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President Trump Vows to Pursue Travel Ban; U.S. Officials Corroborate Parts of Classified Dossier; Michael Flynn Did Discuss Sanctions with Russia's Ambassador; French Police Claims They Prevented Imminent Terror Attack; Refugees from Sudan Face Difficult Challenges to Escape; Trump Pivots to Asia?; Americans and Mexicans Continue to Bond in Mexico; Kellyanne Conway Promotes Ivanka Trump's Stuff on TV; Refugees Fleeing to Canada's Border; UAE Hockey Women's Player Gets to Play with Favorite Team. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired February 11, 2017 - 04:00   ET


[04:00:11] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Considering his options, the president of the United States could issue a new executive order on immigration.

Also, U.S. National Security adviser Michael Flynn now says he can't be certain that sanctions weren't discussed with the Russian ambassador while President Barack Obama was in office.

And a suspected terror cell arrested. French police believe they've prevented an imminent attack possibly inspired by ISIS.

From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world.

I'm George Howell, CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

It is 4:00 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast. After a major defeat in court to President Donald Trump's travel ban, his administration is now exploring all of its legal options this weekend. The president suggested he might start over with the ban. A brand new travel ban, possibly as early as next week, or he may even choose to keep defending his current directive before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. One option, though, is apparently off the table for now. A source familiar to the situation says the case won't be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court at this time.

On Friday, President told reporters aboard Air Force One that he expects to win in the end. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The unfortunate part is that it takes time statutorily. So it takes a little time. But we'll win that battle. But we also have a lot of other options including just filing a brand new order on Monday.


TRUMP: It could very well be, but I'd like to keep you --you know, I'd like surprise you. We need speed for reasons of security. So it could very well be that we do that.


HOWELL: It has, though, been rare to see a White House so deeply entangled in a constitutional battle just weeks into a new presidency.

CNN's Pamela Brown has more now on how we got to this point.


TRUMP: I welcome you to the very famous White House.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the White House tweaks its now halted controversial executive order and considers whether to issue a new one, President Trump, speaking at a joint press conference at the White House, is vowing to not give up the fight.

TRUMP: We'll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country. You'll be seeing that sometime next week. In addition, we will continue to go through the court process and, ultimately, I have no doubt that we'll win that particular case.

BROWN: Trump's announcement comes in the wake of a strong rebuke from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over his travel ban. He tweeted the decision was, quote, "disgraceful," and again sounded the alarm that there is an urgent need for the travel ban to keep the country safe.

TRUMP: While I've been president, which is just for a very short period of time, I've learned tremendous things that you could only learn, frankly, if you were in a certain position, namely president. And there are tremendous threats to our country. We will not allow that to happen.

BROWN: But the court said the administration failed to present evidence to back up Trump's national security claim, saying, quote, "The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack on the United States." Those countries listed in the ban, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria.

TRUMP: Big stuff.

BROWN: And the court pushed back against the notion that matters of national security should only be left up to the president, saying, quote, "Rather than present evidence to explain the need for the executive order, the government has taken the position that we must not review its decision at all. We disagree." Now the Trump administration has to figure out what's next.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There does seem to be some chaos in the Trump administration over the way that this order was written and how to go forward here. BROWN (on camera): The president also said in honor of the Ninth

Circuit Court's decision, he will likely wait until next week to respond with any action.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Pamela, thank you for that reporting.

CNN has learned new information about the ongoing investigation into allegations raised in a collection of memos. Those memos created by a former British intelligence agent for political opponents of then candidate Donald Trump.

CNN's Jim Sciutto is working on this story and spoke to Erin Burnett earlier. Let's listen.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: What have you learned tonight?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, new details. For the first time, U.S. investigators say that they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in that 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent. CNN, as you said, was first report last month that then president- elect Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of the memos prior to the inauguration.

[04:05:02] Until now, though, U.S. officials have said that none of the content or allegations have been verified. But we have learned multiple current and former U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN that intelligence intercepts of foreign nationals confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier.

The corroboration, based on intercepted communications, has given U.S. intelligence and law enforcement, quote, "greater confidence in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier, as they continue to actively investigate its contents," these sources say.

We should be clear that CNN has not confirmed the content of the calls or whether any of the content relates to then-candidate Trump. And none of the newly learned information relates -- I should emphasize -- to the salacious allegations in the dossier.

Reached for comment this afternoon, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, quote, "We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting," end quote.

Spokesman for the FBI, the Department of Justice, the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, all reached by CNN, they, Erin, had no comment. BURNETT: So, Jim, you talk about that this didn't relate to the

salacious parts of the dossier but there were incredibly serious allegations in here. Do you have any sense at this hour what it is that U.S. investigators have corroborated that is true in this dossier?

SCIUTTO: Well, this is what we know. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. One thing the U.S. has is a collection of foreign call intercepts. So they used that information to seek to verify that some of these alleged conversations described in the dossier took place and U.S. intelligence officials emphasize the conversations they have now verified were solely between foreign nationals, including those tied to or inside the Russian government. But some of the individuals involved in the intercepted communications were known to the U.S. intelligence community as being, quote, "heavily involved in collecting information damaging to Hillary Clinton." And I should note this, Erin, helpful to Donald Trump.

BURNETT: Right, which obviously is a crucial part of all this and then whether there was any kind of collusion there. I mean, the sources I know that you have been talking to say, look, there's confirmation these conversations happened. And I think it's crucial to emphasize your reporting, right, on the dates and times and places that they were alleged to have occurred. There still, though, is a lot in those 35 pages, right, that they cannot verify, right?

SCIUTTO: Absolutely not. And we want to emphasize that as well. One of the officials stressed to CNN that they have not corroborated, and this is a quote, "the more salacious things," end quote, alleged in the dossier. And I'll remind our viewers that CNN has not reported any of those salacious allegations. However, when we first reported this story, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials said they could not verify any parts of the memos. They are now saying they did indeed corroborate some of those communications.

I will say again that none of the officials we spoke to for this story would comment or confirm that they have proof of any alleged conversations or meetings between Russian officials and U.S. citizens.


SCIUTTO: And that includes associates of then-candidate Trump. Officials who spoke to CNN for this story cautioned they have not reached any final judgment on whether the Russian government has any compromising information about the president. President Trump and his staff -- you remember this, Erin, as well.


SCIUTTO: Have repeatedly dismissed the entire dossier as, quote, "phony."


HOWELL: And that was Jim Sciutto speaking with Erin Burnett. Our thanks to both of them for that report.

In the meantime, another potential scandal with Russia doesn't seem to be going away, involving the president's National Security adviser. A U.S. official now confirms to CNN that Michael Flynn did discuss sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. while Barack Obama was still president. This is something that he's denied before.

CNN's Elise Labott has the story for us.


ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER (voice-over): The White House says it's troubled over backpedaling by President Trump's National Security adviser, General Mike Flynn, who now says he is unsure whether he spoke to Moscow's ambassador to the U.S. about sanctions on Russia before President Trump even took office, including a conversation on the same day they were imposed by President Obama.

A serious problem for Vice President Mike Pence, one of several top officials who vouched for Flynn including in this interview with CBS News last month.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I can confirm having spoken to him about it is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.

LABOTT: Now the vice president is claiming he was relying on Flynn's assurance that sanctions never came up. A close aide now says Flynn has, quote, "no recollection of discussing sanctions," but, quote, "couldn't be certain that the topic never came up."

[04:10:04] And a senior White House adviser says Pence believes that's a problem.

TONY BLINKEN, FORMER DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: You've got different people saying different things, not knowing who they can trust within their own team. That heads to a very difficult place, too.

LABOTT: U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials told CNN last month investigators were monitoring calls between Flynn and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The content of those calls captured during routine eavesdropping on Russian diplomats was concerning, at the same time the U.S. was conducting a broader investigation of Russian activities in the U.S.

Officials who spoke to CNN at the time stressed no determination of wrongdoing on Flynn's part had been made. A U.S. official confirms Flynn's communication with the Russian ambassador included discussions of sanctions during at least one phone call as first reported in "The Washington Post." The Kremlin denies reports Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak discussed sanctions, calling the information, quote, "incorrect."

A key question, whether Flynn's communication with the ambassador influenced Russian president Vladimir Putin's decision not to retaliate after the new sanctions were imposed.

The Obama administration also kicked out some 35 Russian diplomats out of the country in response to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

BLINKEN: After the Obama administration went ahead with those sanctions, normally you would expect Russia to retaliate in kind. That's been past practice. And of course President Putin said no, I'm not going to do that. And you have to wonder whether in fact he was told hold off, don't do anything, because when we, the Trump administration, get in, we're going to revisit this whole thing.

LABOTT: At the time President-elect Trump cheered Russia's decision on Twitter, writing, quote, "Great move on delay by V. Putin. I always knew he was very smart."


HOWELL: That was CNN's Elise Labott reporting there for us. CNN global affairs reporter. We'll stay in touch with her, of course, as we continue to follow up the story.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells CNN the only reason that Flynn hasn't been fired is because the White House does not want to look bad.

Let's get some context on all the political news of the day with CNN politics reporter, Eugene Scott, live via Skype in Washington, D.C.

Eugene, a pleasure to have you with us. Let's talk first of all -- first of all that the information we're learning regarding Michael Flynn allegedly talking about these sanctions with Russia, something he's denied before. But it's information that has apparently caught the president off guard and has put Vice President Mike Pence in a tricky spot.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: It certainly has, yesterday, when reporters were speaking to the president on Air Force One about it, the president said he needed to look into it and implied that perhaps he did not have the latest information on this situation. But all eyes right now are on Mike Pence. The vice president historically has been the president's cleanup guy. And Pence regularly went to the media and to voters and said that reports that their National Security adviser had been in communication with Russia, not just before the inauguration, but before the election were false.

The reality, according to the White House, is that Pence was only sharing what Flynn told him. But now there is intelligence from American intelligence agencies that says what Flynn told pence isn't quite accurate.

HOWELL: And Mike Pence, we saw just earlier on "Face the Nation" saying one thing. So obviously as this continues to play out we'll see if that story remains the case.

Let's also talk about the president meeting with the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. This is their second time to meet face-to-face. The first was when the prime minister flew to New York before the president took the oath of office. But it does seem that the Japanese prime minister is making certain to be front and center striking a strong relationship with the new president.

SCOTT: Yes, I would imagine that this is a high priority for Abe, especially considering how the current administration has responded to TPP. There's great interest in continued trade between Japan and the United States and both sides, the American government and the Japanese government, are trying to explore how they will go about continuing that information, as the relationship between both economies continues to strengthen.

I think a very interesting moment was when the president was speaking very positively of Abe in terms of why he hugged him, or why he shook his hand so long, in terms of how much respect he has for Abe. But he did warn that that could change, and if it does change, he will let voters know.

HOWELL: Obviously Japan focused on those trade relations. The president focused on bilateral deals as opposed to multilateral deals.

Let's also talk about Donald Trump, so far his image abroad, according to Americans, I want you to take a look at this new Gallup poll, Eugene, that came out and it shows that Americans -- 29 percent of the Americans believe that the president is respected by world leaders abroad.

[04:15:04] Eugene, though, comparing this to the former president Barack Obama's figures the current president's numbers are much lower.

SCOTT: Yes, they are and many Americans perhaps think the current president is not respected highly abroad because if you look at approval ratings and the polls from Americans toward the president they aren't really high. The reality is, that his transition administration has seen some of the lowest marks in history -- in the history of polling. And so it's not surprising that Americans that has impacted how international viewers view our current leadership.

There's great concern as our world becomes more global in terms of trade and other national security and other policy issues about how the U.S. is viewed overseas and many Americans think the current president can lead the way in that.

HOWELL: Eugene, another big international topic of the U.S. president now indicating that he will honor the "One China" policy. In fact, that story playing out at the same time that the Japanese prime minister was visiting the U.S. president. But quite an about-face for the president because you remember, before he took the oath of office, there was these series of tweets that seemed to question whether the U.S. would continue with that longstanding policy and also indicated more interest in talking with Taiwan.

SCOTT: That is true. But we know that the president spoke with the head of China this past Thursday where he affirmed or reaffirmed that he would honor the "One China" policy. With that being said, the president has made it clear that he will continue communications with the leader in Taiwan to make sure that the relationship between the two countries being the U.S. and China as a whole continues to improve as well. And details of all of this have not been really ironed out. So what one China will look like in the Trump administration is not clear. The Chinese officials are optimistic.

HOWELL: And these officials saying that is the only way for the United States to maintain a political relationship with that nation.

Eugene Scott live for us in Washington. Eugene, thank you. We'll see you again next hour.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still ahead, French police say they have thwarted a terror attack and the suspects may have been inspired by ISIS.

Also the ongoing violence in South Sudan has created massive refugee crisis and officials warned it could get worse.

Stay with us.



[04:21:25] HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm George Howell. Police in France say that they have thwarted an imminent terror attack. A source says that four suspects all of whom are French nationals appear to have been inspired by ISIS.

CNN's Erin McLaughlin gained exclusive access inside one of the suspect's apartments and spoke to his roommate.


ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the aftermath of an early morning raid. French police say their work here prevented an imminent suicide attack. For Mohammed Mad Jodi, this is what's left of his home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Through Translator): I'm seeing this for the first time. I didn't get home before because I went to the police. I was scared they would think I was an accomplice.

MCLAUGHLIN (On camera): Neighbors say the police arrived at 6:00 in the morning and blew down the front door. They arrested the suspect and then started to search for evidence completely turning the place inside out. But the tenant says the suspect only had two suitcases. He'd only been here for a few days.

(Voice-over): Mad Jodi met the 20-year-old through a local mosque and needed a place to stay, and Mad Jodi had a place to spare.

MOHAMMED MAD JODI, TENANT (Through Translator): I knew she was in a tough situation, and I just wanted to help.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mad Jodi says the man kept to himself except for his teenage companion believed to be his fiance visited every so often. She's also under arrest. Investigators believe she planned to join ISIS in Syria just before the planned attack. Now his neighbors are furious. How could he allow a suspected terrorist to live among them? But Mad Jodi says he had no idea. He is still in shock.

(On camera): You've seen the attack that happened last year in Nice, the Paris attacks. Did you ever think that something like that could happen here?

MAD JODI (Through Translator): It can happen anywhere. It's sad. Places like that. Now if I see someone in a tough situation, I will just let them be because we don't know any more who is the person in front of us.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Erin McLaughlin, Montpellier.


HOWELL: Erin, thank you for that report.

Now to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan that's forced more than 1.5 million people to try to escape that country. U.N. officials warned the fighting could turn to genocide.

Our Farai Sevenzo shows us the difficult challenges that some refugee are up against there.


FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A simple bridge separates South Sudan's war from neighboring Uganda's peace. This is one of the largest refugee sites in the world. And they keep coming. They're fleeing targeted ethnic killings, forced recruitment of child soldiers, burned villages and rape as a weapon of war.

EDINA TABU, SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEE: In my house, my own house is here.

SEVENZO: Edina Tabu (PH) now has a new home in the town of Bidi Bidi in Uganda. Three months ago, armed men entered their house in South Sudan, demanding food and much, much more. Hers is a difficult story but she wants to share it.

TABU: He go and ask my father, do you agree to rape your daughter? Father say no. You leave my daughter because I've losted (sic) five children. You have seen also their grips (PH) are here.

SEVENZO: Soldiers killed Edina's father in front of her. The U.N. is now talking of genocide and the serious concern is that this could turn into another Rwanda, where genocide occurred as the world did nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: South Sudan stands on the brink of an all-out ethnic civil war, which, quite frankly, can destabilize the entire region. [04:25:07] SEVENZO: Five years ago, the future seemed brighter for

Africa's youngest nation after achieving independence. But a power struggle followed by more violence resulted in burned villages and thousands of deaths.

A peace deal broke down in 2016 and the U.S. security resolution failed to impose an arms embargo. Many wonder now if the new U.S. administration will prioritize this war-torn nation.

In the meantime, it is nations like Uganda, who are welcoming refugees from South Sudan, giving them land and the right to work. The gamble of their lives is over. Signs of normality and joy have returned to these refugees. But the old know only too well the fear they have left behind.

Farai Sevenzo, CNN.


HOWELL: Farai Sevenzo showing us the situation there in Sudan.

Coming up, President Trump pivots to Japan and China. The president hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his resort in Florida. The two leaders reaffirming their country's close ties.

Also ahead, refugees by the dozens crossing Canada's long snowy border with the United States. But they're not who you might think they might be.

Live from Atlanta to our viewers here in the United States and around the world this hour. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world.

[04:30:03] You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. It is good to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump said that he may issue a new executive order on immigration. His controversial travel ban was halted Thursday by a federal appeals court. A source familiar with the situation says the White House has not decided -- decided not to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court at this time.

Mexico is warning its citizens in the U.S. to, quote, "take precautions" after a high-profile deportation. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos was expelled from the U.S. Thursday. The 35-year-old had been in the U.S. since she was 14 but was later convicted of using a fake Social Security number. Her attorney blamed her deportation on Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration.

In the meantime, the U.S. president says he is unaware of reports that his National Security adviser may have talked about sanctions imposed on Russia with Moscow's ambassador. A U.S. official tells CNN Michael Flynn discussed the punitive measures with the Russian envoy while Barack Obama was still president of the United States.

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of planning an imminent terror attack in France. A source says the suspects who are French nationals appear to have been inspired by ISIS. When they were arrested the suspect had just begun making the same explosive used in the Paris and Brussels attack.

The U.S. president is hosting the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida this weekend. The two leaders and their wives had dinner at Mr. Trump's resort Mar-a-Lago on Friday night. But even during Mr. Abe's visit, China is taking up much of the spotlight.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski has this report.


MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump with the Japanese prime minister, facing questions about China, seeming to offer a warning over currency manipulation.

TRUMP: We will be all on a level playing field because that's the only way it's fair. That's the only way that you can fairly compete.

KOSINSKI: Yet it comes one day after this stunning statement from the White House, summarizing last night's phone call between President Trump and the Chinese president. "President Trump agreed at the request of President Xi to honor our 'One China' policy," a striking about-face for President Trump, who has said plenty to rock that boat.

TRUMP: I don't know why we have to be bound by a "One China" policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade. They break the rules in every way imaginable. China, which has been ripping us off, the greatest abuser in the history of this country.

KOSINSKI: President Xi had not spoken to Trump since Trump took a phone call from Taiwan before the inauguration, an unprecedented breach of protocol in this complex and important relationship.

The "One China" policy, in China's view, is the bedrock on which cooperation rests, ensuring that the U.S. views Taiwan as part of China.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Given its importance to China, it was inevitable that we would have to back down. And that makes us look weak. Now I think our partners and allies in the region are reassured, we are not about to go to war, and the relationship with China is stabilized. But they are also asking if we are not a paper tiger. We make threats and then we back away from them.

KOSINSKI: And now comes word from the European Union after meetings with U.S. officials on the Iran nuclear deal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was assured by what I heard in my meetings on the intention to stick to the full and strict implementation of the agreement in all its parts.

KOSINSKI: Yet again, this was a key issue on which President Trump ran for office.

TRUMP: We can't continue to make deals like that horrible Iran deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going the rip up the Iran deal.

KOSINSKI: A major shift away from the rhetoric, reminiscent of President Obama's warning to the new administration.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are certain things that make for good sound bites but don't always translate into good policy. Reality has a way of asserting itself.

KOSINSKI (on camera): It's clear that foreign policy is very much in the shaping stage. There's a new poll out, though, by Gallup that shows that now only 29 percent of Americans believe President Trump is respected by other world leaders and only 42 percent now feel that the U.S. is viewed favorably in the world.

Michelle Kosinski, CNN, the State Department.


HOWELL: Michelle, thank you.

A top House Republican and fellow Democrat say that they will refer the president's close adviser for an investigation. At issue, the comments that Kellyanne Conway made on another network where she urged American to buy items from Ivanka Trump's clothing line. Conway tweeted that she has the president's support, but the controversy continues.

We get more now from CNN's Jessica Schneider.


TRUMP: There is no den she will not go into.

[04:35:01] JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the end of a rocky three weeks, it's the TV appearance that topped off a series of Kellyanne Conway missteps.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: Go buy Ivanka stuff is what I would tell them. I hate shopping and I'm going to get some on myself today. It's a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully -- I'm just going to give it -- I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.

SCHNEIDER: A top advisor in the White House peddling the president daughter's fashion line. It appears to violate ethics laws, according to a bipartisan letter from the top Republican and Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, and they're asking the Office of Government Ethics to review. The backlash prompting the response that wasn't exactly backpedalling. CONWAY: We're aware of that letter and we're reviewing that

internally. I'm just really happy that I spent an awful lot of time with the president of the United States this afternoon and that he supports me 100 percent.

All I can say to America's women is, at some point in your life, you ought to have a boss who treated me the way that the president of the United States treated me today.

SCHNEIDER: This statement and a subsequent tweet showcasing the president's support didn't save Conway from being lampooned by late night.

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: From now on, the only network Kellyanne Conway should be allowed on is QVC.

CONWAY: It's a wonderful line, I own some of it. I'm just going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.

SCHNEIDER: It was just the latest in a series of verbal lapses for the very vocal Conway.

CONWAY: Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains --

CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS MODERATOR: Wait a minute, alternative facts? Alternative facts -- look, alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods.

SCHNEIDER: Later presenting a falsehood herself, referring to a made- up massacre.

CONWAY: President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. They didn't know that because it didn't get covered.

SCHNEIDER: It didn't get covered because it didn't happen. Conway eventually said she misspoke, tweeting, "I meant to say Bowling Green terrorists, these two men were sentenced for plotting to send weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, Jake, they are not bad. They are alt-good.

SCHNEIDER: The linguistic leaps, a persistent punch line on "Saturday Night Live."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think if you really look at it, if you read the whole tweet, that is what it says.

SCHNEIDER: Conway's character showcased getting testy about having to constantly defend her boss.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want me to stay? Yes, he said that, he's crazy.

SCHNEIDER: And even letting loose basking in her notorious name recognition.

(On camera): But it is not all laughs. Democrats and Republicans alike are pushing for disciplinary action for Kellyanne Conway because she did endorse Ivanka Trump's fashion line. Federal law does banned public officials from promoting a product that would help out a friend or a relative. We know that Kellyanne Conway has apologized to the president and we're told that President Trump backs her completely.

Now the Office of Government Ethics can recommend a punishment but it can't actually enforce it or institute it.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: Jessica, thank you for the reporting.

Donald Trump's policies on Mexico have put American expatriates in that nation in a tough position. We look at the impact on day-to-day life in Mexico City.

Plus, the Canadian border with the United States, it has become the unexpected scene of a refugee migration as desperate asylum seekers from Africa head north to the United States. Stay with us.


[04:41:46] HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. Mexico is warning its citizens in the United States that they are facing a new reality after the recent deportation of an undocumented mother from the country. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos went to a routine immigration check, she was checking in and was promptly kicked out of the country.

It is important to note, though, that she was a convicted felon. Still her supporters say she is among the many people who are being torn from their families.

Our Shasta Darlington went to Mexico City to see how U.S. policy is affecting the capital there.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the heart of Mexico city, Mexicans and Americans are bonding over beer, barbecue and football. American football. Many patrons here say the escalating political feud so far hasn't sparked anti-American sentiment.

(On camera): Are you facing any backlash?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally haven't dealt with anything. I've been here for close to five years now and only been treated really, really nicely. DARLINGTON: But this attorney says there are signs of tensions,

albeit small ones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are getting a little angry. I was at a karaoke bar and people were saying we don't want to sing those songs.

DARLINGTON: At the Darn Gringo Restaurant American co-owner Dan de Fosi (PH) says they try to defuse those tensions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we are able to operate with a bit of humility because we're not the gringo. We don't think we're better or we have a better restaurant than anybody. We're the pinto gringos.

DARLINGTON: He and his Mexican business partner Roberto Luna serve up Texas-style barbecue to an international crowd. And while anger at Trump has prompted boycotts of some major American brands, they say it hasn't fueled hostility towards them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe that people automatically associate me with the policies that are happening with my government. And I think there's a real appreciation for the fact that we love this country.

DARLINGTON: Roberto says they celebrate both cultures. Mexican chefs slow-cooking local beef to produce authentic American flavors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it's no anti-American. No, we need to be pro-Mexicans. No? And pro-Americans and pro-everything.

DARLINGTON: Super Bowl Sunday was sold out. More than half the clients Mexicans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can have a good relationship with an American person, with a Russian person, and it's about people. Not governments.

DARLINGTON: And while big anti-Trump protests are expected on Sunday, at this restaurant they hope to keep bringing everyone together at the same table.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Mexico City.


HOWELL: In the meantime, some towns in Canada are being flooded with mostly African refugees who have given up on their asylum plans in the United States. Hundreds of people have crossed the largely unguarded border between the two countries in the last nine months making the trip in bitterly cold winter weather as you see here. Cold enough in fact that some have lost fingers to frostbite.

The CBC's Cameron MacIntosh has this report for us.


[04:45:04] CAMERON MACINTOSH, CBC REPORTER: He's loading up with clothes, blankets and food. JP Venegas has made the trip from Winnipeg to Emerson many times. Picking up people who have walked over the border.

JEAN PIERRE VENEGAS, SENIOR MANAGER, INTERFAITH IMMIGRATION COUNCIL: I did that several times for new refugees who came in.

MACINTOSH: A former refugee from Chile, he's now senior manager with Winnipeg's Interfaith Immigration Council. He's taking supplies to Emerson to help deal with the flood of asylum seekers.

VENEGAS: Fifteen years ago, I was in the same shoes of these people. So I was crossing the border from the States coming to Canada for a better life.

MACINTOSH: One hour south of Winnipeg, Emerson has seen hundreds of mostly African asylum seekers in the past year, particularly since the fall as many say it's getting harder to claim refugee status in the U.S. Under international convention, someone who walks over the border can legally make a refugee claim in Canada. Last weekend in bitter cold, 22 people did, forcing volunteers in town to open an emergency shelter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We give Emerson Franklin the authority --

MACINTOSH: Today the town made a new deal with water services the RCMP.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have assured us that they will have the manpower to handle the influx of refugees.

MACINTOSH: So what about security? All those people coming over that famously undefended border. Legally the RCMP can't stop them, but say they are arresting them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are identified, searched, screened, those types of things, then they take them to CBSA where their processes take place, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the port of entry we are well-positioned to deal with the traffic that comes through.

MACINTOSH: People have been turned back. Mohammed Wahlen (PH) did get through last weekend. He's thankful to the community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they welcome us. They give us food to eat. They give us blankets because they put (INAUDIBLE).

MACINTOSH: Venegas is hoping that compassion continues.

VENEGAS: Basically, they have nothing. Most of the people, they just come with the clothes on their backs.


HOWELL: That was the CBC's Cameron MacIntosh reporting for us. The numbers of refugees crossing like this has been on the rise from

dozens of people in 2013 to more than 400 people in just the last nine months.

Still ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, when you think hockey the United Arab Emirates is probably not the first place that comes to mind but one young woman is making even NHL stars think again on that. Stay with us.



[04:51:26] HOWELL: Talk about a windy day in Wyoming. Look at that. This truck found out the hard way as it toppled right over on a highway patrol car. Thankfully, that car was empty. No one in the truck or the car -- no one was hurt. Wow.

For the second time in less than a week, a big snowstorm is set to hit the northeast part of the U.S. Our meteorologist Julie Martin joins us now with a look at the timing on the storm.

Julie, how is that expected to compare to the one that just came through?

JULIE MARTIN, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, here's the one that just came through, George.


MARTIN: Winds are going to be a real issue, George. We'll have to keep an eye on that.

HOWELL: Winds and snow. I think that maybe they had enough, right, the first round?


HOWELL: But here comes round two. Julie, thank you so much.

February has been declared hockey is for everyone month by the world's top pro-hockey league and no one embodies that quite like a fan from the United Arab Emirates.

Our Jonathan Mann introduces us to the young woman living out her dream on ice.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's wearing a hijab instead of a helmet but Fatima Al Ali looks perfectly at home on the ice.

[04:55:05] The 27-year-old joined the NHL's Washington Capitals morning skate this week where she was able to spend time with her hockey hero Alex Ovechkin. ALEX OVECHKIN, WASHINGTON CAPITALS PLAYER: She's great. She's a

great person. She come here, meet me, meet the Capitals, and in a hockey game.

MANN: She even got an autographed stick from the NHL all-star.

FATIMA AL ALI, HOCKEY PLAYER: This is just a dream come true. I've just been playing for six years and all of this, it's not expected. It's just unbelievable.

MANN: Since she took up the sport, Al Ali says she spends most of her waking hours on skates. She's a player on the UAE women's national team, a junior league coach and a referee in men's games. It was her puck passing prowess that caught the attention of former Washington Capitals star Peter Bondra on a trip to the United Arab Emirates last year. He shot this video and posted it at the social media where it quickly went viral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very nice. It's amazing story and, you know, for a big hockey guy, I was amazed with her skills. And she learned, like she mentioned, she started playing hockey like six years ago. It's unbelievable.

MANN: Bondra was so impressed he surprised Al Ali with an invitation to Washington to meet her favorite team in person. In addition to skating with the players, Al Ali got to drop the puck at Thursday night's game between the Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings, even snapped a selfie at center ice.

The NHL designated February Hockey is For Everyone Month. And Al Ali has proven she's a perfect ambassador for the game.

Jonathan Mann, CNN.


HOWELL: Thank you for being with us. Another hour of NEWSROOM straight ahead. Stay with us.