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U.S. Judge Halts Trump Travel Ban, the World Reacts; Iran Responds to New Round of U.S. Sanctions; U.S. Lawmakers Back Continued Russian Sanctions; Travel Ban Bar Iraqi Parents from Child in U.S.. Aired 12-12:30a ET

Aired February 4, 2017 - 00:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Live from CNN's World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Lynda Kinkade.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company. We are coverage some breaking news on U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban.

KINKADE: Here's what we know right now. The White House is firing back after a U.S. federal judge put a temporary freeze on the president's immigration order.

That order had banned people from seven Muslim majority countries from traveling to the U.S. and it did lead to those worldwide protests.

In a statement issued a short time ago, the White House said the U.S. Justice Department will file an emergency request as soon as possible to stay the ruling.

HOLMES: Now after the court order came out -- that was late on Friday, U.S. time -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection told U.S. airlines that the government is in the process of reinstating visas.

The attorney general for Washington State spoke earlier with CNN's Anderson Cooper. He said he is willing to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.


BOB FERGUSON, WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'll be very clear. I'm going to be pugnacious in defending the Constitution of the United States. President Trump violated that. That's not OK. And we're going to make sure he upholds the rule of law in this country.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: So what does that actually mean in -- so they -- what are you -- where are you prepared to go with this?

What is your argument?

FERGUSON: We'll go wherever we need to go. The reason I feel so strongly is the executive order of such a magnitude that the president signed just is a violation of our Constitution and different statutes. And it impacts so many Washingtonians in such deeply personal ways.


HOLMES: The White House reacting to Friday night's court order with a statement that initially called it "outrageous" but it then later released another statement with that word removed.

It said this, quote, "At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the executive order of the president, which we believe is lawful and appropriate."

KINKADE: As it now stands, the U.S. airlines have been instructed by the federal government to return to business as usual, meaning as it existed before Mr. Trump's executive order.

HOLMES: U.S. Customs and Border Protection gave that word a few hours ago to all major passenger carriers in the U.S. It said the U.S. government would begin reinstating travel visas immediately and that airlines should remove travel alerts from their websites.

KINKADE: An airline executive tells CNN the agency's directive also allows refugees with valid U.S. visas to travel to the United States.

CNN legal analyst and former New York City prosecutor Paul Callan joins us now.

Paul, great to have you with us.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Nice to be with you, Lynda.

KINKADE: Just explain for us, how significant is this ruling and what exactly does it mean?

CALLAN: It's a very significant and unusual ruling. There are 1,200 sitting federal judges in the United States. And this is a ruling by one judge, who is essentially overruling the President of the United States and has issued an order to bind every court in the United States.

So usually you don't see that. Usually they just sort of stay to their own federal district when they issue a ruling. So this is a very unusual ruling.

KINKADE: Well, that's right. We have seen a number of courts issue a ruling on this executive order.

How is this one different?

This is nationwide. CALLAN: Yes, this one is different. The other judges simply issued orders that pertain to their districts. So for instance in New York, New York has one order; Boston has a different order.

But this Seattle judge said, you know something, the rules about getting into the United States affect the entire United States. So -- and I find it's unconstitutional what the Trump CNN administration has done.

And we, for sake of uniformity of approach, I'm going to apply this to the entire United States. And technically he has the right to do so because he's a federal judge, he's not a local judge. But it's unusual. Usually federal judges don't do that.

KINKADE: And it was only a matter of time before the Trump administration responded, the White House calling the order "outrageous," vowing to defend it.

Can they succeed?

CALLAN: That's a great question. The Boston appellate court that looked at the order up there ruled in favor of the Trump administration. So, on balance, the Trump administration has some good arguments that they can bring to a higher court to say that this lower court judge made a mistake.

But the appellate --


CALLAN: -- court out on the West Coast, the Ninth Circuit Court, is a liberal court. And it's a court that might rule against the Trump administration. And if that happened, it will all wind up in the United States Supreme Court.

KINKADE: So what does it mean for the people caught up in this, people from those seven banned countries, who have valid visas?

Can they now travel here?

CALLAN: Well, I think this is a ray of hope for them. This judge said this is clearly unconstitutional and that the government cannot defend it adequately, that the case is so strong against it.

However, they would make a big mistake if they tried to board an airplane tomorrow just because this order has been issued. A higher court could overrule this tomorrow or the next day and they could be caught trapped in an airport again. SO I would wait until next week to see how this thing plays out.

KINKADE: And no doubt this may also be a ray of hope for refugees affected by this ruling.

CALLAN: No question about it because as a matter of fact, the judge in the ruling specifically dealt with the refugees and said that the provision restricting them was unconstitutional as well. So it is a ray of hope for refugees around the world.

KINKADE: And in terms of the politics, how does this play out for Trump?

For Trump supporters, this was a promise he made during the campaign. It looks like policy on the run. It seems to be his first major policy fiasco.

CALLAN: I think that you'll see Trump play this up as a fight between judges trying to make law and the President of the United States, who was elected democratically and he is going the say I was elected by the majority of the Electoral College, who want restrictions on immigration.

And a single federal judge shouldn't be able to stop that. So I think that's how the Trump administration will handle this.

KINKADE: Paul Callan, great to have your expertise and perspective on all of that. Thanks so much.

CALLAN: Thank you, Lynda.

HOLMES: Well, the latest challenge to Mr. Trump's travel ban comes as the U.S. president arrived at his Mar-a-lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

KINKADE: And CNN's Jessica Schneider is there, too; we have more on how U.S. agencies are responding to the federal judge's decision.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, after one week of being caught up in the courts, President Trump's executive order banning immigration from those seven Muslim majority countries is halted tonight.

A federal judge in Washington State put the brakes on the order, issuing a temporary restraining order that does halt this executive order.

But the White House tonight saying that they are fighting back. They say that the Department of Justice plans to issue an appeal. The White House has continued to maintain throughout the past week, continues to maintain now even in the wake of this ruling from a federal judge, that what President Trump did in issuing that executive order was completely lawful.

Now we understand that the Department of Justice will file an appeal but it will not be immediate. We are waiting for that. It will likely not be in the overnight or early hours tomorrow.

Of course, this entire issue has been in the courts front and center for the past week. We've seen numerous judges ruling on this, whether it was the day after President Trump issued that executive order or numerous civil rights groups filing lawsuits in the federal courts all over the country. This is just the latest legal wrangling that has come up. And now

this puts that executive order out of commission. So what the Customs and Border Protection Agency has said, they said that it is now back to business as usual.

In fact, they had a conference call with the airlines and they said that airlines should begin resuming as usual, that the government will begin reinstating those visas that they had actually taken out of commission over the past week.

And that airlines should remove some of those travel ban alerts from their websites. So, going forward, Customs and Border Protection says that they will be moving forward as if it is business as usual, as if this executive order from President Trump was never signed.

But the White House vowing to fight back. The Department of Justice, they say, will be filing an appeal. So to be continued -- Jessica Schneider, CNN, Palm Beach, Florida.


KINKADE: CNN senior political analyst and senior editor of "The Atlantic," Ron Brownstein, joins me now.

Ron, great to have you with us. And now the bigwigs of the administration (ph).

Firstly, your reaction to the court's ruling tonight on Trump's immigrant ban?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's a really striking moment. And it really exemplifies, I think, the way the conflict in American politics has grown more complicated because what we saw here was a Democratic state going into federal court -- Democratic state attorney general going into federal court and basically taking a move against the Trump administration executive order that Democrats in Congress don't have any power to pursue.

It's a shockwave. It is not the end of the story.

There is going to be appeals through the appellate courts on the West Coast, probably on the East Coast. Ultimately the Supreme Court will --


BROWNSTEIN: -- have to decide if it can while it is divided 4-4 at this point.

KINKADE: And Ron, we're just two weeks into the Trump administration and we are seeing a radical shift already in foreign policy.

Instead of tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, a deal he called "the dumbest ever," he now looks to be reinforcing it; instead of warmer relations with Russia, he is now condemning the Kremlin and of course Israelis -- turned 360 on that as well -- 180, rather. New settlements -- he was against the new settlements. He is now for them.

What should we make of these backflips?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think your misstatement there at a 360 is actually a preview. I don't think this zig is the last zag. I think the story of the Trump administration on foreign policy will be that it is somewhat improvisational.

Look, there is a North Star here. When he said he wants to be a president who advances the idea of America first, I think that is, in fact, his North Star and he is going to challenge much of the international rules-based order that the U.S. has constructed and led since World War II.

He said the other day he could, quote, "care less if the European Union dissolved." He has questioned the value of NATO. He's walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

I think that is the overall direction. But in the implementation on a kind of day-to-day and week-to-week, I think we're going to see a lot of zigging and zagging. And I think what you saw here was both Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and Benjamin Netanyahu with settlements took the original -- the initial statements of the Trump administration as perhaps even more of a green light than the administration was comfortable with. Now they are trying to dial that back.

But I think that the general direction that he set out of embracing Netanyahu and trying to melt the chill with Putin and be more accommodating toward him, I think ultimately he will get back there. This shows there are some limits, though.

KINKADE: And, Ron, looking at America's closest neighbor, Mexico, relations there seem to be getting worse. Trump reportedly threatening to send in U.S. troops.

Does he realize that, as commander in chief, those words, even if they're off the cuff, carry a great deal of weight?

BROWNSTEIN: I think he is clearly adjusting to the difference between being a candidate, whose stock in trade was being as outrageous as possible, and being the President of the United States, whose words move markets and send armies onto ships.

They of course dispute the characterization that he was threatening Mexico. They argue that he was offering to help Mexico.

But we don't really know. And there is significant reporting that goes toward the characterization that you cited. What I can tell you is in a new CNN poll today, broad opposition to this idea of building a wall across the Mexican border, support only relatively tepid among the core groups, in the Republican coalition, those working-class white voters, who are the foundation of his electoral victory, and opposition enormous on the other side of the ledger, among college- educated whites, among young people, among minorities, more Republicans in Congress raising questions about whether the cost- benefit analysis really plays out, whether the $12 billion to $15 billion it would cost to do this is really justified in terms of the impact at a time when we have had net zero undocumented migration from Mexico for several years.

KINKADE: Ron Brownstein, great to have you with us. We appreciate your time today. Thanks.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

HOLMES: Definitely (INAUDIBLE) stuff.

We will take a short break and will be back, though, with much more on the Trump travel ban, being struck down at least temporarily by a U.S. judge and what that means for international travelers to the U.S.

KINKADE: Plus how world leaders are reacting to the ban and the Trump administration. Those stories just ahead. Stay with us.





HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. We are live with breaking news. A new court ruling affecting U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban.

KINKADE: Now that ban provoked numerous protests at airports right across the U.S. CNN of course has been following this story since it broke several hours ago.

HOLMES: The U.S. government has now instructed airlines in the U.S. to resume normal operations just as they existed before President Trump issued the travel ban on people from seven mostly Muslim nations. Now that does include refugees with U.S. visas.

KINKADE: The stunning development came immediately after a U.S. judge in Washington State issued a temporary halt on the nationwide ban. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it will begin reinstating U.S. visas to affected international travelers and told all major U.S. airlines to scrub their websites of U.S. travel alerts.

HOLMES: An airline executive telling CNN the directive also allows refugees with valid U.S. visas to travel to the United States. Here now are some more details about what is in that immigration order that U.S. President Donald Trump signed just one week ago.

KINKADE: It banned travel to the U.S. from these seven Muslim majority countries: Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

It also suspends the U.S. refugee admissions program for 120 days until so-called "extreme vetting procedures" are put into place.

HOLMES: Now Syrian refugees are barred from entering the U.S. indefinitely. That is a separate part of that order and also people holding certain visas will now have to undergo in-person interviews in order to renew them.

KINKADE: The latest opposition to the order and the strongest yet came from the Western U.S. state of Washington. Earlier the state's governor reacted to that ruling. He says he is proud to be pushing back.


GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASH.: This president is totally bound by this order. We expect him to abide by this order. We will not accept any deviation from this order whatsoever.

The Constitution is supreme in this country and I'm -- frankly I'm proud that Washington State has led the country in standing up for the basic values and will not allow anyone, including the president in Washington, D.C., to contravene those values.

And we had tonight a federal judge, who was appointed by a Republican president, George W. Bush, decide in a very forceful decision, frankly --


INSLEE: -- that this is a country that -- we are not going to allow the tests of religion to determine who comes into our country. We are not going to allow decisions that actually jeopardize our national security.

Look, the fact is, in this case, that the people from these seven countries -- there have been 700,000 refugees admitted since the disaster of September 11th. And not one -- not one incident -- has occasioned where people from these seven countries caused a fatal terrorist act.


KINKADE: For more on the airlines and how U.S. Customs officials are reacting to the business as usual, let's go to Rene Marsh in Washington.


RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House on Friday night said the Justice Department will file an emergency request to stop a Seattle federal judge's nationwide halt of President Donald Trump's immigration order.

Trump's executive order that he signed last week suspended immigration from seven Muslim majority countries for 90 days; the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and indefinitely halted Syrian refugees from entering the United States. The White House in a statement said it planned to appeal the ruling.

In the meantime, CNN has learned that CBP -- Customs and Border Protection -- told major U.S. airlines on Friday night that the government is reinstating visas and is, quote, "back in business as usual prior to the executive order."

That all according to an airline official.


HOLMES: Donald Trump quickly earning a global reputation for his, let's say, unpredictable approach to diplomacy. Jomana Karadsheh joining us now from Istanbul in Turkey.

Give us a sense of how this ban was initially received and what this temporary pause in it is going to look like there.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, initially, there was a lot of shock, confusion, chaos when that executive order was signed. People didn't know what to expect.

And then after that, you really had so many people who were devastated by this, especially when you are talking about refugees, who waited for years to try and get to the United States and all of a sudden they were back into this limbo, where they were waiting to be resettled again, not knowing what is going to happen to them.

But at the same time, you know, after that news really sunk in with people, you had that feeling of insult; people say that they were insulted by this, where they were -- this was a collective punishment, as some have described it.

And that people -- the very people who are running away from terrorism in their countries, as they've described it, some of the Syrian refugees we have spoken to and also you hear that from Iraqis, were now branded as a terror threat to the United States.

And you hear from a lot of Iraqis, saying that they are at the forefront of that fight against terrorism; they are currently fighting ISIS, they say, on behalf of the world. But at the same time, they were viewed as a terror threat to the United States. So that was a real insult.

And at the same time, Michael, there was real uncertainty. I'll give you an example.

I was in Jordan when this news came out last week. And Jordan, of course, is a key U.S. ally. It is not impacted by this travel ban. But people were there concerned that this administration is so unpredictable that a country like Jordan could, for example, be included at some point later on.

Some Jordanian students at universities in the United States were really -- didn't really want to come back to Jordan because they were concerned that, if they leave, they can't go back.

HOLMES: And Jomana, you know, the Trump administration has gone out of its way to say, oh, it's not a Muslim ban at all.

But is that how it was perceived in the region?

I mean, you live in Jordan, you travel the region.

How was it viewed there?

KARADSHEH: It was definitely viewed by so many people as a Muslim ban because if you look at these countries that were included in the ban, they are Muslim majority countries.

And then, of course, you know, the talk about minorities that have been persecuted, not included in this ban, also really exacerbated those feelings that this is a ban against Muslims, that this is a sentiment against those millions of people, tens of millions from these countries, being seen as a terror threat because they are Muslims.

So, yes, definitely, Michael, that was the view by many people that we have spoken to and the general reaction by many in the region.

HOLMES: All right, Jomana, thanks so much. Jomana Karadsheh there, on duty for us in Istanbul.

KINKADE: Stay with us as we cover breaking news over Trump's travel ban. Still ahead, not a matter of politics: Washington State attorney general explains why he moved to suspend the ban.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

KINKADE: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Lynda Kinkade.

HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes. As we continue our live breaking news, a big setback for President Trump's travel ban. A U.S. federal judge temporarily halting the order which suspended travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim majority countries.

KINKADE: Within the past few hours the White House reiterated its ban was legal and said it will seek a stay of the ruling as soon as possible. In the meantime, U.S. immigration officials told major U.S. airlines the government is reinstating visas.

HOLMES: The attorney general for Washington State spoke earlier with our own Anderson Cooper and explained what it took to file the order and why he did it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FERGUSON: The standard is very explicit to get a temporary restraining order. And it's not easy to get for all sorts of obviously reason. But part of the standard is we, the State of Washington, I had to show, to demonstrate that we were likely to prevail on the merits when the judge e eventually gets to that point.

So the judge had to reach that conclusion that we are likely to prevail on the merits. That is a high hurdle obviously a few days after filing a complaint. But the judge did conclude that in order to grant our motion for that temporary restraining order.

So that is just a part of the order today.

COOPER: Why was this something that you filed?

I mean, that Washington State -- obviously I assume there are a number of businesses in Washington, obviously Amazon and others, that...

I mean, did they play a role in this?

FERGUSON: They did. I guess, first in terms of why I filed it, a couple thoughts.

[00:30:00] Number one is, we are a nation of laws, right?

And I had a clear view, an opinion that the executive order was unconstitutional and my legal team agreed. And we moved very, very quickly, literally working around the clock -- and that is not an exaggeration -- around the clock since last weekend to prepare our complaint and our motion.

The reason I feel so strongly is the executive order of such a magnitude that the president signed just is a violation of our Constitution and different statutes and it impacts so many Washingtonians in such deeply personal ways.

Moreover, to your point about businesses, I deeply appreciate businesses like Expedia and Amazon here in Washington State that last weekend when I reached out to them, quickly wrote declarations for our filing before the court in support.

And their motions -- their declarations, excuse me, go to issues of how this impacts their employees adversely and adversely impacts their business.

And so I think that helped us make our case that there is an adverse impact, not just to Washingtonians here in my state but also to businesses in my state as well.

COOPER: Obviously a lot of people are going to see this through a political lens, no matter what side of the aisle they're on. You are a Democrat but you are pointing out that the judge who has made this order tonight, he is a Republican, appointed by George W. Bush, right?

FERGUSON: That's correct. And one more thing I'll say about that is whenever folks say that this is a political thing, that's what someone says when they don't have an argument, honestly. And I'll just point out that I'm in my fifth year as attorney general of this state.

In the last four years, in my first term, I twice sued the Obama administration, things I don't do lightly. I deeply respect and admire the president. But that respect and admiration is irrelevant to my decision on whether to file a lawsuit against the federal government.

If they're violating the law in a constitutional way or unlawful way, it is my responsibility, Anderson, to defend the rights of Washingtonians. It does not matter who the president is. It does not matter if he or she is a Democrat or a Republican -- irrelevant.

And so folks who want to say this is political, A, they don't know what they are talking about and, B, they don't know my record and, C, they do not understand the Constitution.


KINKADE: CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos joins us now.

Danny, great to have you on the show. This seems to be throwing the whole immigration system into chaos.

What does this ruling mean?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's important to understand that this judge didn't strike down an executive order. All he did was issue a TRO, a temporary restraining order. But it's important to understand that the only thing a temporary restraining order does is preserve the status quo. It's like hitting the pause button.

But the standard that the litigants, that the plaintiff had to get, is very, very high in a case where they're seeking a temporary restraining order. You have to show likelihood, substantial likelihood, of success on the merits. And, in this case, that's exactly what the judge found.

Most lawyers will tell you that it's very difficult and rare to get these TROs granted. But, in this case, the judge, in a very short opinion, ruled that there was a substantial likelihood that they would prevail on the merits. And that's why he issued this stay, this temporary restraining order.

KINKADE: It has been argued that this immigrant ban is unconstitutional.

Has that case been made?

CEVALLOS: It's been made and very well made. The state here argued -- the State of Washington argued several constitutional claims. One was the equal protection clause, for example, the idea that any law that treats classes of people differently based on race, national origin, religion, is subject to strict scrutiny and likely unconstitutional. Another tack is that this executive action violates the establishment

clause. And they listed other federal laws it potentially violates as well.

But the thorny issue is this: this very short written opinion by the judge only essentially says I find substantial likelihood on the merits. It doesn't really address which of those merits. And for that reason, in the coming days, this actual opinion raises more questions than it answers.

KINKADE: So people caught up in this, people from those seven banned countries with valid visas, is there going to be a lot of confusion at the airports this weekend?

Should they try to travel to the U.S.?

And will they be welcome here?

CEVALLOS: There's a lot of confusion for everyone. And, as I said, the order, the actual written opinion, is really hot off the presses and rather inscrutable because it doesn't really give a lot of guidance.

It's one thing to read a legal justification in a court opinion. It's entirely another thing to take that piece of paper and start administrating it and actually putting it on the street and seeing --


CEVALLOS: -- how it plays out.

So I think this order is going to be open to interpretation because it's so short and really doesn't give a lot of guidance. It's going to create more battles than it resolves.

KINKADE: Certainly a lot of headaches for people involved. Danny Cevallos, good to have you with us. Thanks for your time.

CEVALLOS: Thank you.

HOLMES: Our breaking news: a judge's suspension of Trump's administration's travel ban.

KINKADE: The global fallout from the new president's controversial move, coming up next.




HOLMES: We are following breaking news for you tonight, the White House ready to fight for President Trump's travel ban after it was blocked on Friday. KINKADE: A U.S. judge suspended the order nationwide, reopening U.S. borders to visa holders from seven Muslim majority nations. Hours later the White House said the Justice Department will challenge the judge's order and again defended the ban as lawful and appropriate.

HOLMES: Tehran says it will take legal measures against Americans and U.S. companies after the U.S. announced it was hitting Iran with new sanctions. Iranian officials planning to release the names of the companies and people they say created and helped extremist groups in the region.

KINKADE: Now on Friday, President Trump said Iran was, quote, "not behaving." The U.S. Treasury Department applied the new sanctions to punish Iran for its recent test launch of a ballistic missile.

HOLMES: Ramin Mostaghim, the Tehran correspondent for the "Los Angeles Times," joins us now from Iran.

And Ramin, thank you for being on the program. Iran's response was pretty quick. Just fill us in on their reaction to the White House implementing new sanctions.


HOLMES: Yes, do you hear us, Ramin?

MOSTAGHIM: I can hear you but not well.


HOLMES: What was the reaction there to these sanctions?

MOSTAGHIM: The sanctions so far has been lukewarmly reacted and they try just to play down the impacts of the sanctions and, at the same time, try to show just how Iranians are victimized by the sanctions.

HOLMES: Do you get a sense of escalation in the wind?

Do you get a sense that the detente, if you like, the warming relations between Iran and the U.S., is over now?

MOSTAGHIM: I think so because, diplomatically, at least, the detente period is gone with the winds of change of (INAUDIBLE) in the White House. So diplomatically, yes, and the impact is the people in their psyche are worried at what would happen. They are anticipating bad days to come.

HOLMES: In Iran, that now, sort of infamous line that we heard, from the White House, of Iran being put on notice, how was that interpreted in Iran?

MOSTAGHIM: The interpretation so far officially is that Iran is under the surveillance and monitor and anything goes wrong, there will be a harsher reaction from American side.

So the interpretation is Iran is under surveillance and they suppose any day might something happen wrongly against them.

HOLMES: Do you get a sense -- I mean, Iran doesn't like to be threatened. No country does.

Do you get a sense that perhaps what is coming out of the White House might provoke Iran into, I don't know, another test, perhaps?

MOSTAGHIM: I think -- what I understand is that Iran is investing on the gap between America and the E.U. and America and China and Russia and tries to penetrate and get some benefit from the gap, widening gap, hopefully, they suppose, is happening.

And they suppose they should invest in that so that they can get economic benefits from the gap, widening gap, between White House and the E.U. and other big powers.

HOLMES: Yes, exploit the lack of unity.

Ramin Mostaghim, Tehran correspondent for the "Los Angeles Times," I appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much.

KINKADE: Mr. Trump's calls for better times between the U.S. and Russia are being put to the test. Violence has spread yet again in Eastern Ukraine and the new U.S. ambassador to the U.N. has slammed the Kremlin in her first Security Council appearance.

For more, including Mr. Trump's expected phone call with Ukraine's president, CNN's Clare Sebastian joins us now from Moscow.

Clare, Mr. Trump had hinted at easing the sanctions on Russia; he now seems to have changed his position on that.

What are you learning?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Lynda, it is interesting; this time last week, President Trump was expected to speak to President Putin and we thought they would touch on the issue of sanctions.

But that word was not mentioned at all. Then of course violence flared up the next day in Eastern Ukraine and fast forward to the middle of the week when there was another kind of burst of optimism around sanctions, when the U.S. modified an existing Obama administration sanction to allow U.S. businesses to pay customs duties to the FSB, the Russian intelligence service.

That, though, very much played down by Mr. Trump. He said he's not easing anything. And then of course we saw those very harsh comments from the U.S.' U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, saying that no sanctions on Russia would be lifted until they returned Crimea to Ukraine.

So as for the Russian side, well, they are trying to not let the situation spiral out of control. The Kremlin keeping its cards very close to its chest, telling CNN yesterday that they never indulged in optimism that the U.S.-Russia relationship would improve.

But as such it seems that they are just watching the situation, to see what comes next out of the U.S.

KINKADE: And Clare, President Trump is expected to speak with the Ukrainian president in the coming hours.

What can we expect?

SEBASTIAN: Well, I think it's going to be extremely interesting to see what comes out of that. I expect, given the comments from Nikki Haley this week, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., the Ukraine will have its hopes raised for more support from the U.S. side.

But having said that, certainly there were comments that Mr. Trump made, particularly on the campaign trail, comments like that he might consider recognizing the independence of Crimea, that got Ukraine extremely worries.

Of course you remember that President --


SEBASTIAN: -- Poroshenko of Ukraine was in New York back in September during the campaign and did not, despite having offered to do so, did not end up meeting with Mr. Trump, they said, because of a scheduling issue.

So, certainly, it will be interesting to see how the conversation goes when these two talk for the first time.

KINKADE: And just to remind our viewers of the situation in Eastern Ukraine right now, it seems to have flared up yet again.

SEBASTIAN: Yes, Lynda, this is the backdrop to all of the kind of political machinations that are going on at the moment. The OSCE is calling the violence this week "unprecedented." The Ukrainian side said yesterday that in the last 24 hours, they saw the worst violence they've seen in a year.

We're hearing of deaths among Ukrainian soldiers, among Russian-backed separatist fighters. The international monitors on the ground have reported two civilian deaths overnight.

This is a growing humanitarian catastrophe, a critical infrastructure has been hit by heavy shelling. There are around 20,000 people -- more than that even -- in the flashpoint town of Avdiivka, just north of Donetsk, who are -- some of them are being evacuated and some are dealing with a lack of heating and electricity. It's below freezing there.

So really this is where a lot of international attention is focused. And I'm sure this will come up when President Trump speaks to President Poroshenko later.

KINKADE: Yes, no doubt. And we will touch base with you then. Clare Sebastian, good to have you with us. Thank you.

HOLMES: The new U.S. Defense Secretary is accusing China of shredding the trust of other nations in the South China Sea region, where China has expanded sandbars into heavily armed islands.

KINKADE: James Mattis just left Japan after his first tour through parts of Asia as part of the Trump team. He reiterated U.S. support for Japan's claim on disputed islands, which China also claims.

Coming up, we'll have much more on the breaking news on President Donald Trump's travel ban.

HOLMES: Thousands of people have been affected, including that young man there, a young Iraqi boy, very ill and separated from his parents. We'll be right back.





HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone, we are covering fast-moving breaking developments on U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban which ignited huge protests in the U.S. and around the world last week.

KINKADE: The White House says it will challenge a U.S. federal judge's order, which temporarily halts the ban nationwide. It wants an emergency stay. We are waiting for the U.S. Justice Department to file that appeal.

HOLMES: But in the meantime, it looks like we could have another weekend of travel uncertainty, to say the least, after the judge's ruling on Friday. U.S. Customs officials said they are alerting airlines that the U.S. government would begin reinstating visas that had been revoked.

KINKADE: The travel ban affected seven countries, among them, Iraq. The human impact of that move has been well documented.

HOLMES: Yes, but story of a young Iraqi boy, separated from his parents, is particularly affecting. Here now is Sanjay Gupta.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They give you these little gas heaters to heat up. And if you don't unclog it, the fire breaks out. And by the time they got him, it's -- the plastic melted and fell on his face and feet.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was Dilbreen Mussin's (ph) first birthday, Iraq, January 4th, 2016.

In an instant, the soft cartilage of his nose, his lips and most of his face, ravaged. The images are tough to see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He realizes there's something different about him and it's sad because these kids, they're scared of him.

GUPTA: The name Dilbreen means wounded heart. And his story is complicated.


GUPTA: It's a story of being trapped. This Yazidi family fleeing from ISIS to this refugee camp and now trapped in the United States without his parents.

This woman is not his Dilbreen's mother or a relative. She is simply a kind stranger.


GUPTA: Dilbreen's parents, a world away. We tracked them down in Northern Iraq.

"It's really hard," his father said. "He's a little boy. He needs his parents."

So, what happened here?

Well, after the fire and burns, the British aid group Road to Peace arranged for Dilbreen and his father, Ajeel (ph), to come to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston. That was for the first of a series of operations to slowly release the contractures of chin and lower lip, allowing him to take a bottle again.

But with his wife about to give birth back in Iraq, Ajeel (ph) couldn't stay and begged Ablay (ph) to watch after the son.

And, at that point, they say, "Take care of the bairn. We'll be back."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So they say, we'll be back four to six weeks, the most, because they weren't sure of the due date for his wife. Six weeks go by and then a month, two months and now we're at three months.

GUPTA (voice-over): When Dilbreen's little brother was born, the day after the election, his parents, grateful the United States provided medical care, decided to name the newborn son Trump. That's right, Trump Ajeel Mussin (ph).

"We wanted to show our appreciation to America for what they're doing for our boy. That's why we named him Trump."

Then, despite being approved, in early January, their visas were revoked. They were in Iraq. 2-year-old Dilbreen was in the United States.

His father said, "They didn't give us visas because they thought we would go there and stay. We want to finish our son's treatment and then return home."

CNN did reach out to the State Department for comment and were told, quote, "We are not able to discuss the details of any visa case."

And then things got even worse.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists --


TRUMP: -- out of the United States of America.

GUPTA: President Trump likely made it impossible that his namesake, along with mom and dad, will travel to the United States anytime soon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what we're afraid of. They have to wait 90 days, which Baby Bairn (ph) doesn't have. He needs it as soon as possible.

GUPTA (on camera): What's the sentiment or emotion?

Are they angry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not really. Just sad and hopeless. They don't know what to do.

GUPTA: Do you think there will be an exception made?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're praying for that.

GUPTA: It's worth pointing out again exactly why these visas were revoked. According to the immigration officers, they say these parents could not show that they have strong enough ties in Iraq, that the concern was they might come to the United States and not leave.

And the family says, look, we had visas; we could have come to the United States. Mom was pregnant at the time. Baby Trump, that you just met in the piece, could have been born in the United States, would have been a U.S. citizen. But they chose not to do that and they want to go back to Iraq.

So that's the case that they are making. They're going back on Sunday to the immigration office once more and try and make this case and say they should be the exception to the rule. They should be the exception to this 90-day ban. They want to be with their son. We'll see what happens. Back to you.


HOLMES: What a story.

KINKADE: Sanjay Gupta there reporting. Really tough for the parents to be that -- to be away from their child for that long.

HOLMES: Awful.

KINKADE: Well, that does it for this program. I'm Lynda Kinkade. HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. But don't go anywhere. We'll be right back after the break with more of our breaking news coverage on this new court ruling on U.S. President Trump's travel ban. Stay with us. We'll be right back.