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FBI Director "Incredulous" Over Trump's Claims; Trump Signs New Travel Ban; Thaad Missile Defense System Arrives In South Korea; Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal & Replace Obamacare; White House Offers No Evidence To Back Wiretap Claims; White House Plagiarizes Praise Of ExxonMobil; New Order Bars Refugees For 120 Days. Aired 1- 2a ET

Aired March 7, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, the U.S. President add on to FBI Director James Comey, who is said to be incredulous over Donald Trump's wiretapping claims. And President Trump's new travel ban has some big changes: notably, Iraq, no longer on the list of targeted countries. We'll explain why. And after North Korea's ballistic missile test, the U.S. delivers the first pieces of this controversial missile defense system to South Korea, despite protests from Beijing, Moscow, and Pyongyang. Hello everybody, great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. We're now into the second hour of NEWSROOM L.A.

There is major push back to President Donald Trump's explosive wiretapping allegations. A source says, FBI Director James Comey was incredulous at the President's unsubstantiated claim that former President Barack Obama had his phones wiretapped last year. And Comey is upset that Justice Department has publicly rejected the allegation. Despite the distraction, there is some progress on two of the President's big campaign promises. Republicans are pushing ahead with their plan to repeal, and notably, replace Obamacare. And President Trump signed a revised order for a temporarily travel ban. Iraq was removed from the list, so it now covers six Muslim-majority countries. But first, to the FBI Director and at least one source, who says Comey felt compelled to refute President Trump's wiretap claim. But our Sara Murray reports the White House is not backing down.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: President Trump leveling a stunning attack at his predecessor, alleging without any evidence that former President Obama spied on him at Trump Tower. This weekend, Trump tweeted: "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? This is Nixon Watergate, bad or sick guy." His allegations appear to have been inspired by a Breitbart article, that was making its way around the White House. But since venting via Twitter, the President hasn't been able to back up his claims. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer offered no evidence today, but insisted the President has no regrets. Sounds like you're saying the President does not regret making that allegation?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Absolutely, not. No way. The President has made very clear that he wants the House and Senate Intelligence Communities to look into anything in the 2016 election that may or may not have been proper with respect to require taps or surveillance. We hope that they do that.

MURRAY: Meanwhile, sources tell CNN that the FBI has asked the Justice Department to refute Trump's claim that Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump's phones last year. The FBI's request came because such a wiretap would be illegal. The President can't just order eavesdropping on a U.S. citizen. A court would have to approve the wiretap request, and that would mean a judge would to have found sufficient evidence to do so. Today, Spicer declined to say whether FBI Director James Comey still has the President's full confidence. But what about the President's view of the FBI Director?

SPICER: I haven't asked him that yet. I think obviously, he's focused today, first and foremost on this effort to keep the country safe.

MURRAY: Over the weekend, the former Director of National Intelligence also said, he was aware of no such wiretapping during his tenure.

JAMES CLAPPER, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE FORMER DIRECTOR: For the part of the National Security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the President-elect at that time were as a candidate, or against his campaign.

MURRAY: As for Obama, a spokesman for the former President insisted he's never ordered surveillance of any U.S. citizen saying, "A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice." Even members of the Republican Party said, they weren't sure what the President was referring to.

MARCO RUBIO, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM FLORIDA: If it's true, obviously, we're going to find out very quickly. And if it isn't, then obviously, he'll have to explain what he meant by it.


VAUSE: OK. Our thanks to Sara Murray for that report. Joining us here in Los Angeles: Democratic Strategist Dave Jacobson, and Republican Consultant John Thomas. OK. So, given the seriousness of the charge obviously, there are a lot of demands right now for the President, you know, to make good, to show us what that evidence is. Some of these demands coming from Marco Rubio in the Senate today, also from Senator John McCain. Listen to this.


JOHN MCCAIN, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM ARIZONA: It is a very serious charge and one that needs corroboration. And I'm in favor of Congress continuing investigation. But first, I believe the President should tell the American people what evidence he has that this kind of action was carried out by the previous President.


[01:05:08] VAUSE: So, John, should the President do as John McCain guests? Put the evidence out there and tell them what exactly is going on here?

JOHN THOMAS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Yes, I think he should. There're a couple of different ways he can skim this cat: one is by putting forth the evidence, the other is by contacting the NSA directly and having them make a statement, and the other is having Congress do an investigation and get to the bottom of this. I'm not privy to the evidence that Donald Trump - President Trump has, but he's doing what he thinks is best at this time.

VAUSE: Dave, does Donald Trump actually have any evidence here?

DAVE JACOBSON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, that's the real question. And look, and the reality is like, if there really was wiretapping, and there was a court order that justified a warrant for this? I mean, it really underscores the fact that there's a serious challenge of possible collusion between, perhaps, the Trump campaign and the Russians or some other outside force - some other outside actor. And I think that's a real question that needs to be asked, and I think the President's the one to put it out there. He's got to answer to that.

THOMAS: But we do know that General Flynn had been tapped. There're -

VAUSE: He had been tapped, but the Russian Ambassador had been tapped.


VAUSE: Which is part of a normal procedure for a foreign diplomat.

THOMAS: OK. So, Michael Flynn - they had intel with Michael Flynn. Other Trump associates that weren't working for the campaign but they were close with Trump swear that they've been tapped, that Trump talk to on a regular basis.

VAUSE: Which ones?

THOMAS: Roger Stone.

VAUSE: OK. Come on, who else you got?

THOMAS: Well - look, it's possible that Paul Manafort, because he has a lot of dealings with the Russians - was potentially tapped. A guy who talks to President Trump all the time. I think President Trump just wants to get to the bottom of this.

VAISE: OK. The Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, he told CNN he doesn't know what the evidence actually is, but he believes that it must be compelling. Listen to this.


anything about it other than when I was sitting in the studio here watching CNN. If the President of the United States said that he's got his reasons to say it, he's got some convincing evidence that that took place.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN THE SITUATION ROOM HOST: What possibly could that convincing evidence be?

KELLY: I don't pretend to even guess as to what the motivation may have been for the previous administration to do something like that.


VAUSE: Dave, should we actually just take the President at his word right now?

JACOBSON: Absolutely no, because the President has lied, and lied, and lied throughout the course of his what, 40-plus-day presidency. But I think this raises real red flags, you've got reports of the FBI Director of the past, you know, National Intelligence Director James clapper saying that there's, you know, he wasn't aware of any wiretapping. I mean, this is a very dangerous path that we're sort of going down, where you've got the President of the United States lying about election fraud - voter fraud, lying about the Electoral College sort of landslide, lying about his inauguration crowd. Now, he's lying about wiretapping potentially with the former President of the United States. It's downright scary.

VAUSE: John, has the President sort of, you know, does he have a credibility issue here? Which is why so many people are saying, hey, put up or shut up.

THOMAS: Well, look, I think just like the Democrats cry wolf over the election being hacked, and the Russians - you know, Russians involvement in the elections. Both parties have credibility challenges, because you've cry wolf so often that it doesn't have the same credibility. Absolutely, and that's something President Trump's going to have to fight.

JACOBSON: But I think the President like, comes off as being both paranoid, perhaps, having an onset of early dementia. Or potentially, you know, just sowing discord in our democracy. I mean, he's really undermining the institution - the transition of power between an outgoing president and incoming president.

THOMAS: Unless he believes it actually is true. Then he's doing what he thinks is the right thing, by drawing attention to the issue.

VAUSE: But did he believe that, you know, Barack Obama was born in Kenya? Did he believe that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? You know, then this goes, did he believe that his inauguration crowd was truly the biggest ever? I mean, there is a long list of unsubstantiated claims on things that aren't just real.

THOMAS: Sure. And so, he's going to have to differentiate this from those. There's no doubt about it.

VAUSE: He also - the President also signed a slimmed down version of the travel ban: Travel Ban 2.0. This one apparently will be, you know, will stand up in court, much better than the first one. Well, what's interesting though is that, unlike the first travel ban, this time reporters weren't allowed in the room. It was just the President and a photo tweeted out I think by Sean Spicer the Spokesperson. In fact, John, this is a - normally a media hungry White House, and on Monday it pretty much went dark, given everything that's going on. Is that a good strategy right now?

THOMAS: I think they're desperate to control the message, right? So, they agree that they can control it with a tweet, control it by sending out pictures. They understand that they have a hostile press against them. And so, they want to feed them exactly what they need to know. They don't want to get off script, and that's what likely would've happened, had they invited the press corps in.

JACOBSON: I think the objective was to just put out a flurry of news today, right? You had the Trump administration working with the House GOP putting out the Affordable Care Act repeal, you have the travel ban coming out. Both of which, I think, were deflection from both the President's tweets over the weekend. And also, the fact that the Attorney General perhaps may have lied to the Senate Committee during his hearing.

[01:10:10] THOMAS: You mean, Trump can't win because he's deflecting when he rolls out substantial policy points? That's like, come on.

VAUSE: That is a fair point. It doesn't mean he can't get anything right. To your point, Dave, regarding, you know, the Republican replacement plan for Obamacare, it's got a couple of key points on there. Getting rid of the individual mandate, which means everybody has to sort of pay in or pay a tax penalty, keeping the pre-existing conditions coverage which was very popular, also allowing children staying on their parents' plan until they're 26. But, you know, there's already a situation in the Senate, forcing Republican Senators say that it liked it. They call it, Obama light. So, John, will they support this? Will this get through?

THOMAS: I think they're going to get inline because before Obamacare ever came about, Republicans were always trying to put their own version of healthcare that included those exact provisions. So, this isn't something that deviates sort of standard Republic methodology for healthcare.

JACOBSON: I think it comes down to the pure political calculation though. Like, the Republicans have 52 votes, Democrats have 48. Like, they can't afford to have four Senators deflects from the Republican plan. You've got Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, you got Rob Portman - earlier Rand Paul tweeted that this is Obamacare light. So, that's three votes right there. If they can't gut those three folks on board, perhaps they won't be able to pass this. So, I think partially, the questions is, how do they build consensus and rally the Republican troops to push this?

VAUSE: Is there any way the Democrats could get on board?

JACOBSON: Absolutely not. Zero possibility.

THOMAS: He's right. Even if were Obamacare - like, completely copied Obamacare. You couldn't be -

VAUSE: Sort of single payor, government option.

THOMAS: That is not possible.

VAUSE: OK. Dave and John, as always. Thanks so much.


THOMAS: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, the White House calls it, going straight to the source but it could be called plagiarism. A White House statement praising ExxonMobil's new $20 billion investment in the U.S. gulf coast. It's almost verbatim through a statement released by Exxon. And it used a quote the company's CEO Darren Woods, without any attribution. A Trump administration official admitted to pulling the lines from the Exxon press release but said, they're just trying to get the story right. Still to come, much more on President Trump's revised travel ban. We'll look at what's changed: who's now exempt and what the opponents are saying?


[01:14:32] DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Don Riddell with your CNN WORLD SPORT headlines. The Premier League season isn't over yet, it's still only the first week of March. But with every passing game, Chelsea are making it look more and more like a done deal. And on Monday, Chelsea, maintained their ten-point lead picking up three points away at West Ham. The Blues were lifted by Eden Hazard and Diego Costa over the goal up ease, 2-1, the final score.

Staying in the Premier League, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings, were both charged by the Football Association with violent conduct, stems from incidents in the Manchester United versus Bournemouth game on Saturday. The two clashed during the one all draw, and Mings landed on Ibrahimovic's head with his studs. And both have until Tuesday to respond to the charges.

And finally, after falling to Liverpool, Saturday and dropping to fifth place in the Premier League table, Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has fallen under increased pressure as to why he left his start forward Alexis Sanchez out of the team. Sanchez who's been directly involved in 26 goals and 26 league games this season, prompted all kinds of discussion about whether or not he and Wenger had fallen out and if, would only 15 months left on his contract, he'd now be looking to leave in the summer on Monday. Wenger called in a tactical decision and denied that the striker had walked out of practice. That is a quick look at your Sports Headlines, I'm Don Riddell. VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Critics already taking aim at U.S.

President Donald Trump's revised travel ban. The White House refused on our reporters to attend the signing on Monday. Despite the revisions, opponents say it still amounts to a ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. So what has changed here? Well, it excludes Iraq from the previous list of countries. Green card holders and those traveling with valid visas are also exempt and Syrian refugees will no longer be banned indefinitely. The revision is suspended for 120 days. This new order takes effect, March 16th.

Let's bring in CNN's Jomana Karadsheh live in Amman, Jordan. So, Jomana, clearly Iraq is relieved and no longer on the list but what has been the reaction around the region now to this travel ban 2.0?

JOMANA KARADSHEH CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well you know, John, we haven't had any sort of new or official reaction from the other countries that are impacted by this ban. There might be some relief that you're not going to be seeing visas revoked, visas cancelled because we know that with this new travel ban, visas that have already been issued are still going to be honored. So perhaps we're not going to see that sort of confusion and chaos that happened on January 27th when that initial first travel ban came into effect. But I think at the same time, the six countries that will be impacted will still be feeling the same as we've heard in the past that they are being discriminated against, that this is going to be collective punishment for people coming from these countries. And you know, John, when you talk to people in this part of the world, not even just the countries that are impacted by the ban, other countries, there is this apprehension, this concern, you know, and fear of traveling to the United States now because there's this feeling that Muslims and Arabs are no longer welcome in America.

VAUSE: OK, Jomana, thank you. Jomana Karadsheh live in Amman. And joining me here in Los Angeles, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, Ali Noorani and Criminal Defense Attorney, Sarah Azari.

Ali, first to you. I mean, I want to pick up on that lost point that Jomana made. This new travel ban, it does exempt green card holders and those with existing visa holders and it is being rolled out over a period of two weeks. It does seem to be a lot better planned, a lot better organized. It seemed that in many ways, they might just avoid the chaos that we saw at airports last time around. In some ways, does that diminish the potential for protests here if people are not being held at airports? There'd be nothing to protest and in some ways might diminish the anger towards this and people turning out on the streets?

ALI NOORANI, NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Let's look at the totality of the Trump Administration's executive actions with regards to immigrations. So, you have the first one that was rolled out terribly. It was a massive backslash. Since then, we've seen a number of other immigration related Executive Orders that have expanded and forced in priorities and have created incredible chaos and anxiety and fear within immigrant communities across the United States. So, then what happened today is yet another step in the Trump

Administration's efforts to frankly dismantle immigration as we know it to the United States. So we may or may not see the backlash we save from a few weeks ago to the initial travel ban. But I do think we're going to see court cases being filed, we'll see businesses raising their voices and we're going to see, you know, Republicans, Democrats, independents across the country asking, you know, is this who we want to be.

VAUSE: But there isn't the protest that impacts the politics?

NOORANI: I think the politics on these are already hard -- set pretty hard, I think that. And the interesting part about this is that even within the Republican Party, there is a division. It's not, you know, every Republican is not falling into lock step with Donald Trump about this one.

VAUSE: And Sir, you - one of the changes, rather big changes, apart from taking Iraq off the list, is that they are allowing people with green cards and with existing visas though, will not be a part of this travel ban. From a legal point of view, does that sort of -- how does that impact due process because one of the arguments that the other travel ban is that, you know, people within the United States were denied due process because of the initial travel ban.

[01:20:19] SARA AZARI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, part of the due process argument had to do with the lack of notice that it just -- was effective immediately. And I think that these changes in ban number two are very ecstatic and superficial. They do, you know, they are a little bit more narrowly tailored. It was very unfettered in the first ban. And this time around, it seems to be a little bit, you know, more narrow, I should say. But at the end of the day, you still have the issue of it being a Muslim ban with no evidence to support why we need this.

I just have to say that our doors are not open to anyone who wants to come here. We already have very stringent vetting procedures for people who need visas to come here. I have friends in South American countries who are not Muslims and they've always had difficultly trying getting a visa to come to the United States. So why do we need this? If we can't tie, have a nexus between terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and, you know, people from these Muslim countries, why do we need this? It's because Donald Trump promised the supporters that he was going to wage a war on Islam and Muslims.

VAUSE: To that point, you know, one interesting thing about this new travel ban is that it is was meant to come out last Wednesday. It was delayed because, you know, we were told the president made a good speech to Congress on Tuesday. He wanted the speech to get a lot more air play. How does that fit in with what we were told, you know, that one of the reasons why the travel ban was initially rushed out it's because, you know, that there were a lot of bad dudes out there on the President's words and wanted to get into the United States?

NOORANI: So you know, I lived and worked in Washington DC and coming out in a Joint Session, addressed to Congress, the entire city was all abuzz that this travel ban of being interest immediately thereafter.

Clearly, the national security urgency that the President and his leadership conveyed going into that day just doesn't exist. So they gave themselves a few extra days, you know, we haven't seen people exactly lining up at the border to come. But what's happened here is that his -- the National Security reasoning has been questioned. The economic - the economy continues to be destabilized by these orders and at the end of the day, Americans are really asking themselves a question of, OK, is this President serious about National Security and about American jobs?

VAUSE: OK, well the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, he says that this new travel ban, unlike the old travel ban, will actually stand up in court. This is what he said.


JEFF SESSIONS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Department of Justice believes that this Executive Order, just as the first Executive Order, is a lawful and proper exercise of presidential authority. This Department of Justice will defend and enforce lawful orders of the President, consistent with the core principles of our constitution.


VAUSE: So, just to the first part what Jeff Session said, if the first travel ban he stood up and was lawful, then why did they walk away from it?

AZARI: Well, it wasn't. But the --

VAUSE: But he seems to think it was.

AZARI: Right. He's saying from the perspective of the Department of Justice, it was lawful. But he needs to respect the Ninth Circuit Court's decision that, that was not the proper - a proper ban. And like Ali said, there was this suspicion, I mean, this speculation or suspicion, I should say, that it was not about National Security. Because the court took into consideration all of the things that went on during the campaign that were about an anti-Muslim type of regime that Donald Trump was starting. And so - and I think also Jeff Sessions, this is coming right after last week's, you know, issue with the recusal and him being forced to recuse himself from the Russian connection investigation. So this is nice to kind have him do this business as usual, the Department of Justice gives him this stamp of approval on the ban.

VAUSE: Right. I just want to base, by taking out the reference to minorities - Christian minorities and other minorities by, you know, including or taking out green card holders and visa holders, does it, you know, in your opinion and so myself, does it make it a harder case to prove that it's unlawful?

AZARI: Taking out these --

VAUSE: Yes, taking out these provisions that we're in the first travel ban?

AZARI: I don't think so because the real issue to me, the big defect is the fact that it is religion-based.

VAUSE: Right.

AZARI: That's the biggest defect and that's not gone away. Because we've got six countries that are almost 100 percent Muslim and that's the big issue here. And we don't have any evidence of the need for this to protect our National Security.

VAUSE: So Ali, if we look at this as being a religious-based test and the White House says it's not, it's all about all about security. But for the Muslim community within the United States, what sort of impact does this have on them? Even, you know, if they clearly are not impacted on a day-to-day basis because of this because, you know, they hold U.S. passports.

NOORANI: So, on December 7, 2015, then candidate Trump made this commitment to the American public that he wanted to move forward with a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States. So he established the intent of this order very, very early in his campaign. What that means for Muslims today in the United States, well if they have been here for generations or a Syrian refugee was respelled by even the local church in South Carolina, is that they have a fear of the United States government which at the end of the day makes us all less safe.

We want to make sure that whether their -- our intelligence services or local law enforcement have a relationship and a trust with the Muslim community again, wherever they live, whether they are U.S. citizens or not. And this is our real concern about this order is that it really undermines our nation's security, destabilizes our economy and at the end of the day there is a better and smarter way to move forward.

[01:25:46] VAUSE: OK, Ali and Sara. Thank you for coming in.

AZARI: Thank you.

NOORANI: Thank you.

VAUSE: We appreciate it. And we'll take a short break. When we come back, the U.S. and South Korea speeding up plans to try and counter Pyongyang's missile threat with a controversial defense system. Details in a moment.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Thanks for staying with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

Russia has a message for the United States. President Vladimir Putin's Spokesman says hysteria in Washington and the media is hurting future diplomatic relations. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN's Matthew Chance, Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election and all the accusations are just creating conflict.

Iraqi forces battling ISIS now have control of some important buildings in Western Mosul. Our commander says they have retaken government complexes which will give them better access to the heart of the city. Mosul is the terror group's last major stronghold in Iraq.

Malaysia has sealed off North Korea's Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The Reuters news agency.


[01:30:28] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: To North Korea now, and word that the leader, Kim Jong-Un, personally supervised the launch of four ballistic missiles. State media report that Kim was pleased with the artillery unit, which were part of the test firing on Monday. Now just a day later, the first pieces of the THAAD U.S. missile defense system have arrived in South Korea. The deployment was planned months ago. The U.S. says it is for defensive purposes, but China, Russia and North Korea see it as a threat.

Let's bring in our correspondents. Paula Hancocks is in Seoul, Matt Rivers is in Beijing, and Will Ripley is in Tokyo. And Will has recently reported from inside North Korea.

Paula, first to you.

As far as the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile defense system goes, this seems to be a significant ramping up by the U.S. What is the reaction there from South Korea?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, the reaction's fairly split. Those who live in the region, the south of the country where this is going to be deployed do not want it there. There are local industries that say they will be disrupted and environmental concerns which officials have tried to placate. But there is South Korean opposition party leaders who don't want this. They say it should have a vote through the national assembly but the government wants it to happen, the military wants it to happen and in the last 24 hours we have seen the first elements of THAAD arriving here. Arriving on Monday night at Osan Air Base. It will be arriving in pieces and will be assembled here and the U.S. and South Korean militaries insist it is necessary. Just last week the South Korean defense minister spoke to the U.S. defense secretary and they agreed to deploy it as soon as possible. Officially it would be between July and September but both sides are saying they want it fully deployed as soon as possible.

VAUSE: To Matt Rivers in Beijing.

How are they seeing this from the Chinese capital?

MATT RIVERS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR: Simply put, Beijing is not happy about this. That has been their stated position since plans for THAAD were first announced last year. And what Beijing says is this is a thinly veiled attempt by the United States to cement its military strategic influence in the region to pursue this hegemonic approach that Beijing accuses the United States of conducting in and around this region. And they are vehemently opposed to it and what they have been doing is punishing the South Koreans using their economic might. What you have seen is punitive actions taken by Beijing. They stopped importing Korean cosmetics and telling travel operators in Beijing to not conduct tours in South Korea moving forward for later this year. And that's a big economic impact for the South Koreans. Beijing flexing its economic might over its unhappiness over this planned deployment.

VAUSE: Matt, thank you.

To Will now in Tokyo.

And Japan being a U.S. ally, will, what do the Japanese think right now?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, here in Tokyo there has been no immediate reaction to news out of South Korea that the THAAD missile defense system arrived far earlier than expected. But we don't expect Japan to lodge a protest here. Japan has missile defense systems in place. This of course, to counter the threat from North Korea. Japan is no stranger to having missiles fly over its territory. But in this test, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says it brings the threat to new heights. These ballistic missiles landed less than 200 nautical miles from the shores of Japan and they could have hit U.S. military installations here. North Korean propaganda put out an article that this might have been a dry run for an attack against U.S. forces stationed in Japan. And there has been a flurry of activity in Japan. There was a phone call between President Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe. The defense minister from Japan and the defense secretary from the United States also had a phone call. All of the officials basically, you know, reiterating the importance of the U.S./Japan alliance to counter the growing threat from Pyongyang and its leader, Kim Jong-Un in regard to their nuclear program and their missile development -- John?

[01:35:11] VAUSE: Will, thank you.

Quickly back to Matt in Beijing.

Matt, the U.N. Security Council will hold a meeting to deal with North Korea and its missile test. Is the deployment of the THAAD anti- missile defense system, will that make it more difficult to work with China on the North Korea issue?

RIVERS: Sure. It's certainly a possibility and it's another layer of complication. When it comes to North Korea China wears two hats. It wants to be a part of the international community and that the other countries know it is opposed to the nuclearization of North Korea and it has participated in sanctions drafted even after THAAD was announced. But on the other hand, China needs North Korea as a buffer against the United States and the military presence in South Korea of further buffer that might be needed now that the THAAD deployment is moving forward. And for China which is more of a strategic threat in their eyes? A nuclear power North Korea or a THAAD equipped South Korea. That's the question -- John? VAUSE: Thank you, Matt Rivers in Beijing, Will Ripley in Tokyo, and

Paula Hancocks live in Seoul. Thanks to you all.

We'll take a short break. When we come back, CNN's Freedom Project is showcasing young people involved in the global fight to freedom. We'll show you how education is unlocking the chains of child slavery in India.


VAUSE: In northern India, aid workers are making an important breakthrough in the fight against modern-day slavery.

CNN's Ravi Agrawal takes us to Schools for Freedom where hundreds of former child slaves are given a new future through education.



[01:40:20] RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Meet Sitara. She just loves to dance.


AGRAWAL: At schoolyard games, she more than holds her own.


AGRAWAL: In the classroom, she's a top student.

Sitara is Hindi for star. She is a shining success story of a group called Schools for Freedom.


AGRAWAL: This is a school of boys and girls who are singing, reciting poetry and enjoying themselves. They have rich futures ahead of them.

When you speak to them, though, you learn that some of them are hiding dark pasts that no child and no family should ever have to go through.

Just one year ago, Sitara was working at a brick kiln like this one. It was dusty unforgiving work, she says. It was bonded debt labor. But let's call it what it really is, slavery. And its prevalent across these parts of this Indian state with 200 million people.


AGRAWAL: Sitara's parents were enslaved there, too. They haven't forgotten their own daughter was sucked into bonded labor to help pay back their debt.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANUAGE) AGRAWAL: "They used to beat me at the brick kiln," Sitara says. She hated her life then.

Here's Sitara's mom. She isn't sure how old her daughter is, 13, she reckons. Sitara thinks she is 15. Time blurs out here. Her mother tears up when she recalls watching her daughter be beaten.

"What can you do when you are in debt," she says?

A big part of the solution is awareness and education. And that is a battle led by people like Peggy Callahan.


She is the co-founder of Voices for Freedom, which runs and sponsors Schools for Freedom.

(on camera): How important are these schools for villages like this?

PEGGY CALLAHAN, CO-FOUNDER, VOICES FOR FREEDOM: They're all important. They're all important because the parents will risk everything to try to get their kids educated. So they will move forward even when they are afraid of the slave holder when the slave holder is threatening them they have the courage to do what it takes to free themselves and get their kids educated. Because the bottom line, education is the greatest vaccination against slavery. All over the world. And it is working miracles here.

AGRAWAL (voice-over): The miracle isn't complete. At this village we visited, Callahan says 84 people have found a way out of bonded labor. A few dozen are still trapped. How do they get freed? Sometimes they pay off their debt, sometimes charities intervene, and sometimes it can be just understanding their rights and just saying no.

One of the people still enslaved is this boy Papu (ph), who is just 12. We're not showing his face.

Here, he tells me the masters at the brick kiln beat him if he skips a day at work. He shows me his fingers. They are almost sandpapered by brick. He has cuts and callouses. When he walks, his bare feet betray the scars of his life.


AGRAWAL: But they haven't broken his spirit. Papu (ph) tells me he sneaks in an hour a day at the classroom. Sometimes when the other kids line up to wash their hands, he joins in. The children get free hot lunches at the school.

It's a marvel to see these kids fight the odds and still smile.

At night, Papu (ph) practices the alphabet in dim light. He dreams of being a teacher someday.

And here's Sitara again, cooking for the family. She knows her parents need to work late. Every day is hard in this village. Even when they're free, there are

a million reasons for these children to just give up, to despair, and yet --


AGRAWAL: The school is an example for Sitara. The Sitaras are an example for the Papu (ph). This is what freedom looks like. This is what can be.


AGRAWAL: Ravi Agrawal, CNN, India.


[01:44:51]VAUSE: March 14th is My Freedom Day. CNN is teaming up with young people around the globe for a unique student-led day of action against modern day slavery. Students are sending us videos explaining what freedom means to them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom to me is to have a right to speak of yourself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, freedom basically means to respect one's wishes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom means the right to resources and tools we need to succeed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freedom to me is having the ability to go ant your life and find your passion and live by it every day.



VAUSE: We want to hear what freedom means to you. Post a photo or video using the #myfreedomday.

The U.S. president's first travel ban may have caused a Trump slump in U.S. tourism. After the break, how the industry is bracing for travel ban 2.0.


[01:49:45] VAUSE: When U.S. President Donald Trump announced his first temporary travel ban in January, it sparked chaos and confusion at airports around the country and anxiety around the world.




VAUSE: And while official figures from the Commerce Department are yet to be released, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the ban may have sparked a Trump slump in U.S. tourism. A travel analysts found the week following the original ban, bookings from the original seven countries from the executive order were down 80 percent. That is not a surprise. But the travel search site Kayak says that interest in travel to the U.S. has fallen off a cliff. They are all down by more than 50 percent compared to last year. And on Monday, Nigeria advised its citizens to delay all but essential travel to the U.S. According to an advisor to the Nigerian president, in the last few weeks, the office has received cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry visas being sent back to Nigeria.

The Global Business Travel Association believes, since Mr. Trump took office, the U.S. has lost $185 million in both business and holiday travel.

Mike McCormick is the executive director of the Global Business Travel Association. He joins us now from Washington.

Mike, thanks for being with us.

We'll get to the financial impact in a moment. But what is your reaction to the temporary travel ban that the president has issued? Do you see that as an improvement?

MIKE MCCORMICK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GLOBAL BUSINESS TRAVEL ASSOCIATION: It's relatively better. I don't think we can use phrases like good news when it comes to this topic, right? I think we've seen again, an order that was significantly narrowed. There were some particular egregious elements like the green card part of the requirement that -- and other aspects of the original order that have been removed or refined. I think it's relatively better and hopefully we'll see a resilience of business travel where it will come back and we'll see a reversal from the earlier impact that we saw. But that still remains to be seen.

VAUSE: With regards to the earlier impact, the $185 million in losses to the U.S. tourism industry since the president took off, how do you come up with that number?

MCCORMICK: That was business travel impact alone for one week. In the time leading up to the executive order in place, business travel was up 1.2 percent in that week. We lost 2.2 percent in the week following the order. With that gap, it cost $185 million of business travel bookings. And as a multiplier effect on the economy, jobs and tax collection. Business travel grows business growth, so when those transactions went away, they went away permanently.

VAUSE: OK. So there's anecdotal evidence out there. But American Airlines and United said they have yet to see any decline in travel to the United States. How does that fit into the picture here?

MCCORMICK: Well, I do think there was an impact, but it spread over all airlines, the entire industry, and it was a one-week period. So not -- again, not surprising that they wouldn't see a huge impact to their particular bookings in any one week. But when you have that kind of impact spread out over a longer period of time, it undermines confidence in traveling here in to the U.S. and doing business in the U.S. Business travel is resilient over time but it's the uncertainty that has the biggest impact. And it's not just the six or seven countries involved in the original order. It might have a much broader impact.

VAUSE: The numbers for international tourism bringing in about $250 billion to the United States in 2015. It was expected to see steady growth, around 3 percent annually in the coming years. How you to see those numbers and how can you quantify the long-term effect of the travel ban?

MCCORMICK: It's hard to say. When we look at other aspects and environmental things that have happened, individual terrorist events, those impacts tend to happen, have an immediate impact, and dissipate over time. This one is different. We have never experienced anything like this before. There is still uncertainty. But I think, again, the refinement of the order, the changes that came out today, it's a significant improvement over where we were before. Hopefully, it will create a sense of calm and restore business travel to its previous levels and we can look forward from here.

VAUSE: Mike, good to speak with you. Thanks so much.

MCCORMICK: Thank you.

[11:54:54] VAUSE: So there is texting and driving. There's drinking and driving. But there is maybe juggling and driving? An Arkansas college student was driving slowly with a broken taillight. Campus police through he could be drunk. When they pulled him over, the student started juggling to prove he was sober. The campus police dashcam caught it all. The student then followed up with a magic trick.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: But I never did fulfill your request. You wanted to see magic the other night. A little squishy ball. Hold them right here. When you do, blow and just like this, this is what is awesome. This is cool. The ball disappears. It doesn't go far. It jumps over here into my pocket, see?


VAUSE: The campus police officer who pull him over said it's the most fun he has had at a traffic stop. And we're grateful that no one was shot.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Back with more news right after this.


[02:00:06] VAUSE: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour --