Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Trump Hosts Canadian Prime Minister At The White House; North Korean Missile Test Prompts Urgent U.N. Meeting; Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Challenges; Reports: Flynn Misled Administration About Call; Calls For Calm After Weekend Of Violence; Official: Flynn Talked Sanctions With Russian Ambassador; Crews Fight To Control Floodwater At California Dam. Aired 3- 3:30p ET
Aired February 13, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live from CNN London. Thanks for being with us this Monday. This is THE
WORLD RIGHT NOW.
Well, they may be far apart politically, but Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau have found some common ground today. The leaders of the United
States and Canada just finished speaking to reporters at the White House after a series of meetings, they announced a new initiative for female
entrepreneurs, for instance.
They promised to work together to protect jobs on both sides of the border. Mr. Trump also addressed several big foreign policy challenges on his
plate. He called North Korea a "big, big problem," quote/unquote, after its latest ballistic missile test. The U.S. president also defended his
controversial immigration policies. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're actually taking people that are criminals, very, very hardened criminals, in some
cases, with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems, and we're getting them out. And that's what I said I would do.
I'm just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large Electoral College vote. And I said, at the beginning, we are going to get
the bad ones. The really bad ones. We're getting them out and that's exactly what we're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, for his part, Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada will continue its policy of openness towards refugees. A very different
approach from the two men on what to do about the refugee crisis. Now, Trudeau says, all of this can be done without compromising security.
Let's get more now from Paula Newton. She's following developments from New York. So, first of all, you know, a lot is always said, when two
leaders meet in the first place, and of course, it's never truer than when you talk about Trump meeting another foreign leader. What the chemistry
was like between the two men. What has been your observation about that?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Justin Trudeau was on a charm offensive, and as we all know from the internet, from a man who can
literally break the internet that if anybody can pour on the charm, it's Justin Trudeau.
He arrived with the photograph of the former prime minister, his father, Pierre Trudeau, with Donald Trump way back in 1981, and that definitely set
things in on a good footing and it also gave Trudeau the latitude to be able to say when he was asked about the travel ban to say, look, Canadians
don't want me to come here and lecture another country.
They expect, though, that Canada will continue to be this positive influence in the world. You can't put too fine a point of it, though,
Hala. The two policies on immigration couldn't be further apart.
And Donald Trump, there, being very apologetic again, in saying, look, I'm going to continue to do what I was elected to do. And Hala, I have to
point out, that's not without consequences for the Canadian border.
We talk a lot about the border in the south, but we are getting hard and fast numbers from the Canadian government of refugees from the United
States coming into Canada and claiming asylum.
GORANI: All right, so, regarding the -- by the way, it has to be noted, for our viewers who are wondering, no question was asked on Flynn, the
national security adviser, even though it's being reported he's under fire for possibly having misled top officials, including the vice president on a
call he had with the Russian ambassador, before the inauguration of Donald Trump.
We did have one quick mention of North Korea, saying it's a big, big problem. But it sounded like the Canadian reporters were more interested
in immigration, than in some of those wider foreign policy issues, as far away as North Korea.
[15:05:13]NEWTON: Well, I think, you know, and there's going to be a lot of dissemination here about who guess the questions in these press
conferences. Remember, I've reminded people, if you're Canada with the United States, the whole issue of trade is an existential threat. You're
going to talk about trade.
That's what they've asked about. Having said that, what people are shying the spotlight on is, the fact that the American reporters who were asked,
they did not bring this up, even though it's top of mind for everyone.
Whether you're partisan or not, on one side or other of this conversation, the point is North Korea did launch a missile. This is an issue in terms
of what kind of a national security apparatus do you have?
And how well equipped is it to deal with apparently a game-changing missile launch from North Korea? These are all issues that would come under the
guidance of Michael Flynn. As you said, Hala, he was not asked about it.
GORANI: It appears as though Donald Trump may have been, you know, in his selection of the reporters, perhaps, shielded from some of those more
pointed questions. He called on a reporter from Sinclair Broadcasting, another one from the conservative website, "Daily Caller" as well. They
did not bring those questions up during this press conference. Thanks very much, Paula Newton, for covering this.
As we mentioned, North Korea has handed a quite different foreign policy test Donald Trump. News that Kim Jong-Un's regime had fired a missile
reached the U.S. president just as he met with the Japanese prime minister at the weekend.
Now, the launch has drawn opposition from Pyongyang's main ally, China, and led to the United Nations' Security Council, calling a meeting later today.
North Korea has a number of short-range missiles able to travel to 1,000 kilometers.
That puts South Korea and Japan within range, and in fact, you can imagine, if you're Japan. And this medium-range missile is headed towards you, even
if it ends up in the water, you know, several hundred miles off your coast, this is a problem.
Now, North Korea has test fired a missile within a potential range that could hit Australia and possibly Hawaii. It's suspected they're working on
a more powerful missile that could put the U.S. mainland within striking distance.
Now Paula Hancocks can join us now. She's in the South Korean capital of Seoul. Paula, the timing of all of this could not have been a coincidence.
You have the Japanese prime minister meeting with Donald Trump in the United States, and this is when they announced this missile test.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Hala. There actually hadn't been a missile launch from North Korea for almost four
months. There had been relative restraint from North Korea. Really, they hadn't fired anything from just before the U.S. election. So it's
certainly significant, the timing. Nothing happens from North Korea by accident.
So this intermediate range missile was certainly being seen as a test for the Trump administration. It was also a new kind of missile. There have
been improvements to this missile. North Korea says that they have used solid fuel for the engine this time around. It's usually liquid fuel.
And the reason that's significant is because it gives strategic advantages to North Korea. It means that this type of launch can be much faster.
There's less preparation time needed. It can also be from a mobile launcher, which has its obvious benefits for North Korea, more difficult to
track. So suddenly, it shows that Kim Jong-un has been making progress, when it comes to these kind of launches -- Hala.
GORANI: Let's talk regionally, because the United States certainly would like China to put pressure on North Korea. But China is saying, look, the
U.S. also has to acknowledge its role in all of this. We, alone, cannot deal with this threat.
HANCOCKS: That's right. And this is a threat we've heard from President Trump time and time again, that China must do more. It's an argument
that's been made, to be fair, by many U.S. presidents. China did oppose what had happened.
It did say it did not support this missile launch and called on all parties to act with restraint. But the fact is that China has long since said that
it's not just up to them. They don't have the power over North Korea that many countries believe they do.
It has to be said, they are the main trading partner of North Korea. They effectively keep them afloat economically. But certainly, for many in the
region, they would like China to do more, but they acknowledge that it's Washington that North Korea wants to talk to at the end of the day.
It's Washington that they would like to be recognized by, as a nuclear state, which in the past, Washington has said that they would never do --
GORANI: Right. And I'm certain they will continue to say that. Thanks very much, Paula Hancocks for staying up late for us in Seoul, South Korea.
We appreciate it.
[15:10:03]Let's get more for those policy changes facing Donald Trump and perhaps a different attitude or tone we're hearing from the president in
the last few days.
We're joined by CNN global affairs analyst, Tony Blinken. He is a former U.S. deputy secretary of state. Tony, thanks for being with us. First of
all, the reaction to North Korea by President Trump? What did you make of that?
TONY BLINKEN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Hala, I think you've seen a little bit of a change over the last week. First, President Trump trying
to get to a better place in our relationship with China. Backing away from the fight he picked with China over the so-called "One China" policy.
That was a very positive move, and it now puts him in a position to try to work with China to exert meaningful pressure on North Korea to get back to
the negotiating table, and to stop its testing of ballistic missiles, its testing of longer-range missiles, and its nuclear tests.
China is the key player in this. It says that it's lost influence with North Korea, but the fact is, it has extraordinary leverage, precisely
because virtually all of the trade that goes to North Korea, from North Korea, through North Korea, also goes through China.
GORANI: Right. But China is saying, essentially, look, the U.S. has to kind of acknowledge its part in ratcheting up tensions. We, alone, can't
handle this. What do you make of that?
BLINKEN: You know, we've said to the Chinese repeatedly over the years that we're ready and prepared to engage with North Korea, provided it
demonstrates, first, that it is genuine about denuclearizing. And it's done exactly the opposite.
In fact, over the last year, it's tested missiles about 25 times. It's engaged in two nuclear tests. It's moving in exactly the opposite
direction. So North Korea needs to demonstrate it's serious.
If it is serious and takes concrete steps to de-nuclearize, at that point, I think every administration going back to the Clinton administration, the
Bush administration, the Obama administration said, we're prepared to engage.
And we're even prepared, ultimately, to engage in moving from the armistice that exists to some sort of peace agreement, but it has to start with de-
GORANI: Now from Donald Trump, we were used to seeing one tweet after the next often before 8:00 in the morning, sometimes picking the fights with
other countries. But as of late, this has changed a little bit, hasn't it?
We're seeing him sort of speak in a calmer way, his tweets are sort of middle of the road, great to meet the prime minister of Canada, Justin
Trudeau, et cetera.
We've seen also a lot a realignment of some of the foreign policy pronouncements, closer to what previous administrations have done and said
in the past. What's going on, do you think, here?
BLINKEN: You know, Hala, I think reality has a way of intruding. When you're president, when you start to get all of this incoming, you have to
be able to deal with it. And I think you realize pretty quickly that as powerful as the United States is, it can't handle these problems
effectively or as effectively alone.
We're much better off working with other countries and that means not alienating them especially when it comes to foreign policy. Shooting from
the lip or shooting from the tip of your finger is usually not a good idea.
GORANI: Right. So you think there's some sort of realization or is it, perhaps, I don't know, now that we have Mattis at defense and we have Rex
Tillerson as secretary of state, is it possible that you have some of their influence coming out now over the president?
BLINKEN: I hope that's the case. And look, you need all of these different players to have their seat at the table. To make sure their
voice is heard, that their equities are heard. That's how you have a rational foreign policy.
Secretary of Defense Mattis had a very good trip to Asia about a week ago, where he reassured a lot of partners who are concerned about a number of
the things that President Trump has said either as a candidate, as president-elect, or even as president. That's the direction they'll
hopefully continue to move it.
GORANI: One of the big issues, of course, hanging over the president is his, you know, national security adviser, Mike Flynn. There have been
reports that, perhaps, he wasn't entirely truthful with top officials, including the vice president, himself, about a conversation he had with a
Russian diplomat, before Donald Trump was inaugurated, about sanctions, which would have been a big, big problem.
That wasn't brought up at this news conference. Of course, the president called on only two U.S. journalists, both perhaps, you know, from outlets
that are more likely aligned with his ideology. So what should happen there, do you think? What should the American people be asking for, with
regards to the Flynn question?
BLINKEN: Well, look, Hala, there are a couple of concerns here. The first concern is this report that Mr. Flynn engaged in conversations with a
Russian ambassador to the United States, that, in effect, undermined the policy being pursued at the time by the Obama administration.
You know, we have a tradition of one president at a time. And if the reports are accurate, when the Obama administration sanctioned Russia for
its meddling in our elections, allegedly, Mr. Flynn had conversations with the Russians in which he said, never mind, don't worry about that, we'll
fix it when we come into office.
[15:15:12]Now, not only does that grossly undermine this principle that we've got up with president at a time, but it also begs the question, why
would he do that? Why would you be making amends with Russia after a very, very strong consensus emerged that they had interfered in --
GORANI: If it emerges that was the case, that that conversation took place, in those -- with those, you know, promises, perhaps, or, you know,
being made, what should then happen, do you think?
BLINKEN: Well, you know, Hala, the other side of this is that apparently, again, if the reports are to be believed, Mr. Flynn also told other senior
members of the administration, including the vice president, Vice President Pence, that he had not had these conversations with the Russians, that they
hadn't talked about sanctions.
And if that is true, then he has misled members of his own administration. So I think the administration needs to do two things. It needs to level
with the American people about what the substance of these conversations was, and it needs to level with itself, internally because you can't run an
administration when senior members are not being candid with each other.
That's a recipe for getting to a very bad place. So hopefully the administration will figure this out and will clear the air, so that
everyone knows what was said and what wasn't said. And if inappropriate things were said, it's up to the administration to draw the conclusions.
GORANI: Well, I guess, since Donald Trump didn't address it, we'll have to wait for the White House press briefing with Sean Spicer tomorrow. Thanks
very much, Tony Blinken, we appreciate it. Thanks for being on it.
To France now, where there are calls for calm after protests against police turned violent in the suburbs of Paris. The demonstrations have been going
on for days after a man said officers brutally assaulted him, police officers. Now, four officers have been charged with aggravated assault,
and one is also charged with rape. Melissa Bell has that story from Paris.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the first time that the violence had spread beyond the region. On Sunday, the suburb was
rocked by violent protests in the name of Theo, the young man who remains in the hospital after his alleged assault by police. Eleven people were
On Saturday, what began as a peaceful protest against police brutality degenerated into a night of violence directed at the police. By the
morning, 37 people had been arrested.
It all began on February 2nd in a suburban town. According to the prosecutor, 12 people were stopped for suspected drug dealing with one
resisting arrest. The man, Theo, was tear gassed and allegedly raped with a police baton. He needed emergency surgery.
Forty eight hours later, as details of the incident emerged, violence broke out in the town. Cars were burned, bus stops destroyed, and the town was
plunged into darkness after the public lighting system was sabotaged. From his hospital bed, Theo, who has not been charged, made this appeal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I just want to appeal for calm. I really hope they'll stop the hostilities, because I love my town and I
would like to find it the way I left it.
BELL: But violence continued to erupt in other towns in the region as the controversy grew, the policemen involved were suspended, pending the
investigation. Three were charged with assault and the fourth with rape. Their defense lawyers deny the charges and a police report has concluded
that the violence with the baton was accidental and the result of Theo's attempt to resist arrest.
In this election period, the case has now become political. Francois Hollande has visited Theo's bedside and all the presidential candidates
have expressed support, either for Theo or for the police.
On Saturday, as the protest turned violent, the far-right's Marine Le Pen tweeted, the French can no longer stand watching the destruction, burning
and sacking of all they have struggled to pay for with their taxes.
The socialist candidate, Benoit immediately accused her of fanning the flames of hatred. The spread of the protest on Sunday to another suburban
town will worry authorities who fear that the suburbs could descend into the sorts of violence that rocked them in 2005, when three weeks of
violence led to a state of emergency and nearly 3,000 arrests. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
GORANI: Well, a member of the U.S. president's inner circle is in hot water. This time over alleged dealings with Moscow. We'll look again and
in more detail at the case against Michael Flynn. And we'll hear Russia's response, just ahead.
Plus, one family grabbed just a change of clothes, water, and blankets as a water-ravaged spillway at America's tallest dam threatens their home. I'll
have that and much more when we come back.
GORANI: Let's talk more about that phone call between Mr. Trump's national security adviser and a Russian ambassador. And once again, Russia is
denying reports that the phone call contained any talk about lifting sanctions before the inauguration of Donald Trump. That would have been,
of course, a major no-no.
Now, even worse, reports that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn misled the vice president about whether sanctions were discussed is being -
- those reports are also floating around. Mike Pence went on national television and defended Flynn. Now it seems that may have been a mistake,
some are saying.
Flynn himself is not even denying the allegations anymore. OK, so what do we know? Let's go to Dan Merica. He's following this live from CNN
Washington. So, what -- what do we know was said in that phone call and what do we know Michael Flynn told top officials of the Trump
DAN MERICA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's not a lot of support for Michael Flynn coming out of the White House right now and what's remarkable about
this is that we're three weeks into the Trump presidency. This is a time when the president should be pushing his narrative, pushing what he wants
to do, having meetings with world leaders and not being bogged down about questions about his staffing, but Mike Flynn's hold on his job is tenuous,
The reason is he likely misled Vice President Mike Pence when he told the vice president that he didn't talk about sanctions. Now, you report
correctly that the Russians say that there was no talk, but a U.S. official tells CNN that there was, in fact, talk of sanctions back in December
between Flynn and the Russian ambassador and as you say, that's a no-no.
Because at the time, the Obama administration had just announced sanctions put on the Russians for their actions during the 2016 election. What
worries people the most about this is, it seems like it's a quid pro quo, a little wink and a nod, don't worry, don't freak out too much, we'll be in
office soon, and these sanctions will go away.
GORANI: What are we hearing from Flynn? Anything on that?
MERICA: You're not hearing much from Flynn. The people around him have gone into almost a bunker mentality, kind of hunkered down, hoping there
blows over. And they're getting some help with that, because President Trump has not been asked about this. He's had two press conferences, one
on Friday, and one today.
But the White House is picking and Trump is calling on some favorable or some outlets that aren't in necessarily the mainstream media, and they're
asking more about, you know, today they asked about the relationship between Canada and the United States, because Justin Trudeau is visiting.
But not once has Trumped been asked in these press conferences about Flynn. He was asked on Friday while flying to Florida about the controversy and he
denied knowing about it. We now know that's, you know, not true. That he's been grumbling to aides about it.
[15:25:03]But when asked on Sunday, Trump's top policy adviser basically said, I have nothing to say about that, didn't come to Flynn's defense.
GORANI: So best case scenario, we might get a question during the press briefing with Sean Spicer tomorrow?
MERICA: Yes, that is likely the next chance that the White House will have to react to this, and you would have to expect it would be the first
question asked. But, you know, Trump has not responded to it. And as I said, denied that he knew anything about it. And that is likely going to
help them kind of quell the story, but it's certainly, you know, the biggest story going on right now in politics and the Trump White House.
GORANI: Dan Merica, thanks very much, live in Washington. We appreciate it.
Engineers are slowly stabilizing the water-ravaged spillways of a dam in Northern California. This has caused widespread panic. Also, it's forced
hundreds of thousands of evacuations of people who live around the area. It's around Oroville Dam.
It had been bone dry from years of drought, but then more than 63 centimeters of rain since October have suddenly pushed it passed its
limits. Paul Vercammen explains how crews are trying to stem the tide -- Paul.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, success over my right shoulder. Can you see the cascading water coming out of Oroville Dam feeding into the
Feather River? That is actually a good sign. Because little by little, some of the pressure on this dam and its spillways is being alleviated.
And that's the strategy.
Now, not enough water released yet, safely, to end the mandatory evacuations, of almost 200,000 people in Oroville, Yuba City, Maryville,
the problem is, just too risky. One of the spillways here was compromised. It is earthen, and there's a hole in it.
What they're doing right now, they are taking big rocks, putting them in bags, and they're going to drop the bags into the hole in the spillway.
Coming up here, just some strange and eerie moments as you went through these small ghost cities as we look at Lake Oroville, they were completely
You would see some officers on the street, you would see gas stations, and the gas station's pumps would often be ringed with police tape or some
other type of tape. All an indication that there had been a run on gas and they were completely out as this chaotic and frantic evacuation took place
from these cities below the Oroville Dam.
There is another storm coming. They say this is going to be on Wednesday and the hope is they'll reduce this water level dramatically. Maybe about,
50 feet below the spill level, just not sure yet.
But for now, the mandatory evacuations are in place, and they are cautiously optimistic, here in Oroville and surrounding areas where they
were fearing a possibly catastrophic spillway collapse. Back to you now, Hala.
GORANI: Paul Vercammen, thanks very much.
Coming up ---
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know what's going to happen in a year and a half or two years from now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The travel ban that President Trump argues will keep terrorists out of America could keep doctors from some of the patients who need them
most. Stay with us.
15:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: The U.N. Security Council is set to meet soon to discuss North Korea's ballistic missile launch on Sunday. Pyongyang says
it was a new intermediate reach missile. Analysts say it's easier to launch than previous versions, which is worrying to many countries. North
Korea's ally, China, criticized the test but said it would not intervene.
An offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban and a group known as the Avengers of Waziristan have claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in the eastern
city of Lahore. A government spokesman says the blast went off at a protest, killing at least 14 people and wounding 59. Scenes of chaos you
see there in the aftermath. Pakistan's Prime Minister calls the attack cowardly, and he vows that the nation will stand against terrorism.
Four people have been killed by an avalanche at the French Alps ski resort of Tignes. Officials say the four men were in an off-piste area when the
avalanche buried them. The town's mayor says they were all French nationals.
They come from different ends of the political spectrum, but that hasn't stopped Donald Trump wanting to build bridges with the Canadian Prime
Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Over the weekend, the U.S. President's response to the North Korean missile launch was more diplomatic than some may have expected. So is Mr. Trump
shifting towards maintaining the status quo when it comes to foreign policy? And, if so, is that what his supporters want?
Joining me now is an academic who supported Donald Trump during his elective campaign and continues support for him in office. Mark Bauerlein
is a professor at Emory University, and he's in New York.
Thanks for joining us, Professor.
MARK BAUERLEIN, PROFESSOR, EMORY UNIVERSITY: I'm glad to be here.
GORANI: So you are a rare breed, I've got to say. An academic, a professor of English, at a very respected university, and also someone who
says Donald Trump is the right man for the job, the right man to be in the Oval Office. Why do you say that?
BAUERLEIN: Well, certainly, in academia, to be a conservative pretty much of any stripe puts you in a pretty small minority, especially if you're in
the humanities, which is where I am. And the Donald Trump support is an even smaller group. But my support for Donald Trump really came from some
of the deeper cultural positions that he expressed regarding the nation, regarding patriotism, his impatience with identity politics and political
And this, I think, was a very powerful draw for a lot of social and religious conservatives, people who believe in family values, that old-
fashioned expression that has been mocked so much. And we actually feel that we have been pretty demeaned, put down, denigrated in many areas of
American society for a long time. And to see a figure like Donald Trump come forward, who was a real fighter on these things, was very inspiring.
GORANI: But, Professor, let me ask you. Let me pick apart a little bit your answer here because I found several aspects of it really interesting.
On the one hand, you call him a patriot. OK. Many watched his interview with Bill O'Reilly, where he essentially said there is no, necessarily,
argument that would lead me to say that the U.S. is morally superior to Russia. He said there are many killers in the U.S., and that the United
States isn't, you know, so innocent, either. Many would've said, is that really the most patriotic thing to say?
What's your response to that? Because he's said things that have raised eyebrows in that respect, hasn't he?
BAUERLEIN: Well, I think you look at statements like that and put them in the big picture. I think that one can look at America and feel that, when
we were in the Cold War, we engaged in some difficult and problematic activities. In our past, any large country of our size and power is going
to commit policy errors and moral crimes.
[15:35:01] But we look at the full picture, and we see that the United States has been a tremendous force of good in the last two, two and a
quarter centuries in the world, and that it is an exceptional nation in world history, and that we believe that Donald Trump believes that as well.
GORANI: But he was putting Russia and the U.S. sort of on the same moral plane there. That angered many of his supporters.
BAUERLEIN: It did. And a lot of conservatives didn't like that. But again, politicians, they're in the interviews. They say a lot of things,
things come off the cuff.
BAUERLEIN: And I think Mr. Trump, one of his appeals, is that he's unscripted. You know, he's not just giving the ideological memes all the
GORANI: And the other thing you said is family values. I mean, why is Donald --
BAUERLEIN: I know.
GORANI: Why are Donald Trump's family values -- I mean, I'm sorry, but he was married three times. I mean, this is someone who was caught on a hot
mike boasting about, essentially, making, you know, moves on women without getting the green light from them, while he was married!
BAUERLEIN: Well, I think --
GORANI: How is that a family values man?
BAUERLEIN: Well, again, we see that in terms of American culture in the last 40, 50 years, since the sexual revolution forward. We see that those
family values have seriously deteriorated, with single parenthood rates up, so much. The traditional family being exploded in many different ways, in
portrayals on Hollywood and elsewhere, and we're willing to accept people's private foibles, that they often do not live out the values.
We all are that way. We're all fallen creatures, we believe. But that when it comes time to policy decisions and the actions of the federal
government, that we're going to see the hammer that has come down, for example, on religious institutions is going to be lifted for four years.
GORANI: So you're saying that the President doesn't have to embody those family values, just promise that, in the ways that are available to him,
within the broad spectrum of his powers, that it's sort of at least a goal that the White House will strive for.
But I've got to ask you one quick question about making America great again. It was obviously a slogan that was masterful. It worked great.
It's been picked up. The President continues to use it.
What about America needs to be made great again, if you look at almost by any metric? The United States is almost at full employment. It's, by far,
the largest military in the world, bigger than the nine military budgets combined that follow it.
What is it about America that is so absolutely terrible that Donald Trump needs to address, in your opinion?
BAUERLEIN: I'll leave the economic questions behind. That's not my expertise. But I will say about the cultural question, about the meaning
of America, really against the globalist, the internationalist perspective.
The more open borders, global citizenship, instead of American citizenship, is very appealing to many people. If you're an academic studying other
cultures, yes. If you fly over to Europe and visit, if you have international relations in business, that's just fine.
But if you're a person working in a rural America who doesn't travel very much, who is trying to hold on to a sense of America as your home, your
patriotism is very much part of the meaning of your life. You see the globalist agenda, and the discourse that goes along with it, as really a
form of ruthlessness happening to the country.
GORANI: So it's not making America great again. It's making America closed again. I mean, great implies that some --
BAUERLEIN: Making America home.
GORANI: Right, it is --
BAUERLEIN: I would say home again.
GORANI: But I don't understand why it's not home --
BAUERLEIN: It's a place you're being proud of.
GORANI: Right. But why not be proud of an America that's open? I guess I don't understand your logic there.
BAUERLEIN: Well, I think that when you make a country open, it begins to lose its identity. And I think we see this happening in Europe. When you
don't have a place that is burrowing upon its past, when you have all these new influences coming in, altering the meaning of America -- and look,
let's face it. This is what much of the progressive, multi-culturist agenda wants to do, to change America.
Remember what Barack Obama said. We're going to transform this country. That's his agenda. That's fine. Let's understand it, though, for what it
is, and understand that many people feel uncomfortable with that.
GORANI: But when you say, let's put economics to the side, this is really, by any measure, how you can judge whether or not a country is doing well.
And by all of these metrics, for instance, when Donald Trump says, we're going to bring jobs back, America is practically at full employment. We're
going to make America's military great again. It has a military budget of $600 billion a year.
[15:40:02] Where in that list of things does America need more help? So if what you're saying is it's about multi-culturalism, about openness, we need
to go back to a time when borders, you know, kept more people out. I mean, I guess, that's what I'm hearing from you.
BAUERLEIN: Well, one, I think there is much more to life than economic measures. I think there's much more to the health of a country than
monetary yardsticks for it.
When I say in my classes, I mentioned "Huckleberry Finn," and this is a very strong university, Emory University, and not one student in the class
has heard of it, this is a big problem. When I mention Thelonious Monk, the great jazz musician in mid-20th century, none of the kids have heard of
This is part of the great American tradition that is being lost. The American past is not being sustained. I mean, I'm talking about the
founding, the antebellum, the abolitionist movement, the slavery, the civil war, everything else. It seems like we're looking so much ahead, we're
opening America up again to the global perspective that we don't have the American meanings anymore, again, that give value to a lot of people's
GORANI: Mark Bauerlein, thanks very much, a professor at Emory University. We appreciate you joining us on the program this evening.
BAUERLEIN: Thank you.
GORANI: All right. We were talking about borders. We were talking about globalization. With the future of the travel ban unclear, some immigrants
living in the United States feel as though they are in limbo now, unsure what might happen if they choose to leave the country.
Now, a pediatrician from Syria who lives in South Dakota says he's afraid he may be forced to leave his patients behind if he travels abroad and
can't get back into the U.S. Here's his story.
DR. ALAA AL NOFAL, PEDIATRIC ENDOCRINOLOGIST, SANFORD CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: South Dakota is considered an underserved area, where there is a shortage
of physicians, so that's why international physicians are welcome here.
JORDAN MALTER, CNNMONEY VIDEO PRODUCER: It's winter in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
NOFAL: I was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. I went to medical school back home in Damascus, graduated in 2008, and came to continue my education
here in the United States.
MALTER: Today, Dr. Alaa al Nofal is a pediatric endocrinologist at the castle -inspired Sanford Children's Hospital and Medical Clinic, serving
patients from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.
NOFAL: All right, young lady.
So I have patients who travel hundreds of miles to come see me, and there are many patients who I travel to go see.
CINDY MORRISON, VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC POLICY, SANFORD HEALTH: We also use airplanes to get physicians out into those rural communities when the
distance is significant.
MALTER: But there's one place al Nofal is hesitant to fly to, out of the U.S. to see relatives. President Donald Trump's executive order bars
citizens of seven Muslim majority countries, including Syria, from entering into the United States.
With that order in legal limbo, al Nofal is afraid he may be forced to leave his patients behind if he travels abroad and can't get back into the
U.S. That's because he's not a U.S. citizen.
Al Nofal is here on a special J-1 visa waiver, a specific but important program that allows about 1,500 international physicians each year to
temporarily work in underserved areas of the country.
MORRISON: He is significant to this part of the country because he treats a lot of children who have Type 1 diabetes, and he is one of only five
full-time pediatric endocrinologists in North Dakota and South Dakota.
NOFAL: OK? That make sense?
ELMA DELIBASIC, 16-YEAR-OLD PATIENT: Yes.
NOFAL: Questions for me?
What they did not consider is that this executive order is not going to affect just people of the seven countries, it's also going to affect the
people in the United States, people in rural America.
MALTER: In a comment to CNN MONEY, the State Department said, "Exceptions to the travel and visa ban could be issued on a case-by-case basis, if it
is in the national interest." But they did not specify if a doctor shortage in a rural area would be considered.
NOFAL: And that's what worries us because we don't know what's going to happen in a year and a half or two years from now. If things don't work
out, we might need to move outside the United States.
ALYSSA AL NOFAL, WIFE OF DR. ALAA AL NOFAL: For our family, it really disappoints me that this was done because it's teaching my son that people
from these countries are threats. I don't want him growing up thinking that people from Syria, that his family, are threats because they're not.
GORANI: There you have it. I want to bring you up to date on that case, the suspension of the travel ban by a circuit court in Washington State.
Now, this is expected and it has happened. The Department of Justice is essentially telling the court they would like to postpone proceedings while
a larger panel of judges on the 9th Circuit Court decides whether or not to re-hear the case.
[15:45:00] You'll remember that a judge on that court suspended the travel ban. And there were arguments on either side, and that judge has asked
both the Department of Justice and the state of Washington to submit briefs by 3:00 p.m. Eastern, which was 45 minutes ago. Now the government, as
expected, has said they would like to postpone these proceedings while a larger panel of judges decides on the case.
We'll continue to keep our eye on this. It's starting to get a little bit complicated, but essentially, now, we press the pause button. The
Department of justice is saying, postpone this, and then we'll revisit the case after that panel of judges has reconsidered the case, the wider panel.
We'll bring you more on this as information becomes available. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
Stay with us on CNN. We'll be right here for you.
GORANI: Well, as stars are out in force in L.A. for the biggest night in music, the Grammys, there was one big winner. Can you guess who it was?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CELINE DION, SINGER: And the Grammy goes to "Hello."
ADELE, SINGER: Hello from the other side --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Adele swept the top awards. She won Song and Record of the Year for "Hello" and Album of the Year for "25." And she wasn't the only one
putting on a show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEYONCE, SINGER: Caught up in your permanent emotions. And all the loving I've been giving goes unnoticed. Floating in the air. Lookie there. Are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: She went home with two awards, including Best Video for "Formation."
Well, it has spent months lampooning, first, the candidate then the President. Now, it looks like "Saturday Night Live" is getting its own
Trump bump. The President's impersonator in chief, Alec Baldwin, returned as host, giving the show its highest ratings in six years.
On the show, Trump's travel ban got its day in court, in television court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CECILY STRONG, ACTRESS: All right. Mr. Trump, do you have one legitimate reason we need this ban?
ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Of course, I do. It's so simple. The bad people, they're pouring in and you see them. And it's ISIS and San Bernardino and
I mean, look, at Chicago. It's hell. There are bad dudes coming in here, bad hombres, bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Bring in Frank Pallotta. He's in New York.
Now, first of all, viewership numbers, unbelievable for "SNL."
FRANK PALLOTTA, CNNMONEY MEDIA REPORTER: Incredible. Look at it this way. Saturday night's show was the highest rating in six years. It got a better
rating than the actual Trump when he hosted in 2015. And when you add in people watching --
GORANI: Oh, he's not going to like that! He's not going to like that.
PALLOTTA: I know. My Twitter mentions just are about to explode.
PALLOTTA: And then when you add in the people watching within a full week, it has the biggest viewership in 22 years. It's just, in a way, Alec
Baldwin and Donald Trump have made "SNL" great again.
[15:50:10] GORANI: Yes. Now, I have to say, my favorite skit is still, even on week two, even though -- and there she is -- Melissa McCarthy as
Sean Spicer. I mean, it is absolute genius, honestly. It is just the funniest thing.
And I don't know if it's just journalists who think that because of the interaction between her character and the journalists, but I just think
PALLOTTA: I think journalists like it a little bit more because we're a recurring character in it. I mean, they have Glenn Thrush of "The New York
Times," who's a recurring character.
PALLOTTA: He's played by Bobby Moynihan. And it's really kind of funny to see. I didn't like this week's version as much as last week's.
GORANI: Oh, yes?
PALLOTTA: But that wasn't to say that this week's wasn't great. It's just last week's was such a surprise and was one of the best sketches they've
done in years.
PALLOTTA: This was like kind of a continuation of that but had a lot of great moments, such as her taking out a huge big piece of gum and like
shoving it all in her mouth. And the motorized podium that they drove right into the press corps.
GORANI: It was kind of --
PALLOTTA: You got to give a lot of credit to them. It was great.
GORANI: It was last week's gimmicks but amplified. I agree with you, there wasn't anything necessarily new, but I just thought it was so funny
the first time. It was kind of nice to see it a second time.
All right. Let's talk again, Frank, perhaps next week, after "Saturday Night Live" comes up with some new skits. We'll see what they have in
GORANI: Well, Alec Baldwin may have been impersonating Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" a little too well. A newspaper in the Dominican
Republic ran this picture on Friday, right beside a story about Israeli settlements.
Now, can you see where the problem lies here? The caption identified the man on the left as Donald Trump, President of the United States, except it
wasn't. It was Baldwin. The newspaper has apologized.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: Traditionally, food vendors in Thailand wrap their goods in banana leaves. Now, plastic and Styrofoam are the norm. But some clever
companies are creating some alternative. Universal Biopack uses a unique technology to create zero waste.
Saima Mohsin has our story.
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you're not familiar with cassava starch, you might know it as tapioca flour instead. And it's the
main ingredient in Universal Biopack's recipe for a remarkable material.
The company says its products are 100 percent natural and biodegradable. They'll dissolve in room temperature water within a week, leaving zero
SUTHEP VICHAKYOTHIN, FOUNDER, UNIVERSAL BIOPACK: The cassava starch, we use the same as they do the noodle. So it's food grade. But for the
bamboo fabric, we use the waste from the chopstick. We have to bring the bamboo to clean it up. This bamboo fabric is helping to make the product
more strong and rigid.
MOHSIN (voice-over): Suthep Vichakyothin wasn't always in this business. For roughly two decades, this factory churned out compact discs. But with
little demand for CDs, he's decided to devote the entire facility to disposable dishware and eco-friendly packaging.
[15:55:09] Suthep hopes to have a semi-automated assembly line up and running last year.
VICHAKYOTHIN: We love the material. That's why we no give up. And we believe we might find a way to match between the economic and product and
MOHSIN (voice-over): Getting to this point has been a labor of love for Suthep and his daughter, Vara-Anong Vichakyothin. She's the company's
Vara-Anong says she was inspired by a scuba diving trip when she noticed the damage being done by pollution.
VARA-ANONG VICHAKYOTHIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, UNIVERSAL BIOPACK: I think, every day, we create a lot of waste already from our daily lifestyle. So
if there's anything that we can do to give back and help the Earth, I think this is the most of what we can do.
MOHSIN (voice-over): Asian nations contribute the majority of plastic pollution clogging waterways. Plastic does not biodegrade.
Bangkok, dubbed Venice of the East, is crisscrossed by rivers and canals. The city faces an everyday struggle to keep its waterways clean. And one
holiday in particular poses an extra challenge.
Loy Krathong is celebrated in November by floating an offering, traditionally, out of banana leaves but increasingly made from plastic or
V. VICHAKYOTHIN: We come up with the biodegradable Krathong that use our material and then we come up with the design to make it more like a lotus.
So it's not only beautiful, but it's eco-friendly.
MOHSIN (voice-over): Vara-Anong says she hopes to find more innovative uses for UBPack's materials to expand its use and contribute to a cleaner
GORANI: This has been THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thanks for watching.
I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you same time, same place tomorrow with more of the news. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next on CNN.