins us now from Los Angeles.

Joey -- good to have you with us.

For viewers who would like some clarity, first of all, when are we going to find out if the travel ban is lifted or not?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Ok. I think you may get a good sense of whether the travel ban is lifted sometime next week based on the Ninth Circuit briefing schedule. Essentially, what happened was is that the Ninth Circuit, just to be clear, is an appellate court.

You have a district court. As we know the district court judge decided that everything will remain status quo, that is, the executive order will likely be found to be unconstitutional.

The administration took issue with that and now, of course, they appealed it to that circuit and it's up to the circuit who initially said, no, we're not overruling the district judge, we agree at this time to make things status quo. They're going to hear both from the Justice Department as well as the other side to determine whether or not to continue with the district court's order to reverse the executive order by Trump or to otherwise reverse that and allow Trump's executive order to stand.

So I think sometime this week, as early this week, we may get a clear sense on whether the executive order remains in place or whether or not the executive order becomes moot and otherwise reversed.

VANIER: Joey -- let's consider the substance of the arguments. The federal state is going to argue that a judge should not be second- guessing presidential policy especially when it comes to security matters. Can you beat that argument in court? JACKSON: I think you really can. I think that what happens is that

there's a tension in the law. There's no question that the executive -- that is, the President has vast authority over national security. There's also no question that the President needs to do and is invested in keeping Americans safe. That is a prerogative of the executive branch which is very strong.

At the same time, we're a country that's founded and grounded upon constitutional principles and this is a time where both of these are colliding. And so the essence of the President's argument, national security -- national security, yes; but at the same time, to what extent does that impair constitutional rights.

Like what? Like equal protection. Are we not a country that allows and decides that everyone regardless of where you're from should be treated equally like the First Amendment where it says that you cannot base any type of prejudice predicated upon religious grounds at any time; like really he international law, the conversation against torture that says you cannot send back people who are going to suffer from persecution and potentially be tortured; and of course, the Immigration and Nationality Act which essentially says that immigrants can apply for status here and otherwise get asylum.

So you're seeing a tension between the executive's right to keep everyone safe and between the constitutional principles of this country which really allow for everyone to endure and everyone to have really the bill of rights. And so how that tension resolves itself I think is a critical question.

The last thing I'm going to point and say is this. The fact is that I think the justices are going to struggle with a specific tie to what the President wants to do. In the event that this country was under specific attack, then I think they would have a basis to say, ok, we're going to follow you, Mr. President.

But I think the issue is how broad it is. Are you going to kill an ant with a sledgehammer? What specifically, Mr. President, are you tying this to and I think that's going to be the question of the justices moving forward.

VANIER: Joey -- talk to me about how the law and the politics interact here. This Court of Appeals is considered a liberal court, a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents. And just earlier we were speaking to CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein. He was telling us the Democratic states are using this weapon against Donald Trump, a Republican president. From your -- what's the point of the view of a lawyer on this?

JACKSON: Well, it's a great question. And here's why. Because you have three judges who are going to be making this decision -- one judge of course being an appointee by George Bush and the other two justices, one being an appointee by Obama. And so the politics are clear.

Now of course, we have to say well, just because two were appointed by Democratic presidents and one by a Republican, should that mean it's a 2-1 vote for the Democratic side which would be to otherwise move away from the executive order?

I think and I'd like to believe as a lawyer, that matters are decided on merits. Are there inherent biases in people based upon their views and philosophy? Sure.

[00:25:07] VANIER: That's what you'd like to believe. Is that what you believe?

JACKSON: That's also a great question. I believe that in deciding it on the law is a close question. And the question is whether national security should trump the constitution as it stands at this point, or whether or not the constitutional principles will be recognized. And I think that if anything, in this particular case because there's not a specific tie to a particular issue, I think it's going to have -- I think it's going to be very difficult for these justices to go along with the executive order and say, you know what, ban everyone until we get a grip on everything.

So not that I'm one for predictions, but I certainly think that the circuit court would have ample basis to otherwise support the district court judge in otherwise lifting the travel ban and allowing everything to remain status quo.

VANIER: All right. Got it. Thank you very much.

Joey Jackson, CNN legal analyst -- thanks for your insights.

JACKSON: Thank you.

VANIER: The travel ban executive order also stops the entrance of refugees for the next four months. But since the ban is currently on pause, the international organization for migration is hoping that authorized flights with refugees could resume as soon as Sunday.

CHURCH: Those flights would have to be booked through the organization and would only include refugees who have already been vetted and approved for entry to the United States.

Well, many families with visas were stuck in limbo when President Trump signed the travel ban order.

VANIER: One of them was a family from Somalia, which is one of the seven countries banned. They finally reunited on Sunday in Virginia.

CHURCH: The husband is a U.S. citizen. He was waiting for his wife and two children including a 10-month-old baby.

VANIER: They had valid visas and they had booked a flight from the United Arab Emirates last week. CNN spoke with them after they reunited.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AHMED ABDULLA, U.S. CITIZEN FROM SOMALIA: I'm happy (inaudible) but I'm happy that it ended happily.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what were you feeling when you were getting on the plane?

BISHARO MOALIN (PH), CAUGHT IN TRAVEL BAN: So scared. (inaudible) alone and the baggage, it was very hard.

ABDUALLA: I used to hear the campaign rhetoric but I never thought that it would be so personal to me. But now, it's personal. But now from now on, even though my family already came here, I feel for all those who are still in limbo not knowing what will happen next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: They also said they have no plans to leave the U.S. any time soon.

VANIER: Well, we've seen how President Trump is reacting to his travel order being halted.

Just ahead we'll look more closely at the courts that have issued those key rulings.

Stay with us.

[00:27:54] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:30:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Cyril Vanier.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church. Here are the top stories we've been following this hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump is railing on Twitter against the federal judge who suspended his travel ban saying, "Blame the judge if something bad happens."

Sunday morning, a U.S. Appeals Court denied the government's emergency request to reinstate the ban. It asks both sides to file legal arguments before making a final decision.

VANIER: Heavy snowfall set off a series of avalanches which killed at least 59 people along the Afghan-Pakistani border. Afghan officials say that death toll could still rise. Rescuers are working to evacuate people from villages that are currently buried by snow, ice and rocks.

CHURCH: Presidential campaign of France's National Front Party leader is officially under way. Marine Le Pen told thousands of supporters she wants to restrict immigration, pull France out of NATO and hold a referendum on leaving the European Union. The first round of the election is April 23rd.

VANIER: And New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions yet again. They rallied from 25 points down against the Atlanta Falcons to win the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. The final score, 34 to 28 is the Patriots fifth Super Bowl title. All of them with quarterback Tom Brady.

CHURCH: Well, Donald Trump's third week as president promises to be as bumpy as his first two.

VANIER: He's facing a lot of push back over several issues including his executive order travel ban.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): After just the first two weeks in office, President Trump is preparing now for a judicial showdown over whether his travel ban by executive order can stand.

To the dismay of both Democrats and some Republican lawmakers, Trump spent part of his weekend disparaging the federal judge who temporarily suspended the ban through tweets, calling him a "so-called judge" who made a ridiculous ruling, adding, "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and the court system. People pouring in. Bad!"

This could become an issue for Republicans. They are trying to get the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to confirm Trump's pick for Supreme Court justice, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Also, Republicans publicly distancing themselves from Trump's comments about Russia when he suggested in an interview with "Fox News" there was moral equivalency between the U.S. and Putin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O'REILLY, HOST, FOX NEWS: Do you respect Putin?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do respect him, but --

O'REILLY: Do you? Why?

TRUMP: Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with them. He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not. Will I get along with him, I have no idea. It's possible I won't.

O'REILLY: He's a killer, though. Putin's a killer.

TRUMP: There are a lot of killers. We got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is now calling for a formal investigation into Trump and Putin's relationship.

Monday, President Trump makes his first major public address to U.S. troops since his inauguration when he goes to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. There, he's also going to be briefed by U.S. Central Command -- CENTCOM -- and Special Ops Command. Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: For more on all of this, we're joined now by Jeffrey Lord, CNN political commentator.

Jeffrey, I want to read to you some of the more recent tweets of Mr. Trump.

"I just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and the court system. People pouring in, bad."

Look, what's your take on that? Is it a president's place to question, to pre-emptively blame a judge for a catastrophe, you know, that hasn't happened?

[00:35:00] JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, here's the thing. I mean, I regret to say this, but now for decades, politicians particularly on the left hand side of the spectrum have been questioning the integrity of federal judges and their decisions.

I worked in the White House for -- on five Supreme Court nominations, in particular Robert Bork and Senator Kennedy stirring the floor of the Senate. Robert Bork's America, attributed all sorts of terrible things to Robert Bork.

I was in the Bush 41 administration when Clarence Thomas was accused of all sorts of things and finally gave this memorable speech about how he was being subjected to a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks. I mean, this is going on and on and on. So --

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: I get it. You're telling me that there is -- you're telling me that there can be an adversarial relationship between judges and presidents. My question, we're talking about this judge and this president.

Is it the president's place to pre-emptively blame a judge?

LORD: Well, sure. I mean, you know, they're equal branches of government. I mean, the judges are not -- don't hold the upper hand here. There's three branches of government. There's a reason for it so that they can all balance out one another. And there's a long, rich history of this.

So sure, I mean, people on one side are going to say he's doing something improper. But I assure you when the situation was on the other side --

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: Again, Jeffrey, let me hold you to an answer on this. It was a simple question. So you are in support of the president blaming the judge on this one.

(CROSSTALK)

LORD: If you're president of the United States and you want to criticize a federal judge, go to it.

VANIER: OK. That's what he did. There has been talk of the fact that in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now reviewing the case is the most liberal in the U.S. --

LORD: Yes.

VANIER: Because a majority of the judges that sit there were appointed by Democratic presidents. Is that a factor for you? Do you feel that this a case of liberal America cracking down on a Republican president?

LORD: I do. The particular judge in this instance as a matter of fact from the bench said the other week that or month, whatever, was that Black Lives Matter, which is a political slogan. I mean, that's not something that should emanate from a federal judge on the bench. But they are --

VANIER: But Jeffrey, the federal judge who put the travel ban on pause was appointed by George W. Bush.

LORD: I understand. But Republicans as I have learned to my sorrow, Republican presidents can wind up with liberals that they think are not so liberal until they get on the court. So, you know, this is sort of par for the course.

There was a Boston judge who did not agree with this before the Seattle judge agreed with it. This is going to go on four ways. It may even go all the way to the Supreme Court, which of course makes the Gorsuch nomination even more interesting.

VANIER: And do you think that this whole debacle weakens the president, weakens Mr. Trump in any way, the fact that this is being...

LORD: No.

VANIER: ...fought over in the courts, the fact that it is being talked about so much, the fact that there's so much hostility over this?

LORD: Right. Politically speaking the folks that elected him are going to see this and say, that's why we voted for him. The folks who are against him are going to say, see, we told you so, which basically is, you know, a stalemate.

VANIER: So you're saying it doesn't move the needle to all in terms of how much support he has and how much --

(CROSSTALK)

LORD: Correct.

VANIER: And how much support he has to implement the rest of his agenda.

LORD: Right. And I'll tell you -- I mean, he's right about one thing. If in all the back and forth on this however long this drags out, if in fact there's another incident here in the United States, then, wow, there will be a problem.

VANIER: All right. Jeffrey LORD, CNN political commentator, always good to speak to you. Thank you.

LORD: Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.

CHURCH: Well, President Trump's executive order indefinitely halts refugees coming to the United States from Syria in the midst of a brutal civil war.

VANIER: Our Polo Sandoval spoke to one Syrian couple who've made their home right here in Georgia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A search for refuge led Hasan and Rania Mousa from Aleppo, Syria to an Atlanta suburb. This is where the couple started their new life in the U.S. Away from the war zone that was their home, fighting between ISIS and al-Nusra front forced them into a neighboring country.

HASAN MOUSA, SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translator): I didn't stay in Turkey because there's discrimination against Kurds and that forced me to apply asylum in the United States.

SANDOVAL: Months later, Hasan and Rania reached out to a refugee organizations within the United States. They were vetted and two years after fleeing Syria, admitted in as refugees.

Today, they make a living working in these aisles and in the kitchen of this international market northeast of Atlanta. The Mousas are among six Middle Eastern refugees working here. The market's owner, a 22-year-old second generation of American of Jordanian heritage says it's about giving refugees a chance to ease into life in the U.S.

[00:40:00] JORDAN A. SATARY, SHOP OWNER: I'm happy and pleased to be able to give them that opportunity to allow them to express all that they want to do and allow them to grow with us. And, you know, it's my hope that I can help train them and help them, you know, assimilate.

SANDOVAL: Rania assessed life in America was hard at first, but she is working to overcome language and cultural barriers.

RANIA MOUSA, SYRIAN REFUGEE (through translator): When I first arrived, I was a bit concerned, but after meeting some American friends they helped me, accepted me and helped me with the language and things are better for me now. SANDOVAL: The Mousas would like to see the White House lift its suspension of the U.S.'s refugee program, allowing others to have the same opportunities as them.

H. MOUSA (through translator): I did not communicate with anyone here about that ban. Yes I know about it, but I hope that President Trump will revisit his decision and open the states again for the refugees, because the ones who are living as refugees, they are suffering. Wherever they are, from any country they're in, they are suffering and they have the need and they have the right to live a good life with dignity.

SANDOVAL: Polo Sandoval, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Well, the legal battle over President Trump's travel ban will heat up in the coming hours. Ahead, a closer look at the arguments on both sides. We're back in a moment with this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

An intensifying legal battle is putting President Trump's executive power to the test. A federal Appeals Court, Sunday, denied the government's request to immediately reinstate the travel ban, which was put on hold by a lower court.

Lawyers for Washington State and Minnesota will file their legal arguments against the ban in the next few hours.

Joining me now to talk more about the legal ramification of this story is Danny Cevallos, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney.

Thanks so much for being with us.

This is, of course, very complicated, but we want to get down to the nuts and bolts here.

So a U.S. Appeals Court rejects President Trump's attempt to reinstate his travel ban asking for more information. What's likely to happen next? And what do you think will become of Mr. Trump's travel ban if the Supreme Court steps in.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has been to rule Trump's case, the Trump administration case out of court. Instead, they just deny their motion for that immediate, essentially a restraining order on the lower court's restraining order.

They are asking the higher court to stop what the lower court stopped. But that's all that's happened. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just denied that motion. They are allowing briefing on the matter. And we were -- when we say briefing that means each side puts together their legal argument on paper and then possibly even an oral argument where they get to go and actually argue face to face with the judge. But the mere denial of the motion doesn't necessarily mean that the Trump administration will ultimately lose.

CHURCH: Interesting. And after Mr. Trump signed the controversial travel ban, that federal judge in Washington State issued that temporary restraining order over the weekend. On the basis of the state's lawyers arguing that the executive order banning travelers from seven mainly Muslim nations violates the constitution.

Do you agree with that argument? Does it violate the constitution?

CEVALLOS: It's real difficult -- it's a very difficult analysis. Some would say that reasonable minds and reasonable judges can differ and have differed so far in the country as it is and they are sure to continue differing on that.

In other words, what a Washington judge has decided, a judge in Boston appears to have decided in a different direction. So I think this is a really difficult issue. Essentially, the plaintiff, the State of Washington says that the executive order violates several constitutional provisions and even federal law.

Just for example, it violates equal protection clause they say because it treats groups of people differently based on things like religion, race and national origin.

On the other hand, the Trump administration argues that the president and executive branch have the inherent power not only under the constitution but under federal law, the immigration and Nationality Act to make decisions based on national security to not allow certain groups of people to enter the country. And they argue that presidents in the past have done it, too.

So each side has ample support in both federal law and the constitution for their argument. And it's for that reason this is such a difficult issue to forecast.

CHURCH: Yes.

CEVALLOS: Although, the Washington judge has made a forecast and did decide that one party is likely to win.

CHURCH: Right. And understandably, travelers from those seven majority Muslim nations are taking advantage of the federal judge's move to suspend that travel ban. But Mr. Trump says that puts us in peril. And he attacked that federal judge posting a tweet warning this, "If something happens, blame the judge."

What's your reaction to a president attacking a judge like that? Essentially the executive attacking the judiciary?

CEVALLOS: As an attorney, I have a concern about an executive like the president putting the blame on some adverse consequence on a federal judge. And here's why.

Federal judges are tasked with making very difficult decisions. And often decisions judges made are not based on what's popular, they're not based on even necessarily what that judge personally their own morality dictates. But instead their job is to make a decision on the law.

And every judge, for example, a judge who throws out evidence against a criminal lives in fear that that criminal may come back some day and commit another crime. But, unfortunately, that judge has to decide a case based on the law, whether it's unpopular or popular.

And so I have a concern where the chief executive criticizes a duly appointed judge for doing what he surely believes is his job, and that's deciding the law and doing the very best he can under the circumstances.

But placing that sort of blame for any future harm and saying it could be caused by that judge, I think it's a step too far, because as it is, judges have a very difficult job and they can't do their job if they have to think about any potential adverse consequence that is possible down the road based on their decision.

[00:50:00] CHURCH: Danny Cevallos, we appreciate you breaking this down for us. Very complicated indeed. Thanks so much.

CEVALLOS: It is. Thank you.

VANIER: And when we come back, Super Bowl Sunday. Football game wasn't the only draw at this year's Super Bowl. How Lady Gaga gave a million reasons to watch the halftime show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, the Patriots victory wasn't the only stunner at the Super Bowl.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LADY GAGA'S NFL PERFORMANCE VIDEO)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: They are singing along there.

Halftime performer Lady Gaga brought some bad romance to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

VANIER: She began her show at the top of the stadium as a fleet of drones created the U.S. flag behind her. She sang patriotic tunes like "God Bless America" and "This Land is Your Land." This before doing a death defying cable drop to the stage below. The Grammy winner belted out several of her hits and even gave a shout-out to her parents before closing out the show.

CHURCH: That's it.

[00:55:00] VANIER: All right, something else now. "Saturday Night Live" took aim at Donald Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer. CHURCH: Yes. In a surprise appearance, actress Melissa McCarthy played Spicer. She captured Spicer's often contentious relationship with the media.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELISSA MCCARTHY, SEAN SPICER'S IMPRESSIONIST: I would like to begin today by apologizing on behalf of you to me for how you have treated me these last two weeks and that apology is not accepted.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you OK?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: OK. That wraps up Sean Spicer's relationship with the media and this hour of CNN NEWSROM.

I'm Rosemary Church.

VANIER: Thanks a lot for watching. I'm Cyril Vanier. We're back just after the break with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: More maneuvering in the legal battle over U.S. President Trump's travel ban with arguments due to be filed in the coming hours.

CHURCH: Plus, the New England Patriots win Super Bowl. Its quarterback Tom Brady's record breaking fifth NFL championship.

VANIER: Hi, everyone. Glad to have you back. Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world, I'm Cyril Vanier.