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CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump Travel Ban Separate Toddler's Family During Surgery in U.S.; Amnesty International Report Details Horrific Conditions in Syrian Prison; How American Policy is Shaping Up Under Donald Trump; U.S. District Court of Appeals Hears Arguments on Travel Ban. 10:00-11:00a ET
Aired February 7, 2017 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:16] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Reunited but for how long? Scenes like this could be shut down again with the next step in the legal battle
against Donald Trump's travel ban just hours away.
All of the very latest for you is just ahead.
And this little boy's mom, it is a stranger, because the ban locked this badly burned toddler's parents out of America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every now and then pictures come out on social media of people who (inaudible) that prison weight 100 kilos, 110 kilos and came out
weighing 45 or 40 kilos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Slaughter in Syria: former prisoners recount stories of torture and mass killings by the regime.
It's just after 7:00 in the evening here. You are with us. Connect the World with me Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi.
Now, all this hour, we are going to be looking at how American foreign policy is shaping up under President Donald Trump. We're going to get you
reaction from London, from Moscow, from Irbil, Iraq and elsewhere. And the issue that is on many minds all over the world, the fate of President
Trump's travel ban.
The next round in the legal fight happens just hours from now when an appeals court hears arguments over whether the controversial executive
order should be reinstated.
Joe Johns kicks of us off with the latest on what we can expect.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three federal judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments from the Justice
Department and from attorneys general from Washington state and Minnesota. These two states argue that the Trump administration has failed to show the
country would be irreparably harmed by the suspension of the ban.
BOB FERGUSON, WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm in this for the long haul. I believe strongly and my legal team believes strongly that the
executive order is unlawful and unconstitutional.
JOHNS: The president continuing to stoke fears, tweeting, "The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is very real. Courts must act fast."
The Justice Department urging the appeals court to quickly reinstate the president's ban, maintaining the executive order is a lawful exercise of
the president's authority.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He has broad discretion to do what's in the nation's best interests to protect our people; and we feel
very confident. JOHNS: The president using the legal battle over his travel ban to admonish the, quote, "dishonest media" for underreporting terror
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11. It's
gotten to a point where it's not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their
reasons, and you understand that.
JOHNS: Hours later, the White House releasing a list of 78 attacks they claim the media ignored, but many of them were, in fact, heavily covered by
CNN and other media organizations.
During the visit to U.S. Central Command on Monday, the president once again touting his election victory.
TRUMP: We had a wonderful election, didn't we?
I saw those numbers. And you like me, and I like you.
JOHNS: And in an interview with FOX News, Mr. Trump opens up about his relationship with former President Obama.
TRUMP: I don't know if he'll admit this, but he likes me.
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: How do you know he likes you?
TRUMP: I like him. Because I can feel it. That's what I do in life. It's called, like, I understand.
JOHNS: Reflecting on the heated campaign and that historic moment the two men rode together to the U.S. Capitol.
TRUMP: And we said horrible things about each other, and then we hop into the car; and we drive down Pennsylvania Avenue together. We don't even talk
about it. Politics is amazing.
ANDERSON: Well, that's Joe reporting.
Let's get some reaction now. To firstly that legal battle underway over President Trump's travel ban. Senior international correspondent Ben
Wedeman is in northern Iraq for you this hour, in the city of Irbil. And Ben, what is the perspective there in Iraq?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Becky, since we got to Iraq about eight days ago, we've been asking every Iraqi, do you
understand the legalities of what's going on in the U.S. and across the board they're confused. They don't understand how the United States, which
they thought was sort of a modern country with rational laws can suddenly come out with an executive order that invalidates tens of
thousands of visas and then the U.S. says that green card holders not allowed, then they are allowed, and then the executive order is overturned
and now we're just hours away from perhaps another reversal and for Iraqis, many of whom
have spent years and years having applied, going through interviews, security checks, medical examinations are exacerbated at just the confusion
and the lack of clarity when it comes to this situation that started on the 27th of January. And nobody has any idea when there will be any sort of
finality in all of this.
So there are people who are ready to go, many have sold all their possessions, their homes, their cars, their furniture, quit their jobs.
They are ready to go, but they don't know when they'll be ready to go at this point.
We spoke to somebody at Irbil International Airport today. He said that there hasn't been
an out of the ordinary number of people traveling to the United States.
I think those who have valid visas are simply going to wait and hope that at some point there's some clarity - Becky.
ANDERSON: And Ben, meantime, many are on the ground running away from ISIS, many Iraqi refugees. Now, the fight against them may be complicated
by Trump's relations with Iran. Explain, if you will.
WEDEMAN: Wartime makes strange bedfellows and certainly Iraq is a perfect example of
that. You have the Iraqi government, which is supported by the United States. The United States and its coalition partners provide training,
provide logistical support, they provide air cover, there are U.S. special forces assisting Iraqi forces outside of Mosul.
At the same time, Iran trains and arms what are called the PMU, the Popular Mobilization Unit in Arabic, the Hasht al-Shaabi, which is a Shia
paramilitary force which is playing a key role in the fight against ISIS and certainly in the battle to drive ISIS out of Mosul.
So you have the United States and Iran, both supporting the Iraqi government in this war. They are in relative -- there are Iranian advisers
on the ground. I've seen them here in Iraq, and therefore, how do you sort out basically the Trump administration is calling Iran the biggest
terrorist state in the world, but we are working in parallel with Iran here in the war against ISIS. It's complicated - Becky.
ANDERSON: Perhaps the understatement of the day. Ben, thank you. That's the story that in Iraq over the border Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei reacted to the first time to President Trump, and guess what, he is thankful to the U.S. president for, quote, "showing the true face of the
He also tweeted this: "new POTUS says Iran should have appreciated Obama! How come? Appreciate him for ISIS, war in Iraq and Syria or public support
for 2009 unrest?"
Well, Mr. Trump also took another jab at Iran and the Iran nuclear deal a short while ago, saying, quote, "I don't know Putin, have no deals in
Russia, and the haters are going crazy. Yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, number one in terror, no problem!"
CNN's Nic Robertson is in London. Nic, it seems Mr. Trump and Ayatollah Khamenei fit each other's worldview. Both like to see the other as a
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there's a certain sense that for President Trump, even before he came into office, he was --
he vilified President Obama's nuclear deal that's been in place for over a year and a half now and so far since coming to office he hasn't said that
he's actually going to take it down and scrap it. He seems to be at the moment bowing to the pressure and generally the feeling coming from the
Europeans who are part of making that deal as well that this was the best deal available.
So, you know, both the Iranian leader and President Trump want to appear to want to have an external enemy and it seems to fit their bills at the
moment to trade war of tweets, to tweet a trade of words, to trade a war of sanctions, to trade a war of travel bans, if you
will, as we've seen over the past week. At the weened, Iran had military drills testing out their air force radar, communications, missile, et
cetera, should the United States, as the United States has put Iran on notice, you know, that it might
take unspecified action, that Iran is ready.
So you have, as you say, these sort of rhetorics that are going in parallel and they seem to be
mutually serving. But the concern for everyone, of course, is you know, when do they stop going in parallel? When do they collide? When is a
ratchet up too far? When is a ratchet up too far? And as opposed to the fundamental question, will President Trump actually go against what that
deal that President Obama, the nuclear deal that he so criticizes. So far he hasn't. But the trajectory right now is a potentially dangerous and
destabilizing one, Becky.
[10:10:55] ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is in London. Thank you, Nic.
Viewers, as we've been reporting then. We will have more on Mr. Trump's travel ban in the hours to come. It could end up in the U.S. Supreme
Court. And a new law in Israel could end up in its highest court as well.
The Knesset passed legislation that legalizes about 3,000 housing units built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank. The law offers
Palestinians compensation for the land; however, critics say Knesset can't pass laws on land that is not in Israel.
A legal challenge is likely in what Palestinians call a land grab.
Ian Lee on the story from us from Jerusalem at this hour - Ian.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky, this is quite a controversial law that does see dozens of these outposts that dot the West
Bank, legalized at least in the eyes of Israel, but as you say, there is stiff opposition to this and last night we heard some of that opposition
from Isaac Herzog. He is a member of the Knesset in the opposition. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISAAC HERZOG, OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER (through translator): Do not give your hand to this insane law that threatens to destroy Israeli democracy,
Israel's international standing, threatens IDF commanders and threatens leaders of the state and stands in complete opposition to the opinion of
the attorney general.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: And Becky, the belief among experts is that this bill will be struck down by the high courts for those reasons you said, because the knesset
don't have the right to issue laws that pertain to land that's not part of Israel. But there's - the bigger fear, at least among some Israeli politicians, that this law will make Israeli politicians
and members of the army vulnerable to the International Criminal Court. And that's what we heard from the opposition leader there.
So when you look at this bill, despite being quite controversial, especially with the Palestinians say this is going to negate or could
damage a two-state solution, you really are having it come from both sides against those who passed it.
ANDERSON: Ian Lee for you out of Jerusalem, Ian, thank you.
Well, many Israelis are hoping Donald Trump's presidency will herald a new era in relations with the United States and it's a similar feeling over in
Russia. But some are wondering just how long the honeymoon period can last, especially with new anger from the Kremlin over a comment made on one
of Donald Trump's preferred meedia outlets, Fox News.
Senior international correspondent Ian Watson with more now on what happened in Moscow. As we consider how U.S. foreign policy is shaping up
under President Donald Trump, it's perhaps, Ivan, nowhere better to get a stir than out of Moscow on how relations are developing there.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky, we've had this interesting scenario Donald Trump, he gave this interview to Fox News, and
he's come under some criticism at home in the U.S. from senior members of his own party for comments he made about Russia. That same interview has
also been the subject of some controversy here in Russia, but for very, verydifferent reasons.
WATSON: The Kremlin wants an apology after president Donald Trump's latest interview.
O'REILLY: He's a killer, though. Putin's a killer.
TRUMP: There's a lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?
WATSON: Kremlin spokesman calling Fox News anchorman Bill O'Reilly's words unacceptable and offensive, but refusing to comment on Trump's defense of
the Russian president.
The new U.S. Commander-in-Chief is enjoying a bit of a honeymoon in Russia. Powerful long-time critics of the U.S. literally toasted Trump's election
victory. Russian media tends to view Trump as a sympathetic figure.
A recent poll by the La Vada (ph) shows the majority of Russians surveyed, some 46 percent,
expect U.S./Russian relations will improve under the Trump administration. But some observers are trying to temper expectations.
[10:15:30] SERGEY BRIKEV, AUTHOR, RUSSIA 24: People who expected a pro- Russian president of the United States called Donald Trump, were in my view are mistaken.
WATSON: Russian state TV Sergey Brikev argues it's too early for a breakthrough between Moscow and Washington.
BRIKEV: To use a magical term, we're still at the check-up stage. We'll see what happens next,
what kind of diseases will emerge and what kinds of medicine both sides should be taking.
WATSON: In his first phone call with Putin since assuming the presidency, Trump talked
about repairing ties between the two countries and cooperating in the fight against terrorism.
But just days later, his new ambassador to the UN condemned Russia's invasion and
annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
A nationalist Russian lawmaker Monday tweeted the U.S. congress, NATO, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kiev and others are trying to fit Trump
into a hard corset of Obama's anti-Russia politics, tie his arms and legs."
A top Russian tabloid now engaging in reverse Kremlinology trying to guess which members of Team Trump will be friends or foes of Russia.
The Kremlin cautiously waiting to see whether Trump can bring about a thaw in this long and
WATSON: So Becky, let me bring you up to date on the disagreement between the Fox
anchorman Bill O'Reilly, who conducted that interview, and the Kremlin. When asked for the apology, Bill O'Reilly on Monday night's broadcast said
he was working on it, but it would probably take until 2023 for him to have it ready.
In response, the Kremlin's spokesman said, well, he's going to mark his calendar and be waiting for 2023 to come around.
On a more serious note, Trump himself appears to be bristling at some of the criticism from some circles that he is some kind of a Kremlin
apologist. He published this tweet a couple of hours ago saying, quote, "I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia and haters are going crazy yet
Obama can make a deal with Iran, number one in terror, no problem."
This brings us to an important crossroads here. Donald Trump has called Iran a state sponsor of terror. That is one area where the Kremlin has
disagreed with him publicly saying that Russia has good relations, constructive relations, with Iran. The Trump
administration wants to possibly cooperate with Russia to battle against international terrorism. How can Russia and the U.S. do that if they
disagree on who and what countries could be the sources of this terrorism - Becky.
ANDERSON: Ivan is in Moscow with analysis. Ivan, thank you.
Well, still to come, tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why aren't we leaving? Why are we being taken to solitaire cells?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: It looks like a bad movie but this is animation of real life inside a Syrian prison.
Next, I'll speak to Amnesty International about what the human rights group uncovered in
one prison in Syria.
[10:21:04] ANDERSON: This is Connect the World if you're just joining us. Welcome. It is 20 past 7:00 in the UAE where we broadcast from.
The end of life, the end of humanity: that is how a former guard at the Saydnaya (ph) prison in
Syria described the military detention center after a year-long investigation with over 80 witness accounts.
Amnesty International says as many as 13,000 people have been executed at the prison as part of a secret crackdown on dissent by the Syrian
The men you are about to hear from survived harrowing mental and physical abuse at the center. This is just some of what they lived through.
DIAB, ACTIVIST AND FORMER PRISONER: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
Every now and then pictures come out on social media of people who enterd that prison weighing 100 kilos, 110 kilos and came out weighing 45 or 40
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we were beaten in front of the cells I had seen a lot of blood on the door. There was a rancid and bloody smell.
DIAB: When they bring food, it sounds like a battle in every cell. They take out the head of the cell, or two others, to be beaten. You hear
sounds. Your heart drops to the floor. You begin to shake. You can't control it.
ANDERSON: Well, Amnesty International's investigation into the report calls it a, quote, human slaughter house. I'm joined by the report's
author, Nicolette Waldman who is a researcher for the human rights group and she joins me now from London. What is described in this report can
only be described as chilling.
Can you explain further what was found and how difficult this research was?
NICOLETTE WALDMAN, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL RESEARCHER: Sure. What we found in the course of a year of research is that the government is carrying out
a calculated campaign of mass hangings and extermination at saydnaya prison. We've found out that every week and sometimes twice to week groups
of 50 people are taken out of their cells and brought to another building on the premise of the prison and they are hanged to death.
As the backdrop to this, prisoners are held in horrific conditions. And they have been actually dying in massive numbers as a result of repeated
torture in combination with the systematic deprivation of food, water, medicine and medical care.
In terms of how difficult this research was, it was some of the most difficult research I've ever done in my life and I hope to never have to
reveal something like this again.
ANDERSON: Authorized, you say, this monstrous activity at the highest levels of the Syrian government. You have evidence for that, do you?
WALDMAN: We do.
These large scale practices have been going on since 2011. And they are so widespread, so routine that there is no way that this could not have been
authorized at the highest levels of the government. But in terms of the hangings, we actually know that before people are hanged, they are issued a
very farcical death sentence. This death sentence is signed by the minister of defense who is deputized to act for Assad and as well the
actual hangings are overseen by an execution panel, which includes high-ranking officials from the security force branches as well as
from the prison and from Tishuring (ph) military hospital. So these offenses and these abuses go right to the very top of the Syrian political
[10:25:17] ANDERSON: I know that Amnesty has, in this report, demanded that the Syrian authorities immediately cease executions and torture, you
say, and the inhumane treatment there and in all other government prisons across Syria. And you are appealing for a wider voice on this. The
problem is, do you concede that Russia and Iran, the government's closest allies, are most unlikely to get involved and press for an end to these
WALDMAN: I want to be very clear that these practices are unacceptable and they have to stop. They have to be brought to an end. Mass killings of
civilians and extermination so that people are dying of starvation, of illness, of treatable diseases must stop and Russia has a very special
responsibility as a member of the UN security council to uphold peace and security in the world.
We are calling on Russia, and the U.S. In particular, to use their influence with the Syrian
authorities to push for access to independent monitors to all of the prisons in Syria run by the government where these atrocities are taking
place so that the perpetrators can be held to account.
ANDERSON: You are appealing for the upcoming Syria peace talks in Geneva, not to ignore these findings. You say that the UN must immediately carry
out an independent investigation into the crimes being committed.
Do you have confidence that both of those demands requests will be met?
WALDMAN: We believe that this investigation will happen and without delay. The UN must act immediately to look into war crimes and crimes against
humanity . And it's widespread and systematic campaign of murdered, disappearance, torture and extermination
and until these massive violations are dealt with, there can be no just and sustainable peace in Syria so there almost is no point to carry forward
with the negotiations.
ANDERSON: Thank you for joining us today.
CNN, viewers, has asked the Sryian comment on the report. We have not heard back. And we'll update you if and when we do.
The latest world news headlines are ahead just for you, of course. Plus, the U.S. vice president
could decide the fate of a Trump cabinet nominee while there is so much resistance to this woman, the president's education secretary pick.
[10:31:51] ANDERSON: Democrats in the United States Senate spent all night laying out why Donald Trump's education secretary nominee should not be
confirmed. They claim Betsy DeVos is not qualified for the job. Democrats need they need one more "no" vote to sink
Let's bring in Sunlen Serfaty from Washington with more on this - Sunlen.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, the point - the reality of the moment here on Capitol Hill is that Democrats have not found that
additional Republican defector. They have not picked up another vote, which they needed to sink Betsy DeVos' nomination, which
means most likely by midday today eastern time, we will see Betsy DeVos voted in the U.S. Senate and confirmed to be the next education nominee.
And as you noted, this has been really an embattled, surprisingly controversial nominee of Donald Trump's.
So close in the end it will likely be Democrats and Republicans will see Vice President Mike Pence head up here on Capitol Hill for that vote today.
He is, as president of the Senate, entitled to cast a tie-breaking vote so it will be a 50/50 vote. And then with Mike Pence voting for Betsy DeVos,
that will confirm her nomination in the end. But it really just shows how
indicative of how controversial her nomination ended up being - Becky.
ANDERSON: Sunlen, for our viewers who perhaps won't be aware of who she is or why this vote is so controversial, can you just briefly explain?
SERFATY: Absolutely. She is someone who really over the course of her confirmation actually snowballed into becoming a more controversial nominee
than when she started out. But when she started out, a lot of people were questioning her level of experience. A lot of Democrats bringing up
the fact that she is a big Republican donor. So that potentially could have muddied the waters and why she was initially chosen.
But they gave her a hearing up here on Capitol Hill as is normal. And it was one of the bumpiest hearings of the nominees of Donald Trump's
She showed, according to Democrats, that she didn't have a mastery of education issues, and certainly her support of charter schools is something
that concerned a lot of Democrats, a lot of public school proponents.
She received a lot of pushback from the teacher unions here. There really was a ground swell of opposition, really lobbying lawmakers on here to be
opposed to her and more or less it worked up until this final stretch because, again, after all this fierce fighting back and forth on Capitol
Hill, Betsy DeVos likely to become the next education secretary - Becky.
ANDERSON: A view out of Washington for you on what is a moving story at this hour - thank you.
SERFATY: Of course, the DeVos confirmation is just one of the many challenges facing Mr. Trump right now. The president's travel ban on hold
and journalists are calling him out for falsley claiming that news outlets have failed to report terrorist attacks. Mr. Trump also being mocked by a
major al Qaeda leader over the January 29 raid in Yemen. And let's not forget about Russia and Iran.
White House reporter Stephen Collinson is joining me now.
So if we were reflecting on his first couple of weeks in office, and trying to detect some sort of steer about what we might get next from the
administration under Donald Trump. Where do you want to start?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's really hard to get your arms around the entirety of the Donald Trump story. As you
were showing there, there were so many boiling controversies taking place at the same time, it's almost like his exhausted or overridden all the
switches of normal government in Washington. It's - every day there's a new controversy.
Several days, there's two controversies. You mentioned the issue of the terrorist attacks. Yesterday, Donald Trump went down to CENTCOM, the
headquarters of Central Command in Florida, and gave what was an exceedingly political speech in front of a military audience where that
kind of thing would not normally take place.
He accused journalists of being dishonest and not reporting terrorist attacks around the world.
Now, not only does this sort of fly in the face of reality, you know, many of the attacks on the
list were like the attacks in Nice and Paris and Brussels, for example, which got huge media coverage. It also forced the White House to come out
with this list to justify the president's remarks. I mean, it's completely different. This is a very unusual president. It's a very unconventional
presidency. The only thing I think we can say with any certainty is that there is going to be chaos, corruption and controversy as long as Donald
Trump is president.
ANDERSON: Oh, OK. Hold on to your seats, then.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to leave the domestic battles to some of my colleagues in the states with shows that have perhaps a more domestic
audience. We're talking to the international audience here. And there is so much to unravel here, not least this judgment in the next couple of
hours on when, and if, this travel ban that is currently stayed will be lifted.
Just unpick this for us, will you? What's your sense at this point?
COLLINSON: This judgment we're going to get -- so basically the courts, the ninth circuit court of appeals, which is actually a very liberal court,
that's its reputation, is going to hear this case today. We expect probably in the next 24 hours or slightly longer we could get the result of this.
Now, basically, what the government wants them to do is to allow the travel ban to go back into force on these seven predominantly Muslim nations. The
government has argued that the court, by stopping this, is infringing on the government's national security powers.
Most people, most legal observers, think that what will happen is that the court will uphold this stay on the order. And that will inevitably send
this to the Supreme Court.
Now, we're in a very interesting situation. There's one missing justice on the Supreme Court right now. So, it's a 4-4 split, likely between
conservatives and liberals which would therefore not be able to overturn in that scenario an appeals court judgment upholding
So, Donald Trump would face a huge political defeat in the opening months of his office - of his presidency. And in effect, unless they go back and
decide to change the legal wording of this and try and do it another way, the ban on those seven Muslim nations wouldn't be able to be enforced.
So that would be a huge defeat, and an example of how the checks and balances of the U.S. Governmental system could thwart what looks like being
an expansive executive presidency from Donald Trump, which some people would say is even trending towards
ANDERSON: He's made some disparaging remarks about a sitting judge, that being James Robart, who is involved in this stay of execution on this
travel ban. He's been signing executive orders. He has lunched with the military. We have a sense of who his cabinet will be and we have to
sort of continuous sort of drip feed of information about his likely picks and whether they'll actually
get the job.
Does any of this to you reveal any more fear about U.S. Foreign policy going forward?
COLLINSON: I think there's a great deal of confusion about exactly what U.S. foreign policy is going to look like. Will it reflect the strong man
leadership style of Donald Trump or will it hue more closely to people like Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who
have spoken out in favor of U.S. alliances and sort of a more internationalist vision of American foreign policy.
I think this Friday we're going to get a very interesting indication of how this is going to work. The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to
meet Donald Trump at the White House. Then the next day they're heading down to Florida to play golf together.
Last weekend, James Mattis, the defense secretary, was in Asia. And he basically gave a very conventional view of U.S. foreign policy. He
affirmed support for the U.S.-Japan alliance, for U.S. territorial guarantees for Japan in the East China Sea region.
That was taken by the Japanese as a very positive development. But what they don't know is when they go back to Donald Trump, who has spoken very
disparagingly against U.S. alliances says Japan is not doing enough to pay for U.S. military protection. Whether they're going to get the same
message from Donald Trump.
We saw when Theresa May was here. The British prime minister a few weeks ago, she basically had to point out in the press conference that Donald
Trump said he was 100 percent in favor of NATO. So we don't know whether Donald Trump's foreign policy equates to the rest of the foreign
policy of his administration.
ANDERSON: Always a pleasure, sir. Thank you for that. Out of Washington for you today.
On top of all of that, sources tell CNN that Donald Trump is facing rivalries and infighting between his top staff, which is quite a small
circle of people. Our White House Correspondent Sara Murray with more on that for you.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump's top aides are taking pains to insist everything is going smoothly in the West Wing.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: We're a very tight group. You know, we all live in the fox hole together.
MURRAY: In a whirlwind two weeks, Trump has delivered on many of his campaign promises.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll begin immediate construction of a border wall.
MURRAY: But he's done so with chaos churning in the background. The president faced backlash for putting chief strategist Steve Bannon on the
Principals Committee of the National Security Council.
And the rocky rollout of Trump's travel ban was panned even by close allies, who say he wasn't well served by his advisers.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The president has a structure inside the White House with three folks who are predominantly in charge of
ANDERSON: All right. And I'm just going to bring you away from that for the moment because Donald Trump is speaking with sheriffs from across the
country at the White House. So we thought we'd just listen in for a moment.
(DONALD TRUMP MEETS WITH U.S. COUNTY SHERRIFS)
ANDERSON: All right. Well, just some of the discussion that is going on as President Donald Trump set there to be speaking with sheriffs in the
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, the toddler facing life-altering surgery without his parents by
his side, the agonizing human cost of Donald Trump's travel ban.
[10:47:14] ANDERSON: Right. We've told you about the legal wrangling over U.S. president
Donald Trump's travel ban. Perhaps we're going to find out more about that in the next couple of hours.
But I want to now put a human face on the hardships that it has caused. One Iraqi family is in what is a heartbreaking situation. A mother and
father are stranded thousands of kilometers away from their badly injured son who is receiving treatment in America.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has their story.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN'S CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Last week I traveled to Michigan to meet this sweet 2-year-old boy, Dilbreen. A year ago, Dilbreen
was living in this refugee camp in northern Iraq when a fire sparked by a heater left him permanently disfigured.
Dili and his parents were granted medical visas to come to the United States for care at Shriner's hospital for Children in Boston. In her third
trimester of pregnancy, though, Dili's mom, Flosa stayed behind. When it was time for her to give birth, Dili's dad, Ajeel returned to Iraq leaving
his son in the kind care of Adlay Kejjan, a kind volunteer whom he had just met.
GUPTA: Do you have any idea how many procedures they say he will need still?
ADLAY KEJJAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, YAZIDI AMERICAN WOMEN ORGANIZATION: I'm not sure. They say up to a year as he is growing they need to kind of
loosen up the scar tissue.
GUPTA: So he needs to, he needs to get this care.
KEJJAN: Yes. So the eye, this one is the main concern.
GUPTA: In December, when Dili's new baby brother was old enough to travel, they applied for his visa so the family could reunite with Dili. The
application was denied. Now when Ajeel and Flosa appealed that decision in January, the baby's visa was denied again. And this time their visas were
revoked because they were, quote, "unable to establish clearly that their stay in the United States would be temporary."
As a parent, it's hard to imagine not being able to get to your child when they need you the most.
Sunday morning in Iraq, Dili's parents are on their way back to the U.S. consulate in Erbil. Ajeel asked closely if she think they'll get their visa
"I'm hopeful. God willing," she says.
Today, the United States not only has a new president but also a new executive order. A 90-day travel ban that bars Iraqi citizens from entering
the United States.
"It's hard not knowing if they're going to give us a visa or not," Ajeel says. "We're not going for a vacation. We're going to do the surgery on our
child and return back home."
And despite the temporary stay to this travel ban, Ajeel is turned away at the door, denied entry into the consulate, unable to plead his family's
case. He is given no explanation, all part of the chaos and confusion surrounding this executive order.
"We lost our homes and our property," he says. "But the most important thing is to make sure our boy is healthy."
Sr. Shirzad Khaleel, medical coordinator for the U.K. charity Road to Peace which arranged Dili's care in the United States has a message for American
[10:50:20] SHIRZAD KHALEEL, MEDICAL COORDINATOR, ROAD TO PEACE (through translator): We hope you guys do the right thing for the sake of humanity,
he says. All of these children are victims of ISIS.
GUPTA: Asked to deliver a message directly to their son, Ajeel says, "I am hopeful we will come soon. Finish up all of your operations. And after that
we will return to Iraq. We love you."
ANDERSON: And Sanjay joining us now from CNN center. Good to have you, Sanjay.
Just how urgent is Dili's situation medically speaking?
GUPTA: It's a fairly urgent. I mean, you know, one of the big concerns is he has these contractures. The skin gets very tight. It's even starting
to close over his eye over there. So, they knew they were going to have a series of operations. They have been able to do the first one. The second
one was supposed to be early January, so it's already early February now.
ANDERSON: Just tell me, how did he get burned in the first place? What was the story? I know that you caught up with him and how is he at this
GUPTA: Well, you know, it's amazing when you look at him, obviously. It has been a - it was an atrocious injury. They've been able to make it so
that he can eat and he can take the bottle, you can see some of the images of him doing that. But again, he still has several operations that he
needs to have done. It was a fire within a tent at a refugee camp, Becky.
That's what happened. You've been there in these places. They have small little heaters. Those heater they get clogged up, and I've seen this
happen. They can essentially start to catch fire and that's what happened. He was alone. He was 1 years old. It was his birthday.
He was in his crib. He couldn't sort of obviously move the burning debris away from him and some of it landed on his face and that's what happened.
But luckily, he's been able to start his care at least. Now's the question of finishing it.
ANDERSON: And how did he come to be living in the states? And what's next for him, Sanjay, in terms of reuniting him with his parents?
GUPTA: Yeah, you know, this is one of those situation where a humanitarian group, road to
peace, essentially caught word of this boy and, you know, helps raise funds to bring him to a hospital in the United states. And the hospital agreed
to take care of him and the father was with him at that time but the father went back again because mom was pregnant and that's where this limbo sort
of occurred - boy is in the united states, parents can't get back to see him.
What happens next? They hope that they're going to be an exception to the rule regarding this 90-day ban. If not, they've even considered sending
the boy to the UK. Again, 2 years old, sending him to the UK, having the parents meet him there.
But it would mean a whole new hospital system, new medical system, new people involved. That's obviously not a great option.
ANDERSON: Yeah, we wish the little fella and his parents, of course, the absolute best.
Sanjay, thank you.
GUPTA: You've got it, Becky.
ANDERSON: This just in to CNN, as Sanjay and I were talking, I wasjust getting information on this. A Pakistan international airlines flight has
been diverted and then escorted to Britain's Stansted airport. There was nothing suspicious found on the flight as far as we understand it. It was
flight PK 575. UK authorities say the flight was diverted after an anonymous tip. The flight landing normally in
the UK, just about an hour ago. Police currently attending to the aircraft.
More on that, of course, as we get it.
We're going to take a very short break for you. Back after this.
[10:55:34] ANDERSON: When you are the American president, you can pretty much
do whatever you want, right? Except one thing. Relax.
Well, Barack Obama now catching up on eight years of R&R - kite surfing. Well, sort of, anyway, in the Caribbean with the billionaire Richard
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW BRODERICK, ACTOR: How can I possibly be required to handle school on a day like this? Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look
around every once in a while, you could miss it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, we got there in the end. Ferris Bueller fancying himself as a philosopher. The kid has a point, though.
Life really does move pretty fast between endless calls, emails, messages, not to mention meetings, yes, you get it. Let's just say how these chaps
feel. It all means that Mr. Bueller's advice for a day off just won't do, so for your Parting Shots tonight, some tips from the Dalai Lama instead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DALAI LAMA, TIBETAN RELIGIOUS LEADER: A lot of problem, which we are facing today, is we too much emphasis individual. We are social animal, so
individuals happiness develops on the rest of society.
Some scientists say basic human nature is compassionate. The medical scientists, they also say constant anger is very bad for our health. I try
to keep compassion and then surrounded by compassionate people. Health much better.
I need sufficient sleep, usually nine hours sleep.
UNIDNETIFIED MALE: Nine hours?
DALAI LAMA: Uh-huh. And then morning at 3:00, wake up and do some meditation. I do my meditation period, each day, five hours. Morning,
four hours. Afternoon, before bed, one hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Sage words.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. See you tomorrow.