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Fallout of President Trump's Travel Ban; Justice Department Files Appeal on Travel Ban; Protesters in the US and Across The World; President Trump Praises Vladimir Putin; President Trump Speaks to Ukrainian president; Tensions Between US and Iran; Few Hours Away From Super Bowl Sunday. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 5, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And a warm welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Michael Holmes.

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. And I'm Lynda Kinkade. It is 1 AM on the US East Coast. That's 6 AM in London. Thanks for being with us.

Now, we start this hour with breaking news in the US. The US Justice Department has just filed an appeal to reverse a US District Court's judge's suspension of President Donald Trump's travel ban. Now, that appeal has been filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear the case.

HOLMES: The three judges, who might hear that case, were actually appointed separately by former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. CNN US justice reporter Laura Jarrett is with us on the phone now from Washington.

Laura, you've been going through this. Tell us the main points of it.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN US JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Lynda and Michael, this is a strongly worded legal filing. Just after midnight here on the East Coast, the US Justice Department moved for what's called an emergency stay of the sweeping decision out of Seattle that temporarily halted the enforcement of President Trump's travel ban on a nationwide basis. And in this legal filing, the Justice Department says that blocking the travel ban "harms the public and second guesses the president's national security judgment."

The thrust of the argument here being made by the Justice Department are two different prongs. The first one is that the plaintiffs in the case, which were - the case was brought by the Washington State Attorney General and Minnesota. They're saying the plaintiffs don't have standing to sue here. They haven't been harmed in a way that allows you to get in the court.

The second argument is that the president's authority in this area is sweeping and quite broad. And so, he can basically do what he wants in this area of immigration in an unreviewable way. The court doesn't have an authority to review him. So, it's a pretty strongly worded legal filing we're seeing right now from the Justice Department. KINKADE: And the Justice Department is, of course, calling for it to be immediate. How quickly could it happen?

JARRETT: Well, it's hard to say. It was just filed less than an hour ago and it's unclear yet whether the other side, Washington State, will have an opportunity to respond. There is a motions panel set up in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that can hear these types of cases by phone. And so, they may do it very quickly, as early as tomorrow.

HOLMES: The other wording, as we go through this, as you say, it does talk about the president's national security judgment - second guesses the president's national security judgment. But, also, it says that the ban contravenes the constitutional separation of powers. What does it mean by that?

JARRETT: The idea there is that Congress gave the president the ability to do this. And by a different branch of government, in this case the judiciary branch, intervening in that authority, they're saying, is improper. They're saying the president is able to do this because Congress let him do it.

KINKADE: It certainly is a fascinating outcome. We will see whether there is a decision tomorrow. Laura Jarrett, great to have you with us. Thank you so much.

HOLMES: It's only really just getting underway now, this fight one way or the other, and it could end up in the Supreme Court as we've been hearing. Troy Slaten joining us from Los Angeles, legal analyst, criminal defense attorney. I'm guessing you've had a quick read of part of the language. You'll have heard Laura there, what's your take on this?

[1:05:00] TROY SLATEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I'm a little bit surprised that it took the United States Justice Department this long to file this appeal. They should have this ready to go a while ago and that leads me to believe that there was some sort of disagreement within the Justice Department as to what was going to be their basis for asking for a stay of this temporary restraining order.

KINKADE: What other options do they have?

SLATEN: What options did the Justice Department had? I mean, really nothing. The president was saying you need to do this and the Justice Department - well, as far as - they had several options as to what their legal argument was going to be. I don't think they really had a choice as to whether or not they were going to file for this stay on the temporary restraining order.

HOLMES: So, what you're saying is that you get the sense that they weren't really ready with an argument early enough. What do you make of the argument that they're saying that the district court ruling barring enforcement of ban contravenes the constitutional separation of powers, harms the public by thwarting enforcement of an executive order issued by the nation's elected representatives and so on? Is that a good argument? SLATEN: It is. I think that the two arguments that they made are very good and they're really the most common arguments that you would make sort of in a situation like this. The first argument being whether or not the plaintiffs, being the State of Washington, even has standing to bring this type of lawsuit. And a standing, for all the folks at home, is really a threshold issue. It's whether you have a right to go to the courthouse steps to make this argument. So, the Justice Department is saying that they're not even a proper party because they're not the individuals, they're not the entity that would be harmed by this.

And the other argument is also a very strong one. It's true, the president of the United States has plenary power in this area. The United States Congress, under the Constitution, has the right - has the authority to regulate immigration and they passed laws giving the president of United States the authority to implement those laws with regard to the Customs and Border Protection, the CBP, and it's interesting that the Department of Homeland Security very quickly reacted when the court in the Ninth Circuit, Judge Robart issued this temporary restraining order. The Department of Homeland Security said immediately we're going to obey that. And now, this just causes so much confusion into the entire system. But I think that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is going to act very quickly to either implement a stay or sustain the restraining order.

KINKADE: So, what is the process now. Three judges from the Ninth Circuit will look at this argument. What considerations do they need to make?

SLATEN: They need to decide whether or not the plaintiffs, here the State of Washington, has a reasonable likelihood of success and whether or not they would be irreparably harmed if this temporary restraining order stayed in place. And I think that, you know, looking at the precedent for the Ninth Circuit, some people in legal community call it the Ninth Circus, it's a very liberal circuit. It's the most overturned by the United States Supreme Court. And two of the three judges were appointed by Democratic presidents. As you mentioned, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama appointed two out of the three. The other being by President George W. Bush.

HOLMES: So, one imagines that the confusion could just continue all the way to the Supreme Court. Would it be a situation that the ban is implemented, the court in Seattle gets it paused, 'so, OK, everybody can come again.' If the Ninth Circuit upholds the government side of things, the ban goes back on and everyone has to stop again. And then, there is another appeal and it works its way up to Supreme Court. People aren't going to know whether they should get on a plane or not. Is that fair?

SLATEN: Well, I mean, of course, it's not fair to those wanting to travel.

HOLMES: I mean, is that a fair sort of statement of what's likely to happen. It's on, it's off, it's on, it's off.

SLATEN: Absolutely. But because it is a matter of such importance, the Ninth Circuit is going to act on this quickly. They know that the world is watching. So, I imagine that we could get a decision possibly today, Super Bowl Sunday, and the Ninth Circuit has procedures for dealing with emergency appeals like this and they could come up with their decision any moment. And if whatever party doesn't like it, it's likely to appeal it to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court could take it up rather quickly.

[01:10:00] HOLMES: And it could end up in a 4-4 tie.

KINKADE: Yes. That's going to be a bit of a mess too.

SLATEN: So, in that case, if it's a 4-4 tie, the lower court decision stands.

KINKADE: Right. So, the Seattle ruling at present would stand.

SLATEN: Well, no. Whatever the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal's decision is what stands.

KINKADE: Right, right.

HOLMES: Wow. Troy, thank you so much helping us understand that. Of course, we've got to assume that the justices won't be watching the Super Bowl and will be focused on this.

SLATEN: Hopefully.

HOLMES: Yes. Troy Slaten in Los Angeles, thanks so much.

SLATEN: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, President Trump's travel has sparked nationwide protests, almost before the ink was dry on his executive order. Those demonstrations include outside the Florida resort where Mr. Trump is spending the weekend.

HOLMES: CNN's Jessica Schneider is in Palm Beach, Florida and has the latest for us from there.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Out here at Mar-a- Lago, a day of legal wranglings, a Twitter tirade by President Donald Trump and also protesters. Take a look at some of the remnants out here. At one point, several hundred people making their march as close as they could get to Mar-a-Lago. A mostly peaceful protest, but very similar to the ones that we've been seeing over the past two weeks and the past three weekends. These people wanting to get their message directly to the president or as close as they could get now that he's down here and what they're calling the winter White House.

As far as President Trump goes, he took to Twitter numerous times over the day sticking to his contention that his executive order as it pertains to that immigration ban was lawful, was constitutional and even slamming the federal judge on Seattle several times. In fact, Donald Trump taking to Twitter, I'll read you a few of his posts, saying "The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interest at heart. Bad people are very happy." And earlier in the day, President Trump tweeting out this. "The opinion of this so-called judge which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country is ridiculous and will be overturned."

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Palm Beach, Florida.

HOLMES: Now, those tweets that Jessica mentioned there were ridiculed to Washington's governor as beneath the dignity of the presidency. Earlier, before the appeal was filed by the US Justice Department, Gov. Jay Inslee spoke about the importance of the legal challenge his state brought against the president's executive order.


JAY INSLEE, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON: President can tweet till the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is he is bound by this order. It is a legally binding order and he is going to have to follow it. That's the way our system of checks and balances work. And he asked this question about lawyers. His lawyers are telling him the facts. They're telling him that this is the way America works because, in America, when an executive does something that's unconstitutional, thank goodness we have a federal judicial system that can rein that in and that's what this judge did. And by the way, this was a judge - this insult of him - this was a judge appointed by a conservative Republican George W. Bush. He was confirmed with a 99 to 0 vote in the Senate. This is the way democracy is meant to work.


KINKADE: Well, that travel ban has set off a wave of protests right across the world, even near Mr. Trump's front door.

HOLMES: They've been marching in West Palm Beach, Florida, not far from his Mar-a-Lago resort where he is spending the weekend. Supporters of the president and the travel ban also spotted in the crowds. And in Washington, hundreds walked from the White House to the US Capitol on Saturday with a banner saying, no ban, no wall.

KINKADE: Protesters also gathered in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. An American there says she's speaking out because this is not what her country stands her.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Being an American, I care about my country and I care about how we are portrayed and are seen from other countries. And I think that we need to be careful of what we're doing right now.

We have French organizers on our team who've been of a huge help. And it's been amazing. If you see the crowd, people keep coming. So, I think people are ready to fight back and to organize. We're not mourning anymore. We're organizing.


KINKADE: Well, after the breaks, new protests against President Trump's travel ban.

HOLMES: More on how the Trump administration is defending that ban. Just ahead, also tensions rising between the US and Iran.

KINKADE: Next, how Iran is responding to new US sanctions.


[01:15:00] KINKADE: Welcome back. We're live with breaking news on US President Donald Trump's travel ban. The US Justice Department just now filing an appeal to stop a district judge's decision that froze Mr. Trump's immigration order. Now, this coming as protesters even there continuing in cities right across the country against the president's policies.

KINKADE: About 1,000 demonstrators turned out in West Palm Beach, Florida near where Mr. Trump is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort. There were also a handful of Trump supporters demonstrating there as well.

HOLMES: Now, in a string of tweets on Saturday, the president blasted the judge who suspended the ban. And at a Red Cross gala ball in Palm Beach, he predicted his administration will win the battle.

KINKADE: Well, President Trump tells Fox News in a brand-new interview that he respects Russian President Vladimir Putin. He went much further than that, though, acknowledging that President Putin may be a killer, but added that we've got a lot of killers. Have a listen.




O' REILLY: Do you? Why?

TRUMP: Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with them. He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.

O' REILLY: Putin is a killer.

TRUMP: We've got a lot of killers. We've got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?


[01:20:00] HOLMES: All right. Let's discuss this with our Clare Sebastian. She joins us now from Moscow. I don't know how that's going down at the Kremlin, but certainly a curious sort of equivalency being suggested there by Donald Trump. CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Michael. That is the most striking thing about this, is the rhetoric that we hear from Trump in those comments is very similar to the kind of rhetoric that we hear from both the Kremlin here and from the Russian media, the sense of kind of moral equivalency between Russia and the US. Certainly, we've heard it from President Putin in the past. For example, in a speech he made in 2014, he compared Russian actions in Crimea to what the US and the West did in Kosovo. This is how Russia in the past has tried to expose what they see as US and Western hypocrisy in their attitude to Russia.

But beyond that, the shock factor of these comments, interesting to kind of try to decipher of what this will mean from a policy standpoint, this came just a few hours after President Trump spoke to the man who is essentially Putin's archenemy, President Poroshenko of Ukraine. Trump described it as a very good call. He said the US plans to work with Russia, the Ukraine and all parties in trying to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, which, as we know, has been escalating in recent days. So, difficult to imagine really how the US will form a coalition against ISIS with Russia in Syria, while at the same time potentially aiding or even helping Ukraine in its battle against Russian-backed rebels in the east of that country. Certainly, there are members of Mr. Trump's party, John McCain, in particular, who have called for the US to provide lethal aid even to Ukraine in their conflict in the east of that country. So, there's a tension really between these two key issues, Ukraine and Syria, which will actually prove crucial in the development of the US-Russia relationship.

KINKADE: And just speaking about that relationship, we certainly have seen a lot of back-and-forth from the Trump administration. President Trump praising President Putin several times. Then we had his UN ambassador this week condemning Russia and now these latest comments from President Trump. What should we make of where this relationship stands right now between the US and Russia?

SEBASTIAN: Yes. I think there's a lot of questions still to be answered on that and certainly we look forward in the coming weeks and months to meetings in person between Russia's President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump. We know, according to the Kremlin, that that could happen before the G20 summit over the summer. President Poroshenko of Ukraine just talked about on the call said that he plans to travel to Washington soon to meet with Mr. Trump and more will come out in the coming weeks and months. But, certainly, it's been a week of very mixed messages. The call between President Putin and President Trump last weekend, didn't mention the word sanctions at all. But, of course, later in the week, we heard from the UN Ambassador Nikki Haley who said that sanctions should not be lifted on Russia until Crimea is returned to Ukraine. So, this has been playing out in very kind of polarized terms. The Kremlin itself playing its cards very close to its chest, telling us a couple of days ago that they never indulged in any optimism that the relationship would improve dramatically with the US, but we continue to see how this unfolds. And, certainly, a lot of clarity is still needed.

HOLMES: Exactly. Nikki Haley's comments at the UN surely must have been heartening for Mr. Poroshenko. What more do we know about how that phone call went? Mr. Poroshenko, obviously, tried to look for some US support.

SEBASTIAN: I tell you, Michael, there was quite a stark difference between the two statements that we got on that call. One, of course, from the White House and one from the office of President Poroshenko. The White House keeping it really very broad. Broad enough, in fact, to be almost confusing. Of course, Mr. Trump calling it a very good call, but then saying that the US will work to resolve the conflict along the border. This, of course, is not specifically a border conflict, more of a territorial conflict in the east of Ukraine.

But the Ukrainian side being much more specific saying that they are working to kind of resolve the tensions around Avdiivka. That specifically is a government-held town where we've seen violence flare in recent days and weeks and they say that they appreciate the commitment from the White House towards Ukraine's territorial integrity, referring there perhaps to those comments from Nikki Haley earlier in the week who talked about not lifting sanctions against Russia until Crimea was returned to Ukraine. So, you're right, definitely, Ukraine is trying to draw as many positives as it can from that call, but the White House leaving things very open to interpretation.

KINKADE: Yes. They certainly are. Clare Sebastian, good to have you with us. Thank you.

VAUSE: Thanks, Clare. The new US Defense Secretary has some harsh words for Iran, calling it the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism.

[01:25:00] KINKADE: Now, this comes a day after the US placed fresh sanctions on Iran, which carried out a missile test just last week and, of course, days after the Trump administration says it's placing Iran on notice. Our Nic Robertson has more.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the tension on this, the rhetoric and the actions with Iran really seem to be ratcheting up. You have the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis saying that Iran is the world's biggest sponsor of terrorism. A very strong statement. You have, within hours after that, the commander of the aerospace part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, that is the elite force in Iran saying, if the enemy makes a mistake, our roaring missiles will come raining down on their heads. A very clearly escalation here of the rhetoric. But at the same time, over the weekend, Iran has begun military drills by again that aerospace section of the elite force. They've been testing their missile systems, testing their radar systems, testing their electronic countermeasure systems. The very clear message there is, if there is any kind of military action, aircraft flying into Iran's airspace, if there is any kind of military action like that, Iran is ready for it. That's the message. And we know that President Trump, his secretary - his spokesman Sean Spicer have both been very clear, the United States is not taking anything off the table in their potential actions against Iran. So, at the moment, the tensions, the rhetoric, the actions just keep escalating. Nic Robertson, CNN, Valletta, Malta.


HOLMES: And a short break. When we come back, some people affected by the travel ban can now fly to the US, but not many of them are rushing for the airport just yet.


[01:30:00] HOLMES: Hello, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes.

KINKADE: Hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome to our viewers in the US and the around the world. This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. Now, we are continuing to follow the breaking news out of the US of the legal battle brewing over President Donald Trump's travel ban.

HOLMES: Now, the US Justice Department is appealing a federal judge's decision suspending that order. That news coming as protests against Mr. Trump broke out in several cities again. This is one near Palm Beach, Florida on Saturday where the president attended an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

KINKADE: Now, he told reporters that his administration would win its case.

HOLMES: Alan Dershowitz is a Professor Emeritus at Harvard Law School joining us via Skype from Miami Beach in Florida. Always good to see you, sir, and get your expertise on this. How do you think this case will be argued, this appeal, and how likely success for the Trump administration?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, there are 29 judges on the Ninth Circuit and three of them get selected to hear a case. And so, we're playing judicial roulette. The court has some of the most liberal and some of the most conservative judges and it depends on who is drawn in the wheel. The argument the government will make will be that these states don't have standing to object to the president's executive order, that the president's executive order is constitutional, and the president is authorized to make the kinds of judgment he made and it's impossible to predict what the outcome will be.

My own judgment is that part of the president's executive order is constitutional, part of it is unconstitutional. What's required is a calibrated nuanced approach to it. So far, none of the courts have given it that kind of approach. The court in Massachusetts said the whole statute is constitutional. The court in Washington said the statute - or that is the regulation is unconstitutional and we're not clear what the end result is going to be. (INAUDIBLE) outcome.

KINKADE: And, Alan, Donald Trump has attacked the judge who made this decision. He took to Twitter and the president wrote the judge opens up our country to terrorists. What do you make of this sort of attack from the commander-in-chief of the judicial system? DERSHOWITZ: Well, first of all, anybody is free to criticize judges. I have criticized judges. I wrote a whole book called Supreme Injustice criticizing the Supreme Court for Bush v Gore. It's the nature of criticism. President Trump used words that seem very injudicious, very likely to alienate some of the appellate judges who might sit on this, but these judges will decide the case on their merits and it's a closely divided case that reasonable people can disagree about. I think in the end, the stay will be at least partly lifted because parts of the executive order are constitutional. I'll give you an example. If you have a family of people in Yemen who have never been to the United States, have no connection and they just want to have a visa and they are turned down, they have no standing. They would have no right to challenge that. On the other hand, if somebody was in the country, attending university and their visa was revoked, they would have the opportunity to challenge that. So, the regulation is partly constitutional and partly unconstitutional. And the courts have to give it careful, thoughtful consideration.

HOLMES: I'm curious, though. So, there's this appeal to that judge's decision, how does it work? Can there be another appeal to whatever decision comes out of the Ninth Circuit? Could it end up at the Supreme Court where you could end up with a 4-4 tie?

DERSHOWITZ: It is very likely to end up in the Supreme Court and it's very possible it will be a 4-4 tie. That's what happened last time when President Obama's immigration order was challenged. It turned out to 4-4 and that means that the lower court decision is affirmed. But here we have a complexity because you have a judge in the federal court in Massachusetts who ruled in favor of Trump and that might be appealed by the plaintiffs and the cases may come to the Supreme Court at the same time. And what happens if you have two 4-4 decisions, one of which affirms upholding the regulation and one of which affirms striking down the regulation as unconstitutional.

[01:35:00] This is a mess. The president can cure if he withdraws the executive water and goes back to the drawing board and tries to draft it again. This time, with the help of lawyers, experts, national security people, and I think we could get a decent executive order that protects us against terrorism, but doesn't raise the kind of constitutional issues that this order does raise.

KINKADE: US presidents, of course, do have broad and sweeping power. Is it rare for a district judge to make this sort of a ruling, a nationwide ruling on an executive action?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, it's rare, but it's not unprecedented. It happened exactly that way when a Texas federal court struck down President Obama's broad executive order regulating what happens to people who are in the country illegally and haven't committed crimes. We had similar decisions going to healthcare. So, it's not routine, but it has happened from time to time over our history.

What's odd is for a stay to be granted so quickly based on so superficial an opinion. The judge's opinion in this case from Washington is extremely superficial. It doesn't really go into the merits of the constitutional issues very well. He made a statement from the bench saying that this doesn't protect us at all. That's not the job of the judge. The judge isn't an expert in national security, the national security advisers are. So, I think we're seeing over- broad generalizations both from the president and from the judge. This is not the finest hour of American legal history from any point of view.

HOLMES: When you look at it, I mean, you've been doing this for decades, are you concerned about the speed with which a lot of these orders are coming out, that perhaps time has not been given, due consideration has not been and we're just going to end up in this legal minefield over a whole variety of issues?

DERSHOWITZ: I completely agree. This was done too hastily. It was done without consultation. It was done to satisfy a campaign promise rather than to protect the nation in a reasonable way. It could've been done more carefully and it still can be done more carefully. And one hopes that perhaps the president will be advised and maybe he'll have second thoughts and decides to go back to the drawing board. We do need protection against terrorism and there is the possibility of terrorists coming through our visa programs. But we can deal with that problem without confronting problems under the Protection Clause, the First Amendment relating to religion and statutes. There's a statute on the books that it says visa shall not be denied based on religion. So, this can be done much, much more carefully in a calibrated and nuanced way, and it can become a win-win. Right now, it's a lose-lose. Right now, we're not getting protection against terrorism. The airports are a mess. Nobody knows what the outcome is going to be. The courts are divided, the president acted too hastily. This is not a good thing for Americans or for peace or for the protection against terrorism or for the constitution.

KINKADE: A lot of problems there. Alan Dershowitz, great to have your perspective on all of that. Thanks so much for joining us.

DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.

HOLMES: Visa holders in the seven affected countries woke up to the news that, well, they could go to the US now, but they've warned that changes could come again.

KINKADE: Yes. Jomana Karadsheh joins us now from Istanbul in Turkey with reactions there. What are you seeing?

Well, Lynda, I think there's still a lot of confusion and uncertainty, very similar to what we saw and what we reported last week when the travel ban went into effect after the executive order. It took some time for the news to really spread. It took time for the airlines to receive this updated travel restriction. And then, we saw that yesterday. It took several hours. Throughout the day, we were reaching out to airlines around the world asking them if they've received the updates. And slowly, but surely, they did receive those updates by end of the day on Saturday.

But we didn't see any sort of real rush, sort of exodus, people trying to get on planes just yet. I think there is - because of this uncertainty, people are a bit weary. They don't want to take this risk of getting on these planes and going to the United States because they know that this is a legal battle that's still ongoing and they really don't know what the outcome of it is going to be because when people get these visas after waiting to get their visas for a long time, they do risk having these visas canceled. For example, if they get to the United States, then it is a costly trip for a lot of people. So, there is that financial side to it and people don't want to risk that.

[01:40:00] And also, the issue of humiliation. You know, people did talk about looking at people getting detained at airports, people being pulled off planes or turned back and it's quite a humiliating experience which people want to try and avoid. So, I think there is, to an extent, a bit of cautious optimism here that things might be changing, but surely people are feeling very uncertain about what's going to come next. So, I think it's a bit of a wait-and-see situation right now, Lynda.

HOLMES: I guess, is there a sort of sense of - by many there of a collective punishment being imposed on all of them, the suspicion, particularly Iraqis, many of whom have been working with the US in the war on terror, but I'm wondering among people that you've been in contact with, are there those who have an understanding there? They say, "Well, yes, we understand what the US is trying to do."

KARADSHEH: You know what, Michael, I think a lot of people understand that the United States needs to protect itself and they know that there needs to be vetting to get to countries like the United States because of this changing threat in the world right now. But at the same time, what they don't understand is what extreme vetting means because people would tell you they've already gone through so many layers of screening, of background checks, of interviews, all sorts of vetting before they even got visas, especially when it comes to refugees. So, I think that's where the confusion is. They do understand that the US needs to have its own measures in place, but they don't understand how this could change afterwards and why there would be a need - there would need to be extra vetting and how would that be.

HOLMES: Yes. More than what they already go through. Jomana, thanks so much. Jomana Karadsheh in Istanbul for us.

KINKADE: Well, still to come, Mr. Trump is attacking the federal judge who suspended the travel ban, how Vice President Mike Pence is defending his boss.


[01:45:00] HOLMES: And back to our breaking news now out of the United States of the legal battle continuing to brew over President Donald Trump's travel ban

KINKADE: Less than a couple of hours ago, the US Justice Department vowed to appeal a federal judge's decision suspending that order. Now, on Saturday, President Donald Trump attacked the federal judge who temporarily put a halt on that the ban. HOLMES: One of those tweets said this, "The judge opens up our

country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy." For more on that appeal, here is our Sara Sidner in San Francisco, California.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are three judges, a three panel of judges who will look at this, who will look through and say, do we need to agree with the Department of Justice on legal grounds or is the judge's decision in Washington - can that stand as this goes through the courts? The three judges are in three different places, one in Hawaii, one of the judges resides in Arizona, the other judge resides here in Northern California. And so, they will all confer likely on email or by phone and decide what is the legally proper thing to do. At the same time, the Department of Justice can decide that they want to go above the Ninth Circuit Court, especially if they lose that case, and go all the way to the Supreme Court. But, first, I'm sure they would like to hear what the Ninth Circuit Court has to say. Likely, the Ninth Circuit Court will take a couple of days, maybe less to give that decision. We should also look at whether or not their appeal has a good chance to win in this particular court. We talked to a legal expert, who is very familiar with how this court runs, he is a law professor at UC Hastings.

RORY LITTLE, LAW PROFESSOR, UC HASTINGS: The Trump administration would have to say there's something about the stay that harms us irreparably. And I'm not sure they really have any showing on that since the immigration authority still have authority to keep out bad guys whether this order is in place or not. You can always keep out bad guys. And then, they would have to say - the Trump administration would have to say, on the merits, the judge was very clearly wrong. In other words, when he says, there is a likelihood of success on the merits, you'd have to say no, there's no chance of success on the merits. So, the standard to get this reversed is really very high and I think unlikely.

SIDNER: If the Ninth Circuit Court does not basically rule in favor of the Department of Justice allowing it to put the travel ban back in place, then all of this will go back to that court in Washington and go through that court and maybe we'll finally have a decision. How long it's going to take, we don't know yet.

Sara Sidner, CNN, San Francisco.


KINKADE: Well, US Vice President Mike Pence is standing by President Trump's criticism of the federal judge who ruled against the travel ban.

HOLMES: Here's what he told ABC News earlier on Saturday.


UNIDENTIFIED HOST, "ABC NEWS": Is it appropriate for the President to be questioning the legitimacy of a federal judge in that way?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Trump has made it clear that our administration is going to put the safety and security of the American people first. And the executive order that he put into effect was legal, it was appropriate, and our administration is going to be using all legal means at our disposal to challenge the judge's order.

UNIDENTIFIED HOST: I understand that. But is it right for the President to say so-called judge? Doesn't that undermine the separation of powers in the constitution written right next door?

PENCE: Well, I don't think it does. I think the American people are very accustomed to this President speaking his mind.


HOLMES: That was a fascinating interview there. Now, we are just hours away, by the way, from the kickoff to Super Bowl LI.

KINKADE: That's right. We will hear from Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan ahead of the big game. That's coming up after a short break.

HOLMES: MVP, by the way. MVP, announced today.


[01:50:00] KINKADE: Well, the stage is set for the biggest game in American football.

HOLMES: Can't wait. We're talking about the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, yay! Just hours away from Super Bowl LI.

KINKADE: No bias there.

HOLMES: No bias there. It is happening in Houston, Texas this year. It is the Patriots' ninth Super Bowl appearance - that's a record - but only the second for Atlanta.

KINKADE: Now, if the Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wins, he'll become the NFL quarterback with the most Super Bowl victories ever. But his rival, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has just been named league's MVP.

HOLMES: And well deserved. We would have been very angry if that hadn't happened. CNN's Coy Wire, who used to play for the Falcons by the way, caught up with Matt Ryan and has this look at the big game from Houston.


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I'm here in downtown Houston with some of my newest friends, Super Bowl LI from Discovery Green at Super Bowl live. The game is not far away. This is going to be an incredible match-up between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. The Falcons are looking to do something they haven't done in 22 years, win a sports championship for their city.

Now, the Patriots, on the other hand, Tom Brady is looking to win an unprecedented fifth Super Bowl title as a quarterback. He's talked about this week how his family, it means a lot to them. They've had some health concerns there. They're all here for this big game. But Matt Ryan, on the other hand, Matty is a former teammate of mine, he looks different this year. His game is on point and there's something about him, a confidence level I haven't seen before. I had to find out what it is going inside the mind of Matt Ryan.

[01:55:00] What the heck did you do this off-season? Was there something that you did to make yourself better?

MATT RYAN, QUARTERBACK, ATLANTA FALCONS: I think when you believe in what you're doing, it's amazing how that leads to self-peace or confidence going into games. The Navy SEALs talk about all the time that you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your preparation. I believe in that. You prepare the right way, so that when the situation comes, you do exactly what you prepared yourself to do.

WIRE: So, if you could go back and tell this little guy about how he can prepare for the journey that's ahead of him, what would you say?

RYAN: (INAUDIBLE). But, yes, just to enjoy (INAUDIBLE) it's been so much fun and I've been very fortunate.

WIRE: All right. The matchup is just nearby. Tom Brady versus Matt Ryan, going to be an incredible matchup. Can't wait to see how it all plays out. Downton Houston, Super Bowl LI. It's almost game time and the fans are ready.


KINKADE: Going to be a great game.

HOLMES: It is. It is going to be a tough game for the Falcons, but fingers crossed.

KINKADE: Well, that's all we have time for right now. I'm Lynda Kinkade. We've got to say good bye.

HOLMES: Yes. I'm Michael Holmes. Another hour of NEWSROOM, though, starts in just a moment with Robyn Curnow and Cyril Vanier. You're with CNN, the world news leader. Thanks for your company at this time.