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Trump: Court's Travel Ban Decision Was Political; Trump Agrees To Honor "One China" Policy; French Police Thwart "Imminent Terror Attack"; Beijing Praises Trump's "One China" Commitment; Report: Flynn Talked Sanctions With Russian Ambassador; Russia Won't Confirm Leaders Discussed Nuclear Weapons; Anti-Trump Rhetoric On Iran's Revolution Day. Aired 3- 3:30p ET

Aired February 10, 2017 - 15:00   ET


CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Clarissa Ward sitting in for Hala Gorani. We are live from CNN London and this is THE WORLD


U.S. President Trump is promising quick actions to keep America safe after a new legal blow to his controversial travel ban. He made the remarks a

short time ago during a news conference with Japanese Minister Shinzo Abe.

An appeals court unanimously declined to reinstate Mr. Trump's travel ban on Thursday saying that the administration failed to offer any evidence to

justify the measure. The president says the ban is critical for national security.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to keep our country safe. We are going to do whatever it is necessary to keep our

country safe. We had a decision which we think will be very successful with, it should not have taken this much time because safety is a primary


One of the reasons I am standing here today is the security of our country that voters felt that I would give it the best security. We'll be doing

additional for our country. You will be seeing it sometimes next week.

In additions, we will continue to go through the court process and ultimately I have no doubt that we'll win hat particular case.


WARD: Well, that was a more measured response than this tweet which came shortly after the ruling. Mr. Trump typed in all caps, "See you in court,

the security of our nation is at stake!"

Well, here to unpack the legal and political implications of this ruling, our CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan, is in New York, and CNN political

analyst, Josh Rogin is in Washington. Thanks to you both.

Paul, I want to start with you, where does the president go from here and how does this ruling impact him?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there are a number of options available. Now bear in mind, this was an appellate court taking a look at

a decision by a lower court, a district court, which essentially suspended the Trump ban while the court tried to sort this thing out. Trump lost in

the appellate court and now he's faced with a problem.

One, he could rewrite the executive order to make it constitutional. That's something that he might be considering. The second thing he could

do is appeal to what they call an embank appellate court, which is a larger court of the appellate court of 11 judges.

Now this stands between just before the Supreme Court or the third thing he can do is appeal directly to the Supreme Court. Now, all of these options

are being evaluated, but the big problem he faces if he goes to the Supreme Court, there is a 4-4 split on the United States Supreme Court between

liberals and conservatives.

If they vote 4-4, the ruling of the lower court against Trump would stand. My bet is he's going to stall the case as long as possible to see if he can

get his appointee to the Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch, in place under oath and he will have a 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court.

WARD: Josh, what was your take of the disparity. I mean, you heard him in the press conference there with the prime minister of Japan, he sounded

much more measured, much more on message, a stark contrast to what we saw on that tweet earlier. What's your read on that?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: While the style between President Trump's remarks and the press conference and his tweets were very

different. The tone and the actual arguments were very much the same. He's defiantly calling the court political and he's saying that he predicts

that he will win in the end and he's saying that the national security of the country is being harmed by the courts' actions.

So it is a little more polished when he's standing in front of the podium. But overall, his message is consistent. He does not believe that, A, the

court has the power to overrule him on national security. That's something that his lawyers argued before the appellate court.

And he believes that they are wrong on the facts than they'll ultimately be victorious. Unfortunately, what we are seeing is that his statements both

in person and on Twitter are being used against him.

[15:05:03]Because they feed the argument led by the states here that travel immigration executive order actually is intended to this advantage of one

group, in this case, Muslim-Americans.

WARD: Paul, what's your take on this idea that the courts have become political that the judiciary is politicized. I mean, you even talk about

if they go to a Supreme Court now, it is a 4-4 split. I mean, does President Trump have something to say to himself there or is he making a

fair point by admonishing it for being politicized, the judiciary?

CALLAN: I don't think because in the history of the United States, we've always had a political court in the sense that the president of the United

States appoints Supreme Court justices with the advice and consent of the Senate. So if it's a Democratic president, you get a Democratic choice and

if it's a Republican, you can get a Republican choice.

However, the courts don't vote along strict party lines. I think they try to be careful particularly the federal court and the Supreme Court to make

sure they are applying a law and not letting politics get involved in their decision making.

So yes, politics happens from time to time, but I think we have a fair system court system in the United States overall.

WARD: And what do you think, Paul, if he loses this, how devastating is it for him? Does he have any other recourse?

CALLAN: Well, I think it is really devastating and I'll tell you why. The court in this lengthy, you know, over 20-page decision, talked about

calling this a Muslim ban in many public statements that he made. Now most of those public statements were made during the campaign for the


Now of course, it is very unusual that a federal court would reach back into a political campaign and say what the candidate was saying is

indicative of bias and so this executive order may indicate bias.

But what this means to lawyers in the end, when this goes back to the court, there will be depositions and testimonies will be taken under oath

and the president can be subpoenaed, people who worked on his campaign could be subpoenaed, to see if he discussed the Muslim ban, if he talked

about it.

And he was talking about it all the time in the campaign, but what was going on behind closed doors with Mayor Giuliani and Governor Christi and

his daughter, all of that is going to come out under oath in testimony.

And I don't the president is going to want to risk that embarrassment and I think in the end he's going to walk away from this executive order to avoid

having to testify.

WARD: Interesting point. Josh, I just want to pivot for a moment to foreign policy, obviously, the president came out and spoke to the Chinese

president, talked about his support from the "One China" policy. Something of a surprise or do you think we are seeing more and more of these apparent

U-turns in policy when it comes to diplomacy and foreign policy?

ROGIN: You know, I think frankly what we are seeing is an expansion of the Trump administration's foreign policy team and the inclusion of

professionals in the room that's leading to policies that are more carefully thought out and more carefully espoused by the president and


In the case of the China call, I think they had an imperative to do something because it was starting to be noted both in the American and

Chinese press that the two leaders had not talked since November 14th and that's extremely odd.

There had been a lot of interactions behind the scenes between the Trump administration and the Chinese government. But this concession that the

U.S. will stick to the "One China" policy, which has been in place since the `70s.

We are seeing as a needed concession in order to get this high level relationship moving. It is also being seen as the region as a walk back

from what Trump had established as a very strong and tough negotiating position.

He said that this would be something that he would seek to use as a bargaining chip and now that's no longer the case. So we've had a messy

start to the U.S.-China relationship. The best case scenario is this is now onto a better track. The worst case scenario is that Trump bluffed and

the Chinese called him on it.

WARD: A paper tiger perhaps. OK, Josh Rogin and Paul Callan, thank you both so much for your analysis.

The Trump administration is facing new questions over its national security adviser's dealings with Russia. "The Washington Post" reports Michael

Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the country's U.S. ambassador before Donald Trump took office.

CNN learned last month that the two men spoke by phone on December 29th, the same day the Obama administration announced new sanctions on Russia for

election-related hacking. The kremlin denies they've discussed sanctions and Michael Flynn did, too.

But he is now walking that back. An aide says Flynn now says he cannot rule out that he spoke about sanctions, saying Flynn has no recollection of

doing so but he cannot be certain. We will have much more on this ahead in the show.

[15:10:05]To France now where police say they have thwarted an imminent terror attack. Four people including a 16-year-old girl were arrested in

cities across the south of France. All four are French nationals.

A source says the suspects had started making TATP, that's the same explosive that was used in the Paris and Brussels attack. The 16-year-old

girl pledged allegiance to ISIS in a cell phone video.

And for more on that, let's go now live to Paris. CNN's Melissa Bell is there. Melissa, what are you learning?

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, for the time being, the questioning continues here in France of these four people of what we know

for certain is that the 16-year-old girl was involved and the reason of this 6:00 a.m. raid on these series of flats were carried out is the attack

was imminent. That's according to France's interior minister.

Now sources have told us since that emerged, TATP was found in one of the apartments, now that explosive is favored by terrorist because it is easy

to cobble together. You need ingredients that are relatively easy to find.

They found some of that in one of the flats. That type of explosive was the kind used by terrorists in France in November 2015, but also in the

Brussels attack at the (inaudible) Airport.

Four people continued to be questioned. What's also emerged according to sources is that they are all French nationals. So we are once again faced

-- Clarissa, we talked about this many time over the course of the last few months together with that sort of attack of French nationals.

We don't know of the extent of the coordination with ISIS, but inspired by any case of ISIS. The 16-year-old girl, according to sources, did pledge

allegiance only a couple days ago on an online video to the group, an act that was prepared.

We don't yet know the target precisely, but a violent attack of that were sure inspired by ISIS. Now, what French media reports are suggesting this

evening, Clarissa, is that the 16-year-old may have been about to marry one of the other men, a man who is slightly older than her.

He, it is suggested, was to carry out a suicide. She was seeking to get to Syria where she would have claimed a sort of status as a jihadist widow and

been taken into the fold. Those are the elements that we have for the time being.

That investigation continues. But of course, once again, France faced with that question of home grown terrorists and how best to go about preventing

them carrying out what they are intending to carry out and how best to keep an eye on them and fix this problem once and for all.

Of course, again, French authorities congratulating themselves and the fact that this two-week investigation did allow them to close in on these

locations before any violence occurred.

WARD: OK, Melissa Bell for us in Paris, thank you so much.

Well, still to come tonight, amid the many battles being waged by President Trump, an apparent moment of pragmatism. We'll have more on his change of

tune on China.

And do you know what the "New Start" treaty is? Find out why the White House is having to insist that Donald Trump does when THE WORLD RIGHT NOW




WARD: We want to take you live now to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. You can see U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

are getting ready to depart for Florida. The two leaders had been holding meetings throughout the day at the White House.

Now, they are off to Trump's so-called winter White House, Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida for the weekend. They will reportedly be

playing some golf and their wives will also be attending.

You can see President Trump getting onto the plane that will take them down to Palm Beach. Standing next to him, of course, the first lady, Melania

Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Shinzo Abe's wife.

They are expected to spend the weekend down in Palm Beach, in Florida, obviously holding a series of meetings and talking about various bilateral

issues, but are also expected to enjoy at least a round or two of golf.

Throughout his rise to the presidency, Donald Trump promised he was going to get tough on China. He cast out on America's long standing commitment

to the "One China" policy, which is a recognition of Beijing as the only true Chinese government despite Taiwan's claims of autonomy. Here is what

Mr. Trump said back in December.


TRUMP: I fully understand the "One China" policy, but I don't know why we have to be bound by "One China" policy unless we make a deal with China and

having to do with other things including trade."


WARD: But now, as we first mentioned a few moments ago, in his first conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the new U.S. president has

agreed to honor the "One China" policy. David McKenzie has more.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While taking around 20 phone calls with world leaders, but eventually President Trump has gotten to the leader of

China. In a lengthy phone call, according to officials, he reconfirmed the U.S.' commitment to the "One China" policy.

That is a turnaround for President Trump because he hinted several times that the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty maybe a negotiating factor with


But frankly that was a nonstarter with Beijing and China is certainly extremely happy that he's made this commitment.

LU KANG, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): The "One China" policy is the political foundation of China-U.S. relations. Abiding

by this policy and the principles and the three China-U.S. Joint Communicate are the obligations of the U.S. government. This has been the

consistent position of China. We appreciate President Trump saying during the phone call that the U.S. will uphold the "One China" policy.

MCKENZIE: In many ways, the challenging part of the relationship now begins with China and the U.S. having many potential issues on trades and

climate change and security in the region particularly in the South China Sea.

For their part it will be disappointing that the U.S. has committed to the "One China" policy, but Taiwan has said in a statement through their

president's office that the United States is the most important ally of Taiwan in international society.

And say that they'll continue to try to have close ties with the U.S. Of course, there are no diplomatic ties between Taiwan and America and that's

not going to change any time soon. David McKenzie, CNN, Beijing.


WARD: Let's get back to one of our top stories now, the controversy over Michael Flynn's dealings with Russia. A "Washington Post" report says the

U.S. national security adviser discussed sanctions on Russia with that country's ambassador before Donald Trump took officer.

"Washington Post's" intelligence reporter, Greg Miller, is covering the story. He joins us now. Greg, if you can walk me through what is reported

to have taken place during this conversations. What was discussed and why was it important?

GREG MILLER, INTELLIGENCE REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, let's start with the last part first if you will let me. So it is important one

because you are not supposed to do this. You're not supposed to -- before you are in office, signal policy changes or shifts or directions that may

under mind the existing U.S. government position. You're just not supposed to it.

The other reason that matters is that multiple White House officials have denied this occurred for more than a month. They've said it did not

happen. Now they are saying yes, it probably did.

[15:20:09]So there is an honesty issue here at stake. What we know now is that Mike Flynn who is the national security adviser to Trump had frequent

contact with the Russian ambassador before and after the election.

And that at a time when the Obama administration was imposing sanctions on Russia for its interference in the U.S. presidential election, Trump's

national security adviser is communicating to the Russian ambassador, "Hold tight, don't overreact to this stuff. We're going to be in power soon

enough. We'll be able to clean this up."

WARD: Did he actually telegraph a shift in policy though? I guess that becomes the question, did he specifically say sanctions might be lifted or

don't worry about these sanctions? And what are the legal implications if he did?

MILLER: Well, that's opened to a bit of interpretation so some of the officials we talked to say he clearly crossed the legal line here and

others said there didn't appear to an explicit transaction or quid pro quo even though all of the sources we talked said he clearly discussed the

issue, clearly sent a signal that this was something the Trump administration would be prepared to revisit once in office.

The legal questions are complicated because the main legal provision that applies here is a law from 1799, no joke. That has never been prosecuted.

So it is really kind of a legal dead end.

But, if Flynn -- because there is an ongoing FBI investigation related to Russia in the campaign, if Flynn is interviewed by the FBI and was asked

this question and he gave them the same answer he was giving other people a month ago, that could be problematic.

WARD: This is very embarrassing as well for the vice president, Mike Pence, isn't it?

MILLER: Yes, I mean, it is a big problem for Mike Pence who regards himself, you know, as somebody whose career is based on the trust he has

with voters, he went out on a big limb for Mike Flynn a month or so ago on television defending Flynn saying this conversation never happened,

absolutely not. Now he has to face the fact that Flynn is now back pedaling from that story and admitting that it may in fact have happened.

WARD: OK, Greg Miller, thank you so much for joining us.

Well, the kremlin is being cagey, they are not confirming or denying that Putin and Donald Trump even mentioned a nuclear arms production plan during

their phone call. The White House on the other hand was more candid a day ago.

Sean Spicer refuted a Reuter's report that President Trump had to ask aides what the "New Start" agreement was. The strategic arms reduction treaty

limits the number of nuclear arms that each country stock piles.

My next guest knew about all about the "New Start" program. Thomas Countryman is a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for international

security and non-proliferation. Thank you so much for joining us.

Let's start out, are you troubled by the idea that there is some lack of clarity as to whether President Trump is familiar with what the "New Start"

treaty is?

THOMAS COUNTRYMAN, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY FOR ARMS CONTROL, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, that does concern me the way that the phone call was

handled if the reports are accurate. It shows that perhaps the president was not fully prepared what should have been a predictable topic that had

to come up.

But what concerns me more than the preparations because I don't expect the president after three weeks in office or one week to know every detail of

arms control treaties. What concerns me more is the substance.

This is the treaty that serves the national security interest of the United States as successive military -- Department of Defense and Department of

State leaders have said.

And to so casually dismiss it as a bad deal for the United States, I think actually moves us backwards and move us away from the goal of using arms

control discussions between Moscow and Washington as a way of improving our security. So that's what bothers me about the reported conversation.

WARD: So let me ask you this, what are the implications if the U.S. was to back out of this kind of a deal?

COUNTRYMAN: First the treaty is binding on both countries until 2021. We have the option and contained in the treaty to extend it for another five

years and according to the "Washington Post" article, the "Reuter's" article that is what President Putin suggested. It can be torn up before


But the implication if it is not renewed, if it is not replaced by another armed control treaty is that the Russian federation is absolutely

unrestrained in pursuing a nuclear arm's race and we would have zero capability to monitor or verify the number and types of weapons that Russia


[15:25:12]WARD: And it's interesting, you should mention, I mean, it's clearly a very serious and important treaty. But in the final presidential

debate then, you know, presidential candidate, Donald Trump suggested that perhaps in the last re-negotiation of "Start" that Hillary Clinton and

President Obama had been out smarted by Putin and obviously, you have been very close to this issue, do you think that's a fair assessment at all?

COUNTRYMAN: Not at all. I think it falls in the same category of the knee jerk reaction of the candidate and now the president. That anything done

by the Obama administration must have been a bad deal. The "New Start" treaty is absolutely symmetrical. It imposes the same limits on both the

United States and the Russian federation and it allows us to verify those limits.

It has improved our national security. It has reduced the risk of another unaffordable arms race between the two countries to simply reject out of

him because it was done by a president he does not like is irresponsible leadership.

WARD: OK, Thomas Countryman, thank you so much.

COUNTRYMAN: Thank you.

WARD: A top E.U. diplomat says the United States is committed to, quote, "full implementation of the Iran nuclear deal." That's what Fredericka

Mogarini (ph) said after meetings with the new U.S. secretary of state. In the past, President Trump has been highly critical of the deal. The mixed

messages come as Iranians have their own defiant message for Mr. Trump. Fred Pleitgen listened to it in Tehran.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Death to Trump, death to America," these protesters chant at Iran's

Revolution Day hailing the Islamic revolution of 1979 and unmistakably voicing dismay at a new administration in Washington especially President

Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not afraid of any enemies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, he's just talking and -- he does not have anything to do and he can't do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Donald Trump says in the debates, what he says in words, the previous presidents have done in action so that's why it does

not make any change to us.

PLEITGEN: Animosity between Iran and the U.S. has spiked since President Trump took office. The administration hitting Tehran with sanctions after

the Iranians tested a medium range ballistic missile in late January, which the U.S. says breaches a U.N. resolution, a claim Tehran denies.

Tensions have eased during the Obama, but the renewed U.S.-Iranian confrontation enrages many Iranian leading more people than usual to come

to the Revolutionary Day festivities.

(on camera): Iran's supreme leader has called on people to come out here in force and that's clear what they have done voicing their anger at the

United States and especially the new Trump administration.

(voice-over): Iran's president specifically mentioning America's new commander-in-chief in a speech.

HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): Even in the United States, some who are new to the job have obtained the reins of power. All

of them must know when it comes to the nation of Iran, they must speak to this great nation with equal respect.

PLEITGEN: Another issue enraging many Iranians the administration's travel ban against people from seven majority nations including Iran. Some of

those attending the Revolution praising Americans protesting the executive order.

While many Iranians fear relations between Tehran and Washington could further, the country's leadership has made it clear it will not back down

in the face of a Trump administration's increased pressure. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.


WARD: Still ahead, Donald Trump says he will fight for his travel ban. If he loses, how big of a blow will it be to his presidency? We'll discuss

that with a long time Trump's supporter. Stay with us.


[15:31:57] WARD: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Here is a look at this hour's top stories.

U.S. President Trump has offered Japan assurances that mutual defense agreements cover disputed islands in the East China Sea. Japanese Prime

Minister Shinzo Abe is on a visit to the U.S. Japan has been on an ongoing territorial dispute with China over the island chain.

French investigators say they've stopped an imminent terror attack. They arrested four people during a raid in three cities, including a 16-year-old

girl. A source tells CNN the plotters were making the same explosives used in the Paris and Brussels attack, and that the girl had pledged her

allegiance to ISIS.

At least 13 people were injured after a fire on a metro train in Hong Kong. Seven were hospitalized. Their conditions are unknown. A 60-year-old man

was arrested on suspicion of arson. The fire happened in one of Hong Kong's busiest stations, which is now closed.

U.K. police have discovered 360 kilograms of suspected cocaine. The drugs washed up on two beaches in east England earlier on Friday. The bags full

of what looks like the drug could have an estimated street value of more than $60 million.

Donald Trump says his travel ban will keep Americans safe. The man who ran U.S. intelligence under President Obama disagrees. In an exclusive

interview, James Clapper told CNN's Jim Sciutto it may do more harm than good.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Does the terror threat necessitate the ban from these seven countries?

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER UNITED STATES DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, I don't believe we in the I.C. were aware of any extraordinary threat

we weren't already dealing with. And we're using, I think, some very rigorous vetting processes which we constantly improved on.

SCIUTTO: Does a bill like this in your view, has it damaged U.S. image but also counterterror partnerships?

CLAPPER: Yes. I do worry about those countries in question with whom we do deal and who are reliable partners. I also worry about this creating a

recruiting tool for the extremists. That they'll point to this proof that there is, in fact, a war on all Muslims.

SCIUTTO: And you're confident in the vetting that the U.S. is already doing for travelers from these countries?

CLAPPER: I am, and we have improved that process as we've gone.


WARD: Let's discuss this and other developments out of the White House. Jack Kingston joins us now. He's a former Republican congressman and a

former adviser to Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. He's live with us from Washington.

First of all, Jack, can I get your reaction to the court's decision to uphold the suspension of this travel ban?

[15:35:03] JACK KINGSTON, FORMER UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE FOR GEORGIA: I think the court was way off base. As you know, something like 80 percent

of the rulings of the 9th Circuit get over turned because they are so frequently out of zinc with U.S. law in general. The most overturned

rulings of any circuit, by the way.

In this case, they did really not consider the standings of the plaintiffs. They put into their decision that there wasn't sufficient terrorist threat,

and that the government did not present that evidence. That's really none of their business as judges.

It's the right of the President to declare an area that may have some problems. And, you know, their only role was to interpret the

Constitution. The Constitution Section 1182 is pretty clear that this is a judgment call of the United States President. Judges do not have

classified briefings on what terrorist evidence is out there.

Now, it does happen that something like 60 people have been arrested for terrorist plots who have come from these nations, so that evidence is out

there and they can go over that --

WARD: OK. Sorry, just to back out a little bit, though. You know, what the judiciary said was that the administration had not supplied sufficient

evidence to back up their argument that this was a way to enhance or improve security.

KINGSTON: Well, but that's not the judiciary's call. Their call is, does the President have the right of it? Since 1952, the President has had that

right given to him by the United States Congress. And it doesn't say that he has to justify that to judges, not if it comes to national security.

And as you've read the Code Section, it's very broad, if the President wants to do this -- and President Obama had done it in 2011 about Iran for

six months, I would add.

You know, the other thing is, what was the harm that they were citing? Some professionals were unable or maybe even inconvenienced to get to their

work. Now, I do think that professionals and known travelers should have, from the beginning, had some kind of a green card pre-check sort of

arrangement. But the reality is, there's no great harm that has been done because of this ruling that the judges had to rush through it.

But as I said, this is the 9th Circuit, and they hold the shameless record of having more rulings over turned than any other circuit in the United

States. So it's kind of par for the course.

WARD: You just heard, though, from James Clapper, and obviously, he is or has been privy to all sorts of classified information. He was also saying

there is no evidence to back up the idea that this ban would make America any safer.

KINGSTON: You know --

WARD: And we have yet to hear the administration to come up with any evidence that will back up that claim.

KINGSTON: Clarissa, as I was sitting there listening to Mr. Clapper, having sat in classified briefings with him, I could only wonder, well,

where were you when President Obama was calling ISIS a J.V. Where was Mr. Clapper?

Was he the one who had told President Obama that ISIS was J.V. and not to worry about them? ISIS came into its own under the watch of James Clapper,

so I just cannot believe we need to sit and listen to him pontificate on how he did it and it was better because it's just laughable.

You know, and then when he says that there's no evidence that we have a reliable -- and I can't quite quote it but we have reliable relationships

with these countries -- Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya? We really do have a great relationship that we get credible information from them that none of

those passports are forged?

WARD: But none of those countries have ever launched a terror attack on American soil. But let me move on slightly by just asking you as a final

question, if President Trump loses this battle, what happens next? How damaging is this to his presidency?

KINGSTON: I don't think this is damaging. This is a political decision and people know that the left hasn't gotten over the election, and I think

that what he can do -- and remember, this really isn't about Trump.

It is not about if Trump wins or lose. It's about the United States and national security. And I think that he can reissue another executive

order, which presidents have done in the past, to make sure that it might be a little more acceptable to certain courts. As you know, the Trump

administration has won a battle in Massachusetts. And I think, on their appeal, they're going to look at all their options.

You're only talking about a 90-day and 120-day period here, so, you know, they have a lot of options. But I don't think it is a do or die situation

for the Trump administration as much as it's about American national security. And if something happens in the interim, then I think we know

who to blame. And it's those --


[15:40:05] KINGSTON: -- I'd say political critics of Donald Trump.

WARD: All right. Thank you very much, Jack Kingston.

KINGSTON: Thank you, Clarissa.

WARD: Well, to New Zealand now where a desperate rescue is underway after hundreds of pilot whales stranded themselves on a beach. Four hundred were

found on South Island, more than half are dead. Locals are banding together to save the whales, trying to cool them down, and get them back to


This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. CNN investigate allegations that Venezuela sold passports to people with zero ties to the country, even to potential

terrorists. That's next.


WARD: A Venezuelan passport gives visa-free access to 130 countries. So what if we told you that Venezuela may have sold passports to people with

no ties to the country whatsoever, including potential terrorists?

Here is Drew Griffin with part two of a yearlong investigation by CNN and CNN en Espanol.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marco Ferreira is now at peace, living in Miami with political asylum courtesy of

the U.S. government. The former Venezuelan general was in charge of Venezuela's immigration office, but he had to flee after backing an aborted

coup against then President Hugo Chavez in 2002.

He says he took something very valuable to U.S. officials -- inside information about how passports and visas were being issued to thousands of

criminals and potential terrorists on orders from his own government.

GRIFFIN (on camera): It happened when you were in charge?

BRIG. GEN. MARCO FERREIRA (RET), FORMER VENEZUELAN OFFICIAL: When I was in charge, it happened a lot of time. And I --

GRIFFIN (on camera): And do you believe it's still happening now?

FERREIRA: No. I think, now it's easier.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): A CNN investigation has uncovered a long history of Venezuelan passports and visas apparently being issued and sold to non-

citizens. An alleged scheme that involves corrupt with terrorist ties.

GRIFFIN (on camera): What were you finding was wrong with the documents that Venezuela was handing out?

FERREIRA: One of the problems was where they cover up that people that were working in that place. But the second one was for the fragility of

the system because everything was old and they have a lot of leaks in the process.

GRIFFIN (on camera): So I think what you're telling me is that in Venezuela, if you're holding a Venezuelan passport, maybe even have a

Venezuelan certificate, there is no reason believe you were ever born in Venezuela or are Venezuelan.

FERREIRA: Yes, because you have the birth certificate, you have the access to everything.

GRIFFIN (on camera): You can become a brand new person.

FERREIRA: Yes, perfectly.

[15:44:59] GRIFFIN (voice-over): A Venezuelan passport is one of the world's best since you can travel to more than 130 countries without a

visa, although the United States is not one of them.

What Marco Ferreira says he witnessed more than a decade ago in Venezuela is remarkably similar to what this man says was taking place as recently as

2014 under the Venezuela embassy in Iraq when he was the embassy's legal adviser.

Misael Lopez reported to Venezuelan authorities about the scheme he says he found in Baghdad that included selling Venezuelan passports and visas to

people from the Middle East. He says his report went nowhere.

The Venezuelan government denies the allegations. General Ferreira says that should come as no surprise.

FERREIRA: No. No, absolutely no.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): The claims of passports for sales aren't a surprise to U.S. officials either. 2006, this congressional report warned that

Venezuela is providing support, including identity documents that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups. And at the time, the State

Department warned Congress that Venezuelan travel and identification documents are extremely easy to obtain by persons not entitled to them.

Roger Noriega is former ambassador to the Organization of American States. He now works for a conservative think tank in Washington.

GRIFFIN (on camera): You testified, a couple of years back, that there's thousands of these passports floating around connected to people that we

don't want to be able to travel the world.

ROGER NORIEGA, FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR, ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES: Very early on, in around 2003, Chavez, at that point, had been in

office about five years. Evidence started to emerge that his passport office and those that issue the national identification cards were issuing

legitimate identification to people of Middle Eastern background.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Making them Venezuelans?

NORIEGA: And giving them documentation to allow them to elude detection as they're moving across borders.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): This confidential intelligence report from Latin American countries obtained by CNN says, from 2008 until 2012, 173

individuals from the Middle East were issued Venezuelan passports and IDs, among them were people linked to the terrorist group Hezbollah. The

information was also presented to a U.S. congressional subcommittee in 2015.

The man behind the operation, the intelligence report says, is someone well known to U.S. authorities, Tareck El Aissami. He's the former minister in

charge of immigration and now, Vice President of Venezuela.

El Aissami, the report says, took charge of issuing, granting visas, and nationalizing citizens from different countries, especially Syrians,

Lebanese, Jordanians, Iranians, and Iraqis. El Aissami did not respond to CNN for this report.

And this man, Ghazi Nasr Al-Din, is wanted for questioning by the FBI for his fund raising efforts with Hezbollah contributors. A former Venezuelan

diplomat who worked in the country's embassy in Syria, U.S. officials say he has facilitated the travel of Hezbollah members to and from Venezuela.

He could not be reached for comment.

NORIEGA: If we do not get our arms around this problem, people are going to die. Our affiliates are going to be attacked by networks abetted by the

Venezuelans. We have --

GRIFFIN (on camera): And aided by Venezuelan passports?

NORIEGA: Absolutely. The passports are a critical part of this. They are literally their ticket into the hemisphere.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): This is not just a Venezuelan issue. Today, if there's any doubt that passports are linked to terrorist groups like ISIS,

just listen to Rob Wainwright. He's the director of Europol, which coordinates major criminal investigations throughout Europe.

ROB WAINWRIGHT, DIRECTOR, EUROPOL: A whole network, a criminal architecture, of very sophisticated passport forgerers, document

facilitators, that are providing these facilities to criminal syndicates in the main, but increasingly, we are seeing connections with the terrorist

trade as well.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): He says the level of sophistication terrorist are using to alter thousands of lost or stolen Syrian and Iraqi passports is


WAINWRIGHT: Some of these terrorist groups have the ability to alter the biometric data, especially on these real stolen passports, to suit the

identities of one of their members who needs to leave. And, you know, the quality of what they do is pretty good and difficult to spot at the border

as they cross.

[15:50:01] GRIFFIN (voice-over): Back in Miami, Marco Ferreira worries about the consequences of where all those Venezuelan passports and visas

ended up.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Would you be surprised if someday, there is a major terrorist attack and somewhere in the rubble, they find the suspect has a

Venezuelan passport in his pocket?

FERREIRA: I am begging God that that never happens. I have very big concern to my country to be involved in that, but, probably, I'm not going

to be surprised if some day it happens.


WARD: That was Drew Griffin reporting.

Coming up, would you like to live in a house like this? Well, for a cool $250 million, it can be yours. We take you inside in a few minutes. Stay

with us.


WARD: CNN anchors and correspondents are looking back on individuals who left a lasting impression while also helping mankind. In today's "My Hero"

segment, CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Doctor Sanjay Gupta, found inspiration from not just one but two individuals. Twin astronauts, Scott

and Mark Kelly, each making huge sacrifices to help us all. Take a look.



There's another incredible moment that gives us hope. Twin brothers, Scott and Mark Kelly, astronauts, who decided to do something that could benefit

all of humanity.

One brother here on earth, and the other brother going up in space for nearly a year to, basically, be tested, prodded, probed, to learn how the

body reacts to something that we may all have to do one day -- start to explore our universe, start to explore other planets. We learned so much

from what Scott did, risked his life to do, that could help us all.

The Kelly brothers inspire me because they clearly are doing things that no one else has done. It's easy to look at it in retrospect and say that was

really a cool thing that you did, but the reality is that they had to take a lot of chances. They had to take a lot of risks. They had say goodbye

to their family and friends. And with not the clear understanding if they'd ever see them again.

That's a really hard thing to do in the pursuit of trying to learn something for all humanity. Our planet's becoming increasingly crowded.

We don't know exactly where it's all going to lead. We don't know how climate is going to affect this planet that 23 live on now, and we need to

start thinking about other places in the universe that we may have to live one day.

In order to understand how to do that, we got to understand what it's going to do to us first, our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. And Scott

staying up there for a year in space was, I think, the first very important step in that understanding.

I'm fascinated with the idea that we can learn about the human body at the fringes. We learn much more when we push our bodies. We learn much more

about what our bodies are capable of doing.


WARD: A $30-million classic car collection, a wine cellar that holds 2,500 bottles, a 40-seat movie theater. Oh, yes, and a helicopter too. A house

in Los Angeles is breaking records as the highest asking price ever listed for a home in the U.S. That price -- drum roll please -- $250 million.

You can't make this up.

[15:55:11] Paul Vercammen was lucky enough to get a look inside.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN REPORTER: This would be the ultimate man cave -- or maybe man cavern. On the lower level here, it's 11,000 feet of pure


BRUCE MAKOWSKY, OWNER: So what I wanted to do was create the ultimate auto gallery. The house comes actually with almost $30-million worth of cars.

This is 1936 540K Mercedes-Benzes. This is a Spiker from Holland. It was actually used in "Basic Instinct."

VERCAMMEN: I find this a bit ironic because we've got $30 million cars over here, and then we got, you know, 10-cent candy over here.


MAKOWSKY: It's actually more than 10 cents.

VERCAMMEN: And then you come down the steps and you can go bowling.

MAKOWSKY: You can put 16 people on here. The house comes with all the shoes, and you get natural breeze off the ocean while you're playing.

You got a nine.


MAKOWSKY: We're walking into our indoor theater. It's a 40-seat, Dolby Atmos theater, and we have over 7,000 music videos and movies loaded into

seven Kaleidescapes.

VERCAMMEN: We're going to watch the movies and then we can come right around the corner and look at this.

MAKOWSKY: We have six bars in the house. This T.V., 28 feet long by seven feet tall, and it's 4K and the clarity is unbelievable.

We have two wine cellars in the house. This one actually has 2,500 bottles of wine and champagne. It comes fully stocked.

VERCAMMEN: What would you estimate the value is of the wine and champagne in here?

MAKOWSKY: A little bit over $300,000.

Big stainless steel sculpture that we have this here is, I think, the crown jewel of the house. I believe it's over four tons. It took us over two

years to build, eighth months to engineer, and it's just beautiful sun drench.

VERCAMMEN: And now, here is how you enjoy the great outdoors, Los Angeles style.

MAKOWSKY: It's an 85-foot all glass tile pool. Big swim up bar. And you can watch a video.

This cost me over $2 million to build and execute. And, again, you have downtown, all the way to Beverley hills and all the way to the ocean.

VERCAMMEN: Bruce, what a main entrance you have here.

MAKOWSKY: I had the original Airwolf helicopter that I had completely restored. It's a Bell222 and it's the ultimate sculpture for putting on

top of your house.

What I wanted to do is make sure that you have the feeling that you're as close to heaven as you can be, so special that you just never want to



WARD: All right. Well, this has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks for watching.

The news continues here on CNN right after this quick break.