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CONNECT THE WORLD
President Trump Attacks Judges Set to Decide on Travel Ban; Neil Gorsuch Calls Trump's Comments Demoralizing; Trump Meets with U.S. Airlines; Paris Police Charged with Raping Suspect; Several Israelis Injured in Market Attack in Suburb of Tel Aviv. 10:00-11:00a ET
Aired February 9, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[10:00:14] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't ever want to call a court biased, so I won't call it biased. And we don't have a
decision yet. But courts seem to be so political.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANERSON, HOST: Digging in. U.S. President Donald Trump again attacking the judges set to decide the fate of his controversial travel
Up next, we are live at the White House for you for the latest developments.
And I'll be witnessing a rift forming. Mr. Trump's pick for the Supreme Court tells senators the
president's attacks on the judiciary are, quote, demoralizing. This hour, Supreme Court nominee
Neil Gorsuch is back on Capitol Hill trying to drum up support for a spot on the bench.
And raise your right hand, Jeff Sessions about to be sworn in as the next attorney general of the United States, ending a bitter battle over his
nomination. We'll bring you that live when it happens.
7:00 in the evening here in Abu Dhabi. Hello and welcome. This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you.
Well, let's get right to what is a very busy day for U.S. President Donald Trump. He's scheduled to meet with aviation executives at the White House
this morning before turning his attention once again to issues of law and order.
Now, Mr. Trump won a highly contested battle for Jeff Sessions to lead the Justice Department. The senate has now confirmed his attorney general and
Mr. Trump will attend the swearing in later this hour.
Well, then he'll refocus efforts on winning confirmation for his Supreme Court pick, Neil
Gorsuch. The White House says Mr. Trump will hold a listening lunch as they're known, with Senators to discuss his nominee.
Gorsuch, though, now entangled in a rather extraordinary situation as the administration waits for an appeals court to rule on the president's
controversial travel ban. Mr. Trump slammed the court in in a preemptive strike, leaving Gorsuch to criticize the president in a private meeting.
Democrats now urging Gorsuch to go public with his remarks. CNN's Joe Johns picks up the
story for you.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judge Neil Gorsuch denouncing President Trump's recent attacks against the federal judging weighing his travel ban.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, (D) CONNECTICUT: After some back and forth, he did say that he found them to be disheartening and demoralizing.
JOHNS: In a private meeting with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, the president's nominee to the Supreme Court slamming Mr. Trump's biting
criticism of the federal judge in Seattle who halted his order. Some Republicans praising Judge Gorsuch's comments.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE AND GOVERNMENT REFORM CHAIRMAN: It sounds like Neil Gorsuch might be a darn good judge. He's not
going to be politically swayed on one side or the other.
JOHNS: But Democrats...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a step in the right direction.
JOHNS: ...including Blumenthal himself are still skeptical of the nomination.
BLUMENTHAL: He has to come to the defense of the American judiciary, strongly and explicitly and unequivocally. Maybe he's moving in that
direction, but it has to be much stronger and more direct.
JOHNS: This as the president continues to lash out at the judiciary.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't ever want to call a court biased, so I won't call it biased, and we haven't had a decision
yet. But courts seem to be so political.
JOHNS: Belittling the three-judge panel set to rule any day on his immigration order.
TRUMP: A bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this. Suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as
JOHNS: Mr. Trump also claiming he initially wanted to delay implementing the ban.
TRUMP: I wanted to give like a month. Then I said what about a week? They said, well, then you're going to have a whole pile of people, perhaps,
perhaps, with very evil intentions coming in before the restrictions.
JOHNS: The president is stoking fears about terrorism as he awaits the appellate court ruling.
TRUMP: Believe me, I've learned a lot in the last two weeks, and terrorism is a far greater threat than the people of our country understand.
JOHNS: His startling comment a departure from the messaging of past presidents who urged Americans to be vigilant and not afraid.
Meantime the president making it clear, despite pledges to the contrary, he's still looking out for the family business. Mr. Trump blasting upscale
retailer Nordstrom for dropping his daughter Ivanka's clothing line, tweeting "The company treated her unfairly," and re- tweeting it from his
official government account.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: For someone to take out their concern with his policies on a family member of his is not acceptable. And
the president has every right as a father to stand up for them.
JOHNS: But Nordstrom is pushing back, saying their decision was an economic one, solely based on performance, citing declining sales over the past
[10:05:40] ANDERSON: All right, Joe Johns joining us now live from Washington with more.
Look, Mr. Trump's remarkable remarks about the judiciary, unusual if not perhaps not surprisingly at odds with his Supreme Court pick. How
significant a departure or disconnect is this is? Are we beginning to see rifts occurring within this administration and its people, as it were?
JOHNS: I suspect, Becky, it won't be a big rift simply because this is their guy, and they want their guy on the Supreme Court. And in an obtuse
sort of way, this actually could have worked in favor of Judge Gorsuch with some of the Democrats who are so skeptical about him, because his initial
statements as quoted by Senator Richard Blumenthal, would suggest some independence, some disconnect from the executive, from Donald Trump, which
is one of the thing the Democrats would say they like to see.
But, it got even more complicated this morning when the president tweeted out, even questioning the credibility of the Democratic Senator who quoted
the judge just yesterday. This was the president's tweet, "Senator Richard Blumenthal, who had never fought in Vietnam, when he said for years he had,
major lie, now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?"
That's a reference to a controversy many years ago about Senator Blumenthal and his service record and whether he fought in combat in Vietnam or simply
was in the military during the Vietnam era.
A long way to go on this. And perhaps we'll hear more from the president within the hour when he attends the swearing in of his new attorney general
ANDERSON: And no evidence as of yet that Twitter will be anything but the president's platform of messaging choice, correct?
JOHNS: It's absolutely true. This morning, we had what I think I could characterize as a many tweet storm from the president. He was a bit all
over the place. He tweeted about CNN's Chris Cuomo at one point, tweeted a bit about John McCain, talked about the Blumenthal thing. So, it appeared
that he was either reading the newspaper or watching the television, or both, and firing off a number of tweets. And I expect that's what we're
going to see for a while from this administration.
ANDERSON: Mr. Joe Johns in the house in Washington for you. Thank you.
Now who knew America first could become America firstclass. So, yes, it's a real thing. And this might just be the ticket. Mr. Trump, could be
about to give his country's skies an upgrade, jetting into the White House, this morning, scheduled the top bosses of some of the biggest U.S. airlines
and airports. And they have brought along some in-flight entertainment, a wish
list. They want things like modern air traffic control, much better airports, and less time being held up by red tape.
CNN Money's editor at-large is at large and he is down the road for us tonight in Dubai. Richard Quest with you. Mr. Trump has lambasted
America's airports for what he calls third world. You would expect him to be then a sympathetic ear to this list, correct?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN MONEY: Absolutely. At one level, he will certainly be sympathetic to the idea that infrastructure needs to be improved and that's
air traffic control, so that there are fewer delays, it's airports,it's runways, it's a whole panoply of aviation infrastructure that he will want
to see improved. The question of course, is who pays for it and how you move towards it, because many of the projects on the cards have been there
for many years, Becky, and it has been a method and a means by which they can come to fruition.
Now, vast sums are being spent. The Federal Aviation Administration is spending a large amount on a next generation air traffic control system.
LaGuardia is being rebuilt at the moment, Kennedy is. All major airports have projects underway.
But one of the things, and you'll know this as well as I do - I've been traveling this region. Just this morning, I was in Doha, in Qatar, at the
Hamad International Airport, and I flew here to Dubai at Dubai International. And there you're seeing infrastructure spending on a much
vaster scale. And, Becky, this is what the red rag to the U.S. president, the fact that these countries are spending so much and the U.S. is looking
(inaudible) in comparison.
ANDERSON: Now airlines here in the Gulf, of course, will be folding in their trays and putting their seats in an upright position, expecting some
very strong headwinds, one assumes, out of the White House at some point, correct?
QUEST: Absolutely. Now, the airlines in the U.S. are split, but the big three, United, American
and Delta, all of them want to restart the open skies battle with the Gulf three, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar. And the Gulf three are literally
waiting to see is a - remember, Obama kicked it into the long grass. Now the Gulf three are waiting to see whether a more protectionist Trump will
Exclusively this morning, I was talking to his excellency Sheikh Ahmed, the chairman of Emirates group, and he's under no illusions as to what might be
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEIKH AHMED BIN SAEED AL MAKTOUM, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, EMIRATES AIRLINES: Actually it was the Americans that were pushing for this agreement to be
signed as an open sky policy, which we did. And since then, I mean, we have been operating to the U.S. as of next March, we'll be operating about
18 flights daily to the U.S. And that's really a big contribution in terms of (inaudible).
No, I'm not worried. I think the case, they should look at it in a very open way. I think we have been always transparent in terms of the
financial that we really put out every year, looking at Emirates and what we've been doing over the years since it started in 1985.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So, Becky, it's fascinating, not only do they still maintain this argument that they're not subsidized and they don't receive government
support, their argument is shifting. It is now, yes, Mr. president, and by the way, we have spent tens, if not hundreds of billions, on Boeing planes
and avionics and we bring thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of tourist who bring hundreds of
millions of dollars worth of revenue to the United States. This is going to be - because they know, Becky, by going down that road, they can split
the U.S. opposition amongst the carriers and hopefully win the argument.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, thanks, Richard. And Mr. Quest will be sitting right here at this desk in a few hours time. And he brings Quest
Means Business to the world from Abu Dhabi. That's 1:00 a.m. around these parts. Thank you.
Late afternoon back in New York, if you can't wait until then, for more business from our gurus, head over to CNNMoney.com. There's some excellent
reporting as ever there.
Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe is heading to the U.S. to talk trade. He left Tokyo earlier on
Thursday with the goal of bolstering the close relations between the two countries. He is also hoping to lay the ground work for trade summit with
President Donald Trump. As Will Ripley reports, that's not such a tall order, considering what is this blossoming Bromance between the two
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Perhaps no world leader has gone to greater lengths to build ties with President Trump than Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe. He was the first leader to meet with Trump in New York after the election calling him trustworthy, also give Trump a
high-end golf club in his signature color: gold.
Now the president is returning the favor inviting Abe for a weekend of golf at his lavish Florida getaway and possibly a ride on Air Force One.
JEFF KINGSTON, AUTHOR: Abe is going to pull out the stops.
RIPLEY: Author and Tokyo Professor Jeff Kingston says Japan's leader needs a successful U.S.
summit. President Trump could also use a diplomatic win after recent tussles with top allies.
KINGSTON: Both sides have an interesting in trying to make this look good, a bromance.
RIPLEY: It wouldn't the first so-called bromance between a U.S. president and Japanese prime minister. In the '80s, it was Ron and Yasu (ph), the
fabled friendship between Reagan and Nakasone (ph). 20 years later, President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi my bonded over American pop
President Obama and Abe never became close friends, but had a strong working relationship.
[08:15:20] KINGSTON: It's all about the image, and I think that Abe has Trump's number. He understands that Trump is very petty and vindictive
towards those who criticize him, and he takes care of his friends. So Abe is going to be his best friend.
RIPLEY: Being friends reportedly includes bring Trump a multi-billion dollar proposal, promising massive Japanese investment in U.S. railroads
and infrastructure and potentially hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
Abe hopes the proposal will deflect criticism from Trump over trade, currency policy and
Japan also wants to show China the U.S. alliance is strong.
In Tokyo, some are skeptical.
"Mr. Trump is such an extreme person," says this student. "I hope they don't end up talking in circles."
"I'm sure Mr. Abe has his strategy ready," says this IT worker. "Whether it will actually work on Trump, I'm not so sure."
The U.S. is Japan's most important economic and military partner. Whatever happens at the White House and on the golf course, friends and foes of both
countries, will be watching.
Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.
ANDERSON: Just wanted to hang on to see whether - oh, OK. Wanted to see whether he could hit that ball well.
Anyway, there you go, still to come tonight, tensions, expectation and escalation: America's relationship with Iran takes a dramatic turn.
And the shocking incident that has galvanized a nation, violence in Paris after the alleged rape of a young man by police. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: Right. For those of you who may be just joining us, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. 20 past
7:00 here in the UAE.
Iran denying a report it has launched a defensive surface-to-air missile. The country's defense minister says the claim was, quote, fabricated to
Earlier, a U.S. official told CNN there have been a test launch on Wednesday. Tensions have flared between Washington and Tehran over the
past few days. Recently, the U.S. imposing new sanction on the country following a ballistic missile test.
Well, the sanctions target 25 individuals and entities that the U.S. accuses of involvement in the program. It also targets people who support
the Quds force, the elite special operations unit of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
Now, these sanctions freeze any U.S. assets of these entities and individuals and also prevents U.S. persons from doing business with them.
John Defterios is here with more on how the U.S.-Iran relations are likely to shape up under Donald Trump.
Lots of questions, few answers at this point, but this certainly does not seem to be the best climate for Iran's future growth.
How is what's going on at the moment impacting future decisions if at all?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, right away. In fact, Becky, we have talked about the promise of Iran - 80 million consumers, the
last great emerging market to open up, the biggest combined oil and gas reserves, a bounty of minerals, but the reality is this tension is already
starting to impact the western CEOs around the world, including the French energy giant Total.
Now, it's interesting, this does not affect the nuclear agreement right now as it stands, but it's
having the perhaps desired effect by the Trump administration to put Iran on watch, but also investment on watch.
When you have these tensions between Tehran and Washington, clearly it does not help decision
making. Let's take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are officially putting Iran on notice.
DEFTERIOS: The new White House reacting strongly to Tehran's first ballistic missile test on
their watch, slapping the country with sanctions. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei fired another shot in Twitter just days later, praising
U.S. President Donald Trump for revealing what he calls the true face of America.
RIAD KAHWAJI, FOUNDER, INECMA: If we stay on the same track we're on today and Iran
continues doing these provocative tests of ballistic missiles, firing missiles at ships, yes, we're going to be headed towards more escalation.
DEFTERIOS: Tensions fueling speculation the Iran deal, hailed as a new chapter in the country's relations with the west could be in jeopardy, a
situation watched closely by international investors who are banking on a new opening in the country.
CRAIG MCLAY, MANAGING PARTNER, TAMARIND ASSOCIATIONS: The larger companies, those organizations that undoubtedly will have a U.S. footprint
or a lot of trade with the U.S. will take a check please (ph).
DEFTERIOS: Iran has huge economic potential, boasting the Middle East's second largest
population and the world's largest combined oil and gas reserves, big firms have noticed.
Boeing and AirBus have already signed multi-billion dollar agreements. So, too, has energy giant Total.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure right now a lot of these companies are, you know, hitting their brakes, slowing down, and they're all anticipating some
sort of escalation. So a lot of the earlier rush from Europe into Iran, I think will be very much affected by the new positions of the Trump
DEFTERIOS: All of this is leading many to wonder if history might be repeating itself. Iran attempted to open up under reformist president
Mohamed Khatemi, but with U.S. sanctions he couldn't deliver results. He was followed by hardliner Mahmoud Ahmedinejad...
DEFTERIOS: I lost audio.
ANDERSON; all right. John's report.
And let's go straight to Washington where President Donald Trump has just been meeting, or is with airline execs. Let's listen in.
(U.S. PRESIDENT MEETING WITH U.S. AIRLINE EXECUTIVES)
ANDERSON: All right, selfie opportunity for those gathered, it seems. A little later in the day, those gathered are from the aviation industry in
the United States speaking with Mr. Trump.
It's a listening session.
To break down what we just heard in his introduction to that meeting, let's get back to our CNN Money editor-at-large and aviation correspondent
Richard Quest. Richard, thoughts.
QUEST: Fascinating, because in this particular address, or in these comments, the president chose to stress those areas of agreement within the
airline industry: the need for less regulation, the need for increased investment, in infrastructure, obsolete equipment, air traffic control
snafus and those sort of things.
But right at the beginning, Becky, he mentioned that he'd been hearing about the dispute over foreign elements, as he's put it, foreign
competition - Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar. But immediately we saw the difficulty here, because he says although we want U.S. carriers to compete,
these other - these foreign elements are making big investments in the United States, and that would be to Boeing, it would be to buy avionics, it
would be to buy largescale infrastructure in the airline industry.
And so he's well aware there, that on the one hand you've got the big American three crying about how badly off they are, but on the other hand,
Becky, the billions, tens of billions, spent by the airlines in this region into the United States. One other point that I thought was again
fascinating from this president in this way, he recounts what his pilot - Donald Trump has his own 757 aircraft that he used during the campaign - he
recounts what his pilot has told him, not just as anecdotal, but as almost evidence of policy change - the need for new equipment, that the current
stuff being bought is obsolete.
I'm guessing there will be people in the FAA who will say, well, hang on what does this one pilot know about largescale infrastructure purchase?
ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, well he is a listening president, we are told, and that is a listening session. And we will get more from that
as the day winds on. But good stuff, Richard, thank you for that. Great analysis. Richard in this seat later on tonight. As we said, Quest Means
Business out of the UAE today.
We will be right back. Another half an hour for you on Connect the World. Taking a very short break. Back after this.
[10:35:35] ANDERSON: Well, to Paris now which is reeling from another night of violence, violence which has now seen the arrest of 27 people.
The unrest broke out over allegations of a brutal and shocking sexual assault by a group of four police officers. Now, they allegedly forced a
22-year-old man to the ground, breaten and raped him with a baton.
The officers have been charged, and the victim himself is calling for calm.
Melissa Bell joining us now from Paris with more - Melissa.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have just heard within the last half hour, Becky, from the mayor Aulnay-sous-Bois, the town from which Theo
comes and where this all began. Just under a week ago, it was last Thursday, that he was stopped as part of a stop and search operation.
Now, according to the French prosecutor's office, he then resisted arrest, at which point a baton was used by the police, and that is where the
different versions of what happened begin to differ.
Now there has been, Becky, in this incident, some charges brought against the policemen,
that was on Sunday, three of them have been charged with violence, but a fourth was charged with rape.
Now what we're learning today from leaks in the French press of an official police report that has yet to be concluded, and then yet to be published as
well, which suggests that the version of events that the police are putting forward is quite different to the one that's been accepted by the
judiciary. Police are suggesting that this was not a rape, but in fact an attempt to overcome this young man's attempt to resist arrest, and that the
baton incident was an accident.
Now, that is not what the judiciary has found so far, Becky. One man has been charged with rape. And young Theo, as you say, has been a picture of
dignity himself, calling from his hospital bed for calm. This, after we've seen five consecutive nights now of unrest,
not necessarily just in Aulnay-sous-Bois, but in other towns in the Seine- Saint-Denis region, many of them those sort of (inaudible) as we call them here in France, those suburbs that tend to be slightly remote with high
levels of unemployment and high levels of crime.
This is a story, though, that has shocked the whole of France.
ANDERSON: Melissa Bell is reporting for you. Melissa, appreciate it. Thanks.
President Trump hasn't been shy about using 140 characters to go on the attack against political opponents, other countries, the media. Now he
has another target, Nordstrom Department Stores.
On Twitter, he accused them of treating his daughter, Ivanka, quote, "so unfairly." It was then retweeted by the official POTUS account.
Let's bring in CNN Money correspondent Cristina Alesci. She's in New York.
What are we hearing from the White House on all of this?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY: Well, the story continues to get bigger for the White House. In fact, the counselor to the president, Kellyanne
Conway, today was interviewed on Fox and she talked about this issue. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: They're using the most prominent woman in Donald Trump's - his daughter - and they're using her, who has
been a champion for women in empowerment, women in the workplace, to get to him. I think people can see through that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 30 seconds.
CONWAY: Go buy Ivanka's stuff is what - I'm going to - I hate shopping, and I'm going to go get some for myself today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALESCI: So now the issue has become whether or not a very close adviser to the president has actually run into some ethical problems, because a public
official cannot be seen as promoting a particular product for private gain or gain for friends and family, affiliates. The president is, as you know,
excluded from many conflicts of interest laws, but the people around him, are not. And that is causing quite a frenzy here in the U.S. this morning,
with ethics experts and critics really questioning whether or not the White House should be promoting specific brands and companies.
ANDERSON: Yeah, let's talk about those ethics concerns. I mean...
[10:40:02] ALESCI: Yeah, so what's really interesting here is there is a section of the code that bars officials from promoting companies, or
products for personal gain. The other interesting question here is whether or not this administration is actually pro-business, right, or whether this
administration is going out and picking the winners and losers in corporate America. One thing that companies here have been wanting and pressing the
administration for is lower taxes, less regulation, but it seems like every time they're headed in the right direction from a corporate America
standpoint, some other issue comes up to distract and pull away from those important concerns of
companies here in the U.S., like for example picking winners and losers. And in this case, the White House went after Nordstrom and is effectively
calling it a loser and promoting a product that is very close to the White House.
So this is problematic.
ANDERSON: Yep, all right, Cristina, thank you for that.
Let me just get you some news just coming in to CNN here. Three people have been wounded
in what Israeli police have been calling a possible terror attack on a market or at a market in (inaudible), a town on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
Now, police said a number of shots were fired, a man has been arrested at the scene. And Israeli media reports suggest none of the injuried is life
Let's get you an update on the situation. Ian Lee joining us now. Ian, what more can you tell us at this point?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, there is some confusion over the number of people injured, the police spokesman saying
that three people injured, we're hearing, though, from emergency medical personnel that there could be four people injured. These injuries are
described as light to medium with the cause of the injuries being from stabbing, also hearing that there were gunshot wounds as well. The suspect
was, though, apprehended. He is currently being questioned. But the police are saying that this is leaning towards a terror attack and not
ANDERSON: What do we know about the area there?
LEE: Well, (inaudible) is a market on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, busy at this hour, the market was crowded. One of the emergency responders said
that when he first arrived on scene, that there was chaos, there was a riot and people were running around, the person was, the suspect was apprehended
quickly, and that people were helping out those who have been injured, a one being a 30-year-old female, and the others to in their 50s. That's
what we're hearing right now as far as victims go.
But in incidents like this, cases like this, usually the majority of the time, the suspect is what
they call here neutralized, a lot of the times being killed, but this time they were able to capture the suspect alive.
ANDERSON: Ian Lee on the phone en route to the scene there in Israel. More on that as we get it, of course. We're going to take a very short
break. It is a busy hour. We will be right back.
[10:45:47] ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson. This is Connect the World.
President Trump's pick for attorney general about to be sworn in, a debate over the nomination of Jeff Sessions was extremely contentious. And
Capitol Hill is still trying to recover from Tuesday night's vote by Republican senators to silence Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
The final vote to confirm Sessions came after 30 hours, 30 hours of debate from Democrats. And the silencing of Warren by the majority leader Mitch
McConnell has also sparked a movement, the hashtags #shepersisted and #letlizspeak trending all over social media.
Well, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton even weighed in tweeting she was warned. She was given an explanation, nevertheless she
persisted, so must we all.
Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin joining me now from New York. Why did Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Jeffrey, and civil rights activists so
strenuously oppose to Jeff Sessions' nomination?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the issue really goes back to the 1980s, Becky, when Jeff Sessions was a federal prosecutor in his home state
of Alabama, and there he prosecuted three civil rights leaders for voter fraud in a case that the jury ultimately rejected. They were all three
defendants were acquitted. Sessons was then nominated for a federal judgeship by President Reagan in 1986 and he was defeated in the U.S.
Senate because so many senators thought he was racially insensitive to the black community in that case from the 1980s.
Just coming up to the future, to the present, the reason Elizabeth Warren was silenced in
the United States Senate is she was reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King about that 1980s prosecution of
the civil rights leaders.
So, the short answer to your question is, it's Jeff Sessions history with the African-American community that really sparked this crisis.
ANDERSON: All right, well, we know that he is about to, or may be as we are speaking, getting sworn in, by the president.
What role did Sessions play in the crafting of what has become this really controversial travel ban or immigration policy, in general?
TOOBIN: I think the answer to what role he played specifically in the crafting of it is somewhat unclear at this point, and it may not have been
a big role; however, the reason Jeff Sessions became allied with the Trump campaign and became the first U.S. Senator to endorse Donald Trump, is
because he was so outspoken in the United States Senate against any sort of immigration reform, any sort of effort to allow the 11 million undocumented
immigrants in the United States to have a path to citizenship, and this executive order comes out of the Trump
campaign's consistent belief that they want to limit immigration, especially from Muslim majority states, and that certainly was part of the
campaign that sessions supported during, you know, before November.
ANDERSON: All right, well, look, we'll get back to Sessions. I want to talk about Gorsuch here. Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court making
his case pick to U.S. Senators. Neil Gorsuch just met with the Republican senator, Susan Collins. This comes a day after a report surfaced. But he
called Mr. Trump's disparaging comments about a federal judge in Seattle disheartening and demoralizing. That judge put a temporary halt, of
course, on the president's travel ban from seven Muslim majority countries.
Those remarks were pretty spectacular from Donald Trump. Some calling them unprecedented, perhaps we could at least call them very unusual, Jeff, from
a sitting president.
Are you surprised by what we've heard from Gorsuch?
TOOBIN: Am I surprised by the last 20 days of Donald Trump's presidency? Yes, basically every day there has been a surprise. But Gorsuch is
generally a softspoken person, measured in his comments, and I think this was a measured response. A lot of judges are
unhappy. A lot of people who believe in our system are unhappy with the really caustic and juvenile attacks on the judiciary by Donald Trump. I
mean Donald Trump calling this Washington judge a so-called judge. I don't even know what that means.
And so I think Gorsuch is trying to walk the line between being - you know, betraying the president who appointed him, but also showing that he will be
an independent figure if he's confirmed by the U.S. Senate. And I think he's - Ggorsuch with these comments has successfully navigated that issue.
ANDERSON: I wonder whether Jeff Sessions, or Gorsuch knows what easy D means. Do you? I mean, this is something to a tweet - I'm talking about a
tweet that Donald trump put out, I think it was last night, talking about this decision that will be made about the travel ban, he just said, easy D,
and somebody was trying to work out whether that was his rap name, but I think...
TOOBIN: No, that's Easy E.
ANDERSON: He meant easy decision.
TOOBIN: Easy decision I think is what he meant. But I mean, what's really...
ANDERSON: Is that a legal term?
TOOBIN: No. Easy D is not a legal term. I think we - those of us who are professionally obligated to read Donald Trump's tweets everyday, we're sort
of developing a facility with his shorthand. And I think he did mean easy decision.
But I mean, again, it's completely unprecedented for a - for a president to be mocking judges who have a big case before them at the time. And this is
something I think we're going to have to get used to that the president is for a president to be mocking judges who have a big case before them at the
And, you know, this is something I think we're just going to have to get used to, that the president is sort of permanently on the attack with
Twitter, basically every morning and every evening before and after his workday, and I guess we're just going to have to decide how much we cover
them and, you know, how much they are news. It's kind of mysterious to me how we're going to deal with
this for the next four or eight years.
ANDERSON: Well, thank you for sorting all of that out, including easy d not being official legal term parlance.
TOOBIN: No, easy d is not a Latin term.
ANDERSON: All right, good. Got you.
Jeffrey Toobin in the house for you.
Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching Connect the World. Coming up, protests against Donald Trump's travel ban, and this is important, were
plenty. But what about those directly affected by it. Hsear their message to Mr. Trump.
[10:55:17] ANDERSON: Well, we found some people in the seven countries affected by Donald Trump's travel ban who have some Parting Shots for the
president. Their overall sentiment, we want to contribute to the United States, please, let us in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dear President Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFED MALE (subtitles): My wife spent two years getting a student visa. She is currently studying in your country. I had planned to visit
her in the U.S. Your decision has put all our plans in limbo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear Donald Trump, my name is Bana. I want you to support the children of Syria and (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump, I'm Hamid (ph) from Libya. I'm a (inaudible). You just destroyed my dream. I hope you feel better now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (subtitles): I was planning to reunite with my family in Minnesota. The travel ban has had a huge impact on many Somalis. We're
fleeing conflict and seeking asylum in the U.S. Please lift the refugee ban and allow me to realize my dream to come and live in the U.S.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Last Saturday, I was heading back to the States to start my new job as hospitalist. Serving people in need are more important
than -- but unfortunately, I have been denied from boarding the flight back to Atlanta.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: The American community is multicultural with a variety of religious, ethnic groups and traditions. And what makes America unique
is (inaudible) freedom. Therefore, banning many Muslims from entering the U.S. is a violation of all these facts and values.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please think back again about your decisions and what are you doing
in the next few years, because this is not good for your country.
ANDERSON: That's it from us tonight. Thank you for watching. See you again Sunday. First day of our working week in this region. Bye-bye.