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Lawsuit Filed After Travelers Detained At Airport; Trump Speaking With Putin This Hour; Iran Says It Will Ban U.S. Citizens In Response; Attorney; Trump Order "Wreaking Havoc" On Refugees; Rep. Nadler says There Are 12 People Being Held at JFK Airport; Using Music To Teach Math; One Man Released From JFK After Being Detained. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired January 28, 2017 - 12:00   ET


[12:00:03] WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ivanka Trump, very popular here in Japan, very highly regarded. She actually met the prime minister when he went to New York for that unofficial meeting at Trump Tower.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Largely popular because of her fashions and it being very, you know, popular among the Japanese public fare and overall, are they saying while they love Ivanka Trump, are they saying overall what they think about Donald Trump?

RIPLEY: The reason why people seem to love Ivanka Trump here is because a lot of Japanese women look up to her as an example of somebody who can stand up to a very strong, authoritative father and yet also balance motherhood and a career and look glamorous doing it.

There was a kind of some of the ideals that many Japanese women value and so it's actually been written about extensively in the press here. A lot of people would love to see her be the ambassador for Japan. That's how well respected she is.

Many Japanese love Ivanka Trump. Still the jury out about what they think about President Trump.

WHITFIELD: All right, Will Ripley, thank you so much in Tokyo. Appreciate it. The next hour of the "CNN NEWSROOM" starts right now.

Hello again, everyone. Thanks so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right, President Trump and his administration are facing new legal challenges after signing that controversial executive order. It bars many people from entering the U.S.

Moments ago, the president spoke with one of the biggest champions of asylum seekers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This is new video of him on the phone, just into CNN.

Meantime at JFK Airport in New York, two Iraqis, who had been granted visas are being detained after arriving in New York last night. One worked with the U.S. government in Iraq. Another visiting his wife and child. They have now filed a lawsuit saying their detention at the airport is illegal.

In Cairo, Egypt, some passengers with airline tickets for the U.S. turned away at the gate. An airport official telling CNN, quote, "This is a new era we are witnessing," end quote.

And tech giant, Google, has issued emergency policy changes for some of their international employees, telling them to cancel travel abroad, even if it affects urgent business.

Trump suspended the entry of more than 134 million people from seven mostly Middle Eastern, some African countries for at least 90 days. Refugees from Syria will be blocked from entering the U.S. indefinitely and the entire U.S. refugee program is suspended for four months.

Let's bring in Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, one of the organizations filing a lawsuit against Trump's executive order. Thanks so much for being with me.


WHITFIELD: So has the suit been filed? What's the legal argument you're making?

HINCAPIE: Yes. We filed a lawsuit earlier this morning. The National Immigration Law Center joined forces with the International Refugee Assistance Project along with the ACLU and the Yale Law School Clinic. We joined forces because the International Refugee Assistance Project had started learning yesterday throughout the day that refugee families that were arriving in different ports of the country were being detained because of the executive order.

And specifically we filed a lawsuit on behalf of two individuals from Iraq who arrived at JFK last night and were detained by the border patrol.

What's at stake here is what President Trump has done is unconscionable and unconstitutional. The fact that we are detaining -- one, the fact that the entire refugee program has been suspended and to that indefinitely even Syrians aren't going to be allowed.

These two individual Iraqi plaintiffs that we filed on behalf really exemplify individuals who actually have helped the United States government in the war in Iraq and should not be detained and should be released so that they can be reunited with their family and find --

WHITFIELD: So mostly your biggest argument is that they are being detained even though they've been through the process, but wouldn't it be the discretion of a president by way of executive order in which to change a policy such as a refugee policy or no?

HINCAPIE: So there are a couple of things, specifically with these two individuals and we have filed and are seeking class certification, a class action lawsuit, because we do believe that there are many other individuals, including we're even hearing that lawful permanent residents, people with green cards, who are trying to reenter the United States are also being detained. Each of those actions are unconstitutional.

Yes, the president has -- a president has a lot of executive authority in terms of executive orders, but to completely restrict an entire country, such as Syria or in this situation countries which we believe -- this is a back door Muslim ban, which is what President Trump has been saying or arguing he would do throughout his election.

WHITFIELD: And that was a promise or an argument meanwhile on the campaign trail, was it your feeling or perhaps the feeling of some of your colleagues that that was just campaign talk and that is not something that would not come to fruition if he were elected and sworn in as president?

HINCAPIE: Unfortunately, we at the National Immigration Law Center took those threats very serious. We started preparing even before Election Day and started doing our legal research. So for the last couple of months since he was elected, we've been preparing for what could be unconstitutional actions.

What has been announced this week by President Trump and his administration in terms of the different types of executive orders really show extremist policies? They're expensive, they're ineffective and they're dangerous for our country, and they're placing in danger people who are the most vulnerable around the world who are seeking refuge in our country.

WHITFIELD: All right, Marielena Hincapie, thank you so much for your time.

HINCAPIE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, let's talk about this temporary immigrant and refugee ban with our panel. Joining me now, Salena Zito is a CNN contributor, a reporter for "The Washington Examiner" and a columnist for the "New York Post." Also with me is CNN political commentator, Ryan Lizza who is also a Washington correspondent for the "New Yorker," Nic Robertson, CNN international diplomatic editor and with me here in studio is Page Pate, who is a criminal defense attorney and a constitutional attorney.

All right, good to see all of you. All right, Salena, let me begin with you. We're hearing all kinds of words such as ineffective, dangerous, deplorable, what are you hearing from people in your reporting on the potential consequences of this executive order?

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This morning I went out and talked to people. A lot of what people said that they were -- people that voted for him had that sort of wait and see attitude to see exactly what it means. They're not quite sure they understand what the scope of the executive order is. So they have more of a wait-and-see kind of attitude. What was interesting to me is when I talked to people that supported Clinton or Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, they're mad at us because they think that our profession has created so much noise that they don't understand what they should be worried, what is outrage and what is not. That's the commentary across the Ohio and Pennsylvania area.

WHITFIELD: And so Ryan, these lawsuits now, so far about three that we have talked about specifically on our air this morning, calling this ban unconstitutional, also calling the practices of the detainment unconstitutional. How, if at all, would this impact President Trump politically, particularly as members of Congress will now look at whether he overextended himself by not consulting with Congress in now 14 executive orders in one week in office?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, and look, I think it's important to distinguish between the different executive orders. Some of the executive orders, frankly, are more like a press release, a statement of Trump's budgetary and legislative priorities. They don't have much impact.

For instance, the Obamacare executive order, I think most experts agree there's not a big impact there. Even the accompanying executive order yesterday about the military. It was basically a statement of principles, of where he wants to take defense policy, but it didn't have any teeth. But there are --

WHITFIELD: This one is consequential.

LIZZA: This is very, very extremely consequential probably the most consequential one so far and from the legal community I've seen so far, it does seem that he has very broad discretion in this area as president. It's not like other areas where he needs Congressional approval.

So if Congress really finds this as offensive as a lot a people do, it's going to take the House and the Senate, Republican leadership in the House and Senate speaking up about this. Remember, Mike Pence during the campaign very famously said that a Muslim ban was -- I'm paraphrasing, but --

WHITFIELD: I've got it right here. This is from December 8th and he says, Mike Pence as vice president-elect says, "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional." And now after the swearing in, is Mike Pence still feeling this way?

LIZZA: Well, it seems like he's --

WHITFIELD: We haven't heard anything.

LIZZA: A lot of it -- and obviously there's going to be a debate about whether this is technically a Muslim ban or not, right? There's certainly a religious test embedded in this executive order because it prioritizes one religion over another in terms of where they are on the line in coming into the United States. So I think Republicans have to speak up on this. Those are the people who have the most credibility and can actually have some impact in Congress to be totally frank.

[12:10:10]WHITFIELD: Right. So officially unclear whether the vice president is in step with what the president's order is saying, even though in December 8th, he said it was offensive and unconstitutional.

OK, so Nic, the U.S. needs allies around the world, whether it be, you know, battling ISIS or simply to have some congruency on a number of things from trade and business, et cetera. This kind of executive order in your view, how will that impact our relations particularly as it pertains to other Muslim nations?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, even on a more sort of fundamental level where we talk about, you know, the alliance and the similarity of views that exist between Europe and the United States where pretty much it could rule sort on the same page, on the same track.

I think this stretches that relationship a lot because what it does is on the one hand, it enables groups like ISIS and that propaganda message that the United States is targeting Muslims. ISIS is a very strong and real threat in Europe as are concerns here in the United States as well.

But it goes beyond that. I mean, President Trump has made it clear that he is ambivalent about the European Union and the strength of it. That he supports the Brexit and there are politicians in Europe at the moment in countries like Holland, France, Germany where there are elections this year that absolutely take this current message that they see in this action.

We hear from (inaudible) today in Holland, elections there in two months, the most popular politician in Holland at the moment saying, "I support this banning Muslims," those are his words, banning Muslims.

I would go further than that in other countries. So for the Europeans, they see actions like this as upsetting the European political order. They fear already President Trump is trying to, if you will, break up the European Union and have more countries like Britain leave the European Union and enable nationalist, populist politicians like (inaudible), Marine Le Pen in France.

And this for Europe is a concern. So even at this level where you have this very strong historic alliance. We talked about NATO. We talked about the meeting of minds between Europe and the United States. It begins the test that fundamental theory, that fundamental understanding. It's a big concern in Europe at the moment.

WHITFIELD: And then Paige, you are seeing at least two avenues in which this executive order will be contested, legal constitutionally. You have members of Congress who may argue that the president has gone too far without consulting based on some precedent, and then you, of course, are seeing these lawsuits from attorneys who were saying people are being illegally detained.

PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's right. Well, the first problem and the more immediate problem is you have people locked up based on this executive order. The lawsuit challenges their detention saying basically, you can't lock these folks up based only on the executive order. You have to show that they violated some law and there's no evidence that they did.

The second problem is the order itself. Is it constitutional to ban an entire group of people from a particular country, particular background, or particular religion? When Congress wrote the immigration laws, they put in a nondiscriminatory provision, saying with some exceptions, you can't ban someone based upon their religion or their national origin or their race.

If this executive order changes that, it's kind of rewriting the law and that's something the president cannot do.

WHITFIELD: OK. All right, to all of you, thank you so much. We are not done talking about this. This really is just the beginning. Salena Zito, Ryan Lizza, Nic Robertson, Page Pate, appreciate it.

All right, coming up, President Trump speaking to five world leaders today. He's talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin right now. The high stakes involved in that much anticipated phone call next.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. So this hour, President Donald Trump speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We understand right here, these pictures of Trump and Putin on the phone. So despite Trump's previous remarks that he would be open to lifting Russian sanctions imposed by President Obama, White house officials say the current plan is to not lift sanctions.

Last hour, Trump spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The president has a total of five phone calls scheduled today with foreign leaders. At 3:00, Trump will sign two executive orders. That's our understanding as well. Details of what they may cover have yet to be released.

Let's go now to CNN's Athena Jones at the White House. Very busy Saturday, Athena, so are we getting any more details about the content of the conversation with Putin?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. You're right. It is a very busy Saturday. It might as well be a weekday with so much going on here. That call with Putin is just getting under way. You saw that video. We know of course that Vice President Mike Pence is also on that phone call with the Russian president.

It's the only one of the five phone calls you listed that the vice president is expected to take part. Also in the room for that call is Reince Priebus, the president's chief of staff, Steve Bannon, a top adviser. Sean Spicer was in the room, the White House press secretary while the press pool was in there, and also his national security adviser, General Michael Flynn.

So a lot going on in that phone call. We'll have to wait and see what comes out of it. Of course, one of the big topics on everyone's mind is that issue of sanctions, whether or not the president would decide to lift sanctions imposed on Russia for incursion into Ukraine.

As you've just indicated, White House officials have said that that's not the plan. The president himself said it was too early to be talking about that. In many ways, a lot of these calls are introductory preliminary calls.

It's the president's first opportunity to begin to develop a relationship with these world leaders. We are still waiting on the read out from that call with Angela Merkel. One thing interesting there is that Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany knows Vladimir Putin has had a lot of interaction with him.

So it will be interesting to find out whether she perhaps advised President Trump on anything regarding the Russian president. The first call of the day was with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. And we know from the read out of that call that the president invited the prime minister to come here to the White House for meetings on February 10th.

We also know they discussed North Korea, the U.S.' iron clad commitment to Japan's security and the fact that Defense Secretary James Madison will be traveling to the region including Japan. So a lot going on today -- Fred.

[12:20:05]WHITFIELD: Indeed. All right, thank you so much, Athena Jones. Keep us posted. Appreciate it.

All right, so Trump's phone call with Putin could set the scene for future U.S.-Russian relations perhaps? For the view from Moscow, let's bring in CNN senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance.

So Matthew, what's the understanding of potential consequences, benefits or otherwise of this phone call there?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's incredible, isn't it? I can't remember a time when a phone call between a Russian and American president has been so anticipated and we don't what the contents are. I mean, there is a lot of speculation about what it could involve.

Certainly, the kremlin has been playing down any expectations that this call is going to be the pivotal moment in the U.S.-Russian relationship, which is, of course, has been very rocky over various issues over the past couple of days.

Saying that they don't expect substantial issues to be discussed. The Kremlin is saying this is just an opportunity for Putin to congratulate Donald Trump on becoming the U.S. president. Others though in the Russian legislature and the Russian establishment have got a very different view, one leading senator here, (inaudible), saying that this conversation will give a new beginning to the fight against the Islamic State and a solution to the crises in Syria and Ukraine.

He says that of all these diplomatic phone calls that are being made today by President Trump, this is by far the most important one. I don't think anyone, though, is expecting this phone call to result in all of the sanctions that were imposed by the United States against Russia to be lifted, particularly after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 for various reasons.

At least of which is would provoke potentially a backlash in the U.S. Congress. But there is some expectation, I've spoken to diplomats about this and people in the financial markets here in Russia, there is some expectation that there may be move towards this.

For instance, reducing or rolling back the most recent sanctions that we imposed by President Obama in the last few days really of his administration over the December period over the issue of alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. election.

Trump, of course, doesn't agree with the fundamental basis of those sanctions and those could be well backed and probably wouldn't be the kind of backlash into Congress.

But this conversation, as we understand it, coming from the White House, not any confirmation from the kremlin. "This conversation on the telephone is currently underway and when that's over, we're hoping to get a briefing probably from both sides from the White House and from the Kremlin, a read out on what exactly was discussed -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Matthew Chance, thank you so much from Moscow. Appreciate that.

And now the fallout continues, we've already been reporting on lawsuits being filed calling it unconstitutional, the president's executive order of banning nationals from some seven mostly Muslim nations around the world from entering the U.S. effective nearly immediately.

And now this breaking news, Iran announcing it will ban U.S. citizens in response to this immigration ban and this directive coming from the new president of the United States.

Iran has described President Donald Trump's order as, quote, "An insult, a gift to extremists" and announced that it's government, Iran would install reciprocal measures banning U.S. citizens," according to a Foreign Ministry statement published on state media.

And I'm reading now, quote, "The U.S. decision to restrict travel of Muslims to the U.S. even if for a temporary period of three months is an obvious insult to the Islamic world and in particular to the great nation of Iran." That statement now directing that quote. We are just getting this information and of course, we'll bring more as we learn it, and we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I want to update you now on this breaking news. Iran saying it will ban U.S. citizens from entering the country in response to President Trump's new travel ban. His executive order now saying nationals from seven, mostly Muslim nations, Iran being one of them will not be welcomed into the U.S. effective immediately.

I want to bring in CNN Washington correspondent, Ryan Nobles, and CNN Pentagon reporter, Ryan Brown. So Ryan Nobles, to you first at the White House. Any response? This of course just happening. There are seven nations, Iran is one of them, and now Iran putting out this statement.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The White House hasn't directly responded to this news that the Iranian government has decided to limit Americans from entering their country. But the Iranian government did say that it is a direct response to the Trump administration's decision to ban entry to the United States from these seven Muslim-majority countries.

Fredricka, what this really shows, though, is the direct and immediate impact that this executive order is having in addition to responses from other countries. We can expect to see more in the coming days and weeks. It's also having a real impact on human beings as well.

If you're someone who is from one of those seven countries and you have plans to travel to the United States, even if you had a valid visa, you would be turned away.

If you happened to be on a plane en route to the United States before the executive order was signed, but you land after the executive order has been signed, many of these people being put on planes and sent back to the homes of their original citizenship.

So this is something, you know, Fredricka, that Donald Trump promised he was going to do. We didn't know what exact form it was going to come in, but this is essentially his administration making good on a campaign promise here in the early days of them taking power.

WHITFIELD: And folks just getting familiarized with this story, we're talking about Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran, the seven nations where nationals from those nations are being banned entry into the U.S.

So Ryan Brown, we're talking about U.S. interest that are in a number, U.S. military personnel in places like Yemen, Libya, as well as Iraq. What kind of response is coming from the Pentagon and concerns or how might this impact decisions this day forward involving U.S. military personnel?

[12:30:05] RYAN BROWN, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: Well, that's right. I mean, one of the things that was actually in a draft of this executive order that actually didn't make it to the final cut was an issue of establishing safe zones in Syria for refugees.

So the Pentagon was kind of I think a little bit happy to see that they're not making in the final order. But on these other issues, I mean as you said the Iranians called it a difficult too extremists. And there are some concerns that this kind of thing could damage little bit U.S. credibility in the region, could kind of be motivating factor for groups like ISIS, they could use it in their propaganda.

There are concerns expressed bu that. There's also some concerns in terms when it comes to recruiting people like translators, you know, here's a question of whether or not his probation would effect people, you know, special program for translators who help U.S. troops in Iraq, whether or not that program will be affect is question there.

So with regards to Pentagon concerns, there's a little bit on some of the more nuance issues of this order. But the Pentagon is paying a lot of attention.

WHITFIELD: And so, you know, Ryan Browne, you know, already we're seeing as it relates to translators. We know reportedly, I just talk to attorney at the top of 11:00 hour, attorney of two Iraqis who are being held in JFK. Among them a translator who works closely with U.S. military while in Iraq, he and his family, lives have been threatened. He went through the extensive refugee emergency, you know, status, filing for a Visa, waited 2 years and now stock at JFK.

So as we know just exemplified by these two cases, it has and is impacting someone is worked closely with the U.S. military for U.S. interest aborad.

BROWNE: Well, that's right. And the Pentagon hasn't addressed these cases individually yet. I mean this program is actually administer by the state department to bringing in the translators under this, as you said this vetting program.

And so the Pentagon hasn't commented publicly on this but in the past military commanders said that when these Visa programs are held up, when they're delayed, this does kind of hurt U.S. credibility in the region and does affect to a certain degree the ability to recruit. These critical translators are, you know, necessary when it comes to engaging with local forces and advising troops on the ground fighting ISIS. So, this could have a definite down range impact on U.S. military operations.

WHITFIELD: And Ryan noble, this is a new administration but we're talking about 14 executive orders in a week. It's White House has expect the fair would be some criticism or concern as it pertains to this latest executive order involving nationals from seven mostly Muslim nations.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm not so sure Fredricka that they are concerned at all about the criticism. As I said before, this is something that they campaign on. This is something that they firmly believe, that something that needs to be put in place, to protect American citizens. But you're right.

The response from Democrats has been swift and harsh. I want to give you a couple of example. One comes from Senator Chris Murphy who is a Democrat from Connecticut. He actually tweeted of that heartbreaking picture of a young Syrian boy. The body of that boy that were shared widely on social media and then said along with it to my colleagues, don't ever lecture me again on American world leadership if you choose to be silent today.

And, you know, we blurt out the picture of the young by but that's the tweet that was send out today. This shows Fredricka that Democrats aren't going means word in their criticism. They've outright called it a Muslim ban even though the White House doesn't describe it at such. And they're not going to back down. What ability they will to have to stop something like this at least legislatively is probably not very much because they don't control either the House of the Senate. But you're going to expect this to play in a court of law for sure.

WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Nobles, Ryan Browne. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

BROWNE: You bet.

NOBLES: Thank you.

[12:33:45] WHITFIELD: We'll have much more after this.


WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. President Trumps most recent executive order suspends the entire U.S. refugee program and ban people from 7 Muslim majority countries. Now refugee families are pleading with Trump urging him to remember the people affected by the policy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through Translator): We send a message to President Trump as a helpless people who want to stay away from terrorism and war, away from all these problem. We want to live in peace. We do not want to go to the United States to carry out terrorist operations. We are against terrorism. Our religion, Islam, is a religion of peace, not of terrorism or killing.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Rachel Crane joining us live now. So Rachel, what do you know particularly about the particularly there are two men here at JFK now. Two people who are being detained there, not allowed entry. What more can you say?

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, we just learned from a Congressman Nadler that 12 people are currently being detained here at JFK as a result of this executive order. Now in regards to that lawsuit that was filed today, it was filed on behalf of two Iraqi men who have been detained here at JFK for over 15 hours now.

Now before the executive order was tends that they were legally allowed to come into the U.S. one of them have been issued a special immigrant Visa. Now that's a Visa that is granted to people that work on behalf of the U.S., work U.S. arm forces. This gentleman had worked as interpreter for 10 years with the U.S.

Now the other gentleman was granted refugee status recently. His family had been granted refugee status about two years ago but he had gone through that, exhaustive vetting process and had been granted refugee status recently. Now CNN had the opportunity to speak to one of the lawyers that working on this lawsuit.

Take a listen to what he had to say.


VOICE OF MARK DOSS, SUPERVISING ATTORNEY, THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE ASSISTANCE PROJECT: I mean, this order is unconstitutional. It's wreaking havoc on the lives of refugees who are trying to reunite their families and their loved ones. So we filed this emergency little motion to prevent the U.S. government who's spending back our clients and individuals like them. You know back into the danger that they fled from. That we are doing everything we can to release them and (inaudible) that they are able to live peacefully here in the United States, which is supposed to welcome on Refugees (inaudible).


CRANE: Now, that lawyer, are also told me that he had been here since 1:00 a.m. And now when the legal team spoke to customs and border control, the customs and boarder patrol officials trying to gain access to their clients saying, who could we speak to? We need to talk to our clients -- custom and boarder patrol officials told them to speak to Donald Trump. Fred.

[12:39:42] WHITFIELD: All right, Rachel Crane. Thank you so much at JFK in New York.

We'll have much more after this.



MARCUS BLACKWELL, JR. EDUCATOR: I played the piano since I was five years old. But math was a struggle to me. I wanted to prove to myself that math wouldn't beat me. And I knew I already had the music background. I needed that math confidence for myself to be able to, one day, connected.

I'm Marcus Blackwell, Jr. and this is Make Music Count. Make Music Count is a 10-week curriculum that we sold to schools, that's thought by learning how to play the piano. We learn how to play popular songs by solving math equations.

On the piano, we have you're white keys and black keys. C and then the note C sharp. That movement is called a half step movement from C to C sharp. C plus half, which was you would move half step and where you end up is C sharp, your answer.

One of great takeaways is the students, in most cases, have never played the piano before. But we're able to teach them a new concept by acquiring this math subjects here.

Yeah. And that's what I think successive. All right guys, give yourself a hand.


WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back, this breaking news coming in. Iran now saying it will ban U.S. citizens from entering the country in response to President Trump's new travel ban, involving Muslim nationals out of seven nations.

I want to bring in CNN senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, from Istanbul. So how is all of this being received?

[12:45:05] BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not surprisingly, the Iranian government has reacted angrily to this temporary ban. The foreign ministry putting out a statement, I'll read a bit of it for you. He say -- the statement says, "This is an obvious insult to the Islamic world and in particular to the great nation of Iran."

It also calls this a gift to extremists, which is something I've heard from people in Iraq as well, as well as Syrian refugees here in Turkey. It appears that this measure to heighten the level of security, sort of the measures against people trying to get to the United States, refugees and others is a bit like taking a sledge hammer to fix a Swiss watch.

Certainly, there's obviously ways to improve the current system but it appears that many people are perceiving this executive order and simply throwing it out the window all together. And already we're starting to see the reaction. I've also heard from parliamentarians in Baghdad who say they would like to implement similar measures as well the Iraqi government has made a decision on this. But it's highly problematic when you consider, Fredricka, that there are more than 5,000 U.S. military personnel currently in Iraq supporting the Iraqi government and its war to drive ISIS, the terrorists out of their country.

WHITFIELD: And that was an agreement largely crafted by the Iraqi government. And that is the difference, too.

WEDEMAN: Yes. And obviously for many Iraqis, this is a source of great consternation because they see themselves as being in the front line in the war against terrorism, against ISIS, keeping in mind that thousands of Iraqis have died fighting ISIS and now they find themselves being put, in a sense, in the same trenches ISIS itself. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right. CNN's Ben Wedeman, Thank you so much from Istanbul, Turkey. We'll be right back.


[12:50:49] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Iran is slashing out over President Trump's executive order banning immigrants from several majority Muslims from this country. Iran's president calling it an insult to the Islamic world saying it will respond in kind.

I want to bring now Bob Baer. He is CNN Security and Intelligence Analyst and a former CIA operative. Bob, good to see you.

All right. So, Iran calling this insult that through this executive order national from seven countries mostly Muslim would not be welcome in the U.S. And talk about Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran as pertain to Iran, the banning of U.S citizens. How much of a setback is this, particularly for that U.S involved nuclear deal with Iran?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Fred, this doesn't bode well. I mean there's no conceivable reason we're stopping Iranians from coming to the United States, for instance the huge Iranian community in Los Angeles. What's going to happen to this people and relatives?

Secondly, Iran is not involved in terrorism against the United State. So, it is makes no sense at all. Fred, it makes even less sense when you look at the war on terror in Iraq. We are the de facto ally of Iran against the Islamic state.

Iranian controlled, militias are doing a lot of the fighting. And then the -- then you get to the Iraqis. I mean the Kurds are doing all the real fighting for this, Iraqi Kurds. I mean what's going to happen to them? This is going to wreak havoc.

WHITFIELD: So, does this demonstrate or under score a real lack of understanding from this White House on the importance of certain relations in this country as it pertains to U.S National Security, global influence and doing business and promoting harmony?

BAER: Fred, this is he's tone deaf, the president. He just does not get it. We are fighting this war thanks to our allies. They may not be the most reliable or effective allies but that's what we got. And this is going to wreak -- like I said this is going to wreak havoc in this part of the world. And he hasn't come up with there of placement.

What are we going to do without the Iraqis? We have 5,000 troops there. And what's going to happen if they're thrown out of the country? We'll be thrown out of the game completely.

WHITFEILD: OK. Sorry Bob, hold on little quick. I want to go straight to JFK as it pertains to the release of one of those Iraqi nationals. UNINDITIFIED MALE: He been released and will speak to you in a moment. First, I'll introduce a Nydia Velazquez and then, you'll hear from Mr. Hameed Darweesh.

REP. NYDIA VELAZQUEZ, (D), NEW YORK: Well, what can I say, it's a glorious day for all of us. Here we are with Hameed, who has been released, and I want to thank all the lawyers and the activists from New York City, Jerry Nabler, but this should not be -- this should not happen in America.

How many times do we have to come here to bring justice to an individual who provided assistance to the U.S government? And that is the main argument against this mean-spirited, ill conceived, ill- advised executive order. I am happy for Hameed.



VELASQUEZ: As I said it before, one by one, street by street, if we got to go to court, we will fight this anyplace, anywhere, but we will bring justice to the immigration system in this country. By releasing him, we are making sure that we are keeping America safe.

[12:55:00] MARK DAWSON (ph): Hi everyone. My name is Mark Dawson (ph). I'm supervisor attorney at International Refugee Assistance Project (inaudible) center. In conjunction with Iran, the ACLU, National Immigration Legal Center, The Yale Law School legal aid (inaudible). To Partrick Johnson (ph) we filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hameed, a client, and one other person who is still detained. Hameed was detained for over 6:00 p.m. last night unlawfully.

We filed a lawsuit challenging this. We are very pleased that he is released now. This obviously was an illegal detention. It was a discriminatory order from President Trump and we will continue to fight for all of the refugees, immigrant and non-immigrants that are coming to the United States and are being illegally detained.

And so, we are incredibly happy for Hameed to have been released. We're incredibly excited for him to be united with his family. And I know he's very tired from a very long travel and very long detention. But he'll have a few words to say real quick and then he's got to go see his family. So let's discuss it --

VELASQUEZ: Thank you.


HAMEED DARWEESH, ONE DETAINED TRAVELER RELEASED FROM JFK AIRPORT: First of all, I want to thank the people that take care of me and they support me. They leave their family, their business and come to support me. This is the humanity. The is soul of the America. And this is what pushed me to move, to leave my country and come here.

And I'm very, very thankful to all of the people who have come to support me. Thank you very much. And always we know we are distant now, we know America is the land of freedom, the land of freedom, the land of the rights. So this is what brought me too came here and I'm very thankful, and I'm very happy. Really I forgot what (inaudible) what happens to me (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're free now.

VELASQUEZ: Hameed, what do you think of America?

DANISH: America is the greatest nation, the greatest people of the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want to say to Donald Trump?

DANISH: I like him but I don't know this is a policy, I don't know. He's the President, that I'm (inaudible) about this. I have a special immigration visa in my passport, me and my family. Because I work with the U.S. government. I support the U.S. government on the other side of the world. But when I came here, they say no and they treat me as I break the rules or do something wrong. That surprise me, really I surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does that make you feel?

DANISH: I'm happy because I have you, you Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear you're here to surprise your son. Is that correct?

DANISH: Sorry?

VELASQUEZ: We hear that you surprised your son?

DANISH: My son, my family come with me. We're together. But yesterday we separate I didn't see him from yesterday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you walk us through what happened to you when you landed?

DANISH: I just go through the terminal and I give my passport, the people I guess from the U.S. embassy from Baghdad, all the document. They put in an envelope, they say don't open it. They give it to the for their officer here. So I give it to them. They look at my passport and ask me to move to another room and they said -- actually they don't say anything but they keep me there till those people come to support me the base on they (inaudible)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They stay the same (inaudible)

DANISH: Yeah, for about two days. Yeah, they move me to other room but I sit down on the chair, I can sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What were you thinking? What was going through your mind then? DANISH: I have contact with those people through my attorney, (inaudible). And he tell me to not worry, this is America. When you arrive here, there is a constitution, there is law. No one can act as he likes. So just be patient and we will be with you.

[13:00:00] And when I get out, I was surprised, all of those people waiting for me and they support me. They don't know me. They never meet me (inaudible) and they come to support and (inaudible)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you clarify when you're traveling with your family? There were on another flight were they detained as well?