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Families Desperate In Search For Flight; Flight's Turn Programmed Before Sign Off; Data Deleted From Pilot's Simulator; Australia Narrows Southern Search Area; FBI Looking Into Hacking Complaints; $1 Billion Toyota Settlement; Demonstrators Storm Ukrainian Navy Headquarters; Russia Mocks Sanctions from West
Aired March 19, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This thing was already heading in a different direction when they're saying, you know, good night.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. A new twist in the timeline. A U.S. official telling CNN that the missing Malaysian plane's course was changed before the co-pilot's final sign-off. And officials now saying the pilot deleted data from his flight simulator.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Here in Malaysia, anguish and frustration boiling over. Dramatic moments before this morning's press conference. Family members screaming, dragged away, desperate for answers. We're live with the latest.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Pockets of resistance flaring up this morning across Crimea. Vladimir Putin now says the peninsula is Russia's. What will the U.S. do next?
CUOMO: Your new day starts right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. I'm Chris Cuomo in New York. We are following breaking news on the missing Malaysian plane. A press conference with officials just ending raising a big question about the pilot's flight simulator. Let's get straight to Kate. She is in Kuala Lumpur with the very latest -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris. Good morning again from Malaysia where the search for the missing jet is trending south today. We are going to get to that in just a second, but just moments ago, Malaysian officials are confirming that some data had been deleted from the pilot's simulator. This is the simulator that was taken from his home in a search on Saturday. What that data was, we don't know yet. Forensic ex-officers are investigating and we don't know if the pilot was the one who deleted it, of course, every answer we get, more questions come with it. A law enforcement official has confirmed to CNN also that it's believed the plane's first turn off course was programmed by someone in the cockpit at least 12 minutes before that final haunting contact coming from the co-pilot when he said, "All right. Good night."
Meantime, a U.S. government source tells CNN it's likely the plane flew south after losing contact. Australian officials have narrowed their focus there, while Indonesia has come under fire for slowing the search. The U.S. has a plane -- has a plane down there equipped to locate large objects, like submarines under water, but the Navy hasn't gotten clearance to fly over Indonesian airspace.
Let's bring in Kyung Lah to talk about all the latest developments. A lot going on early in the U.S., but a lot happening just late in the day, Kyung. We were talking off air, the more answers we get from these press conferences, the more questions they -- that come from it. What do you take from the fact that this flight simulator had data deleted?
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is really hard to say. We don't know what it means. There has been a lot of scrutiny about the flight simulator. Because, you know -- we have seen him sitting in front of it in those YouTube videos. Why did he have it? Was he just a flight aviation geek, as he has been described? And the deletion of the files, because they happened in February, they may mean nothing at all. So it's really hard to read.
BOLDUAN: It is hard to read, of course, but it obviously shows that the focus does remain on the pilot and the co-pilot. Other big details coming out of the press conference that just wrapped up, Malaysian officials say they did receive some radar information from a neighboring country, would have helped if they would have said what country to try to help out. I mean, that could be anything from Thailand to Indonesia to -- Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. We don't know.
LAH: Exactly where this plane was, what are they telling us? It comes back to the issue of transparency, and that has been the frustration for a lot of the governments who are in this, how much is Malaysia telling and how quickly are they revealing it to all the parties involved?
BOLDUAN: And it show they did say that they got background checks in from Ukraine and other countries and that they said that they did check out, didn't see anything strange, but they reiterated the point that they are still investigating, all passengers, all crew and all grounds crew. So it sounds to me like we are one step forward, two steps back.
LAH: Yes, and so that's the way it's been. At least now, what we are getting to get a sense of from people who are within the flying community is that they are trying to get a more unified message together at least.
BOLDUAN: Now we need to note again, we are in day 12 at this point and we saw that -- we saw that wait of the days and the torture of the anguish that these families of the missing passengers have faced. You saw that right in front of you and it played out in a very dramatic moment in the press conference room before it started.
Let's show our viewers what that video is and afterwards, I want you to tell me about what you saw. I mean, that went on for much more -- that went on for a longer period of time than that, Kyung. Can you describe what was happening because you were caught in that crush of cameras?
LAH: Yes. Literally almost crushed. I mean, we were standing right there. I stood there as a woman was going by right in front of me. The way it happened was about an hour before the press conference began, we heard that there might be something going on in the press conference room in the back. So when we ran up, we saw two Chinese women holding a large white protest banner with some Chinese written on it and then another woman standing to the side and they were screaming. They were very emotional.
And what they were saying is that they are fed up, that they want answers. They want the truth. We don't believe Malaysia airlines and we are getting a snapshot here. This is just one moment in time, but a snapshot of how frustrated and upset and how anguished these families are.
BOLDUAN: I mean, the one woman who is absolutely hysterical as you saw her being pulled out. It looked like they are almost trying to help her because she couldn't -- she did not look like she could walk out on her own. Just one example, small example, of really what we all need to remember as we enter day 12, that these families are waiting for any detail and those details are just not coming to their -- fast enough for them we can say at least.
Kyung, thank you very much. Stick around. We are going to be covering this throughout the show. That happened just moments ago, Kyung ran out here as quickly as she could. But for let's head back to Chris in New York -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right, Kate, let's bring in CNN's aviation analyst and former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general, Mary Schiavo along with CNN safety analyst and the author of "Why Planes Crash," David Soucie. Mary, David, it's good to have you as always.
We know from disasters in the past, the waiting is the hardest part for the families. How much of the waiting here, Mary, at this point, do you believe is a function of the Malaysian authorities not getting information, wrangled, analyzed and out the way they should have?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: A good portion of it and not just out the way they should have, but doing the briefings for the families, taking care of the families. I mean, we do it so differently, because we have laws that cover it here, family assistance act and providing information, even information that you don't have information is very good to keep the families briefed. And the NTSB pretty much briefs them every day, sometimes twice a day when they run an accident. It's very crucial. CUOMO: So as painful as the reality is the process here is also part of the problem for these families and it's important to keep in mind, it's one of the reasons we are pressing the investigators as hard as we are. These families deserve it?
SCHIAVO: They deserve it and it helps.
CUOMO: All right, so now we get to what it is they are waiting on, the information -- the new information. Dave, do you believe that this is new information or do you believe, again, this is a reflection of the process. That they are just not crunching the data as quickly there so this 12-minute period that just came out isn't necessarily new. It's just new to their understanding. Fair point?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Exactly. They are acknowledging that they are saying this is information they are using in the investigation, rather than trying to say that it is conclusive, it's not. So, again, as Mary has pointed out, it's the Malaysian government not understanding how to communicate.
CUOMO: At least they are not pushing back as they were in the beginning. Every time information would come out that wasn't from them, they would debunk it. This came out from a U.S. source. We are told that the reason the U.S. is putting it out is a little bit of frustration, we would have put this stuff out already, they didn't wrangle the data quickly enough yet.
So now let's look at it. Let's put blame aside for a second. If it is true, 12 minutes go between making the change to a new waypoint that's not on course and the co-pilot saying, "all right, good night. If we accept that as true, how do we explain air traffic control allowing the adjustment to be made and not discussing the course adjustment, Mary?
SCHIAVO: Well, it can be a lot of reasons, but not the least of which is they weren't paying attention, the plane was leaving their airspace and they hadn't entered into the new airspace yet. They had to have noticed it that particularly the turn and they should have challenged them.
CUOMO: Is it damning? It sounds damning to the uninitiated. Common sense, when I hear that you changed your course and then you said "good night" it seems like you are doing something intentional. Is that unfair?
SOUCIE: No, not at all. I think that that's exactly what it is. Why would you intentionally come off of a course that you've already set and predetermined, then say everything's OK, basically, by saying "good night?"
CUOMO: And in testing this idea of why it would have been done, do pilots ever do this, I don't like this course. I think I'm going to pick a different course. I think I'm going to pick a new course, go the wrong way around?
SOUCIE: No. In fact, as the airplane is starting to take off, when it's on the runway before it even leaves, these waypoints are already predetermined. They are already programmed into the system. So, either this was pre-programmed into the system or it was changed en route.
CUOMO: So, two facts. We -- not we, I certainly have been shading my reporting on this away from blaming the pilots, unless absolutely required by the facts. This, if true is a bad fact. Mary, true?
SCHIAVO: It's a bad fact for the pilots, yes, because there is one reason, of course, you would turn and not tell anyone and that is if you had something terrible going on in the cockpit, but they had 12 minutes to communicate that and if something terrible is going on you communicate that because you want help.
CUOMO: And it is unusual enough to not be seen as innocent that this would happen?
SCHIAVO: It's very unusual. It's really not protocol.
CUOMO: This other fact that came out, a little bit of suggestion, a bit of fact that the main pilot was supposedly being threatened with jail time for sodomy that is believed to be maybe politically retribution. You guys aware of this. That this has come out, a local political party there who he supposedly supports that this is going on, some kind of political retribution that this may have been in his head? But again this is information that's coming out of the investigation but we don't know what it really means, whether he felt threatened by this or not.
SCHIAVO: Yes, that part, I couldn't quite figure out who they were accusing of. What the news reports were so different. What I expected to see is if he was somehow thought to be doing something, you could would find something in his home in his data, in his background.
CUOMO: Also sounds damning. Who how do we know what the data is from the flight simulator. Perhaps it fills up fat and it starts to slow down and he cleared the hard drive a little premature to say he deleted data?
SCHIAVO: Unless, I mean, you can tell from the simulator, depends what data you deleted, the waypoints you practiced or if it was old data from old flights or maybe it was balancing his checkbook. I mean, we don't know at this point, but if you only deleted part of it, yes, you'd want to know.
CUOMO: But you need to know what it is David, otherwise, it just sounds bad, right?
SOUCIE: Yes. What concerns me, it was deleted February 3rd and so there's -- if this predetermined, if it was pre-planned, his -- his preparation would have extended past February 3rd, I would think. So, hopefully there's some gleaning of information as to where the aircraft went on that flight simulator if indeed, it was.
CUOMO: Now, what we understand about them shifting the search zone. The Australians are driving that certainly in their waters near the Indian Ocean. They are moving it more southwest some this about coordinating data from what they heard about the Thai radar exposure or how do we explain it?
SCHIAVO: Well, let's hope that's what it hopes they have been able to continue the smooth the data and get better data points. The first set of points was literally a fourth of the globe. Now they have refined it, hopefully that it's that and we have -- still haven't been told exactly what was or what wasn't on the various data points and the computer information. Perhaps they have found additional waypoints there. But apparently, there weren't any more on the plane.
CUOMO: When you divide up an investigation, you look at information and relevant facts. Fair to say this 12-minute window, if accurate is a relevant fact?
SOUCE: Without a doubt. Without a doubt it is.
CUOMO: And then just keeps you leading you down the road of why did it happen and, of course, how does it lead us to where the plane is? All right, we will keep putting the puzzle together, test each piece of information. Make sure if it's worthwhile that kind of scrutiny.
Mary, David, thank you for being here. Obviously we will be monitoring the investigation into the missing Flight 370 as it is warranted by new information, but there's a lot of other news as well. So let's get to you John Berman for that -- John.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: All right, thank you so much, Chris.
The CIA and the Senate are tangling again and now, the FBI is evaluating whether a full-scale investigation is needed. The CIA alleges Senate staffers gained unauthorized access to classified documents about its post- 9/11 interrogation program. Senators claim they simply found the documents on their computers. Just last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of hacking into her intelligence committee's computers.
The Justice Department reached a $1 billion deal with Toyota, ending a probe into the automaker's alleged mishandling of complaints about unintended acceleration. The problem sparked a recall of some 10 million vehicles starting in 2009 and has already cost the company at least $1.5 billion in legal settlements. The terms could be made clear as soon as today. Toyota expected to avoid criminal charges.
Graphic testimony in the Oscars Pistorius murder trial. The track star covering his ears as a police ballistics expert testified that Reeva Steenkamp was in the bathroom, crouched in a defensive position when Pistorius fired through that bathroom door. The expert says Pistorius was likely not wearing his prosthetic legs. Pistorius' defense staying it will call two experts to dispute the ballistic expert's account.
And lottery officials say there are two jackpot winners in the $400 million mega millions drawing. The tickets were sold in Florida and Maryland. Unfortunately, not New York. The numbers drawn Tuesday night with 11, 19, 24, 33, 51, the Megaball 7. The jackpot, the sixth largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
PEREIRA: Somebody's doing a dance of joy in Florida and Maryland.
CUOMO: How did you know JB didn't win? Because he is here.
BERMAN: That's right.
PEREIRA: We are glad you are.
CUOMO: Every day.
BERMAN: Today, man, I'm nowhere near that.
CUOMO: You are the man.
PEREIRA: He is the man.
All right, so, we were complaining about the fact that winter seems to be endless --
CUOMO: In general.
PEREIRA: No, you were. I was complaining about winter in general, but guess what? Guess what, Indra, what is happening?
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Don't worry, I love you, Michaela, goes both ways.
PEREIRA: It's happening.
PETERSONS: Not yet, right? One day away, we need this so badly, we want beautiful weather. I'm going to just jump ahead to tomorrow and show you where it is actually going to look nice. Temperatures are going to rebound. We are going to be looking at many places across the country above normal, but we have to get there, first, right?
So now the Debbie downer go back to what we actually have on the last day of winter, winter weather. Here we go yes. We are talking about, yes, more rain and even snow, see it there, all the current radar now. That is going to be a little bit tricky, especially the morning hours, where temperatures are near freezing, Maryland, Virginia.
You could be looking for freezing drizzle in the morning hours. Eventually, the system will spread farther to the east, so looking for a lot of us right under the warm front. With that, most of us are going to be talking about rain, but on the back side, yes, a little bit of snow again. But again we are transitioning seasons here, not many of you will be seeing the heavier snow, the bulk of that staying to the north, upstate New York, even Maine up there.
But again about a half an inch of rain, you are going to see it throughout the day, even in through tonight. Again, your last day, guys, hanging on tight. Keep in mind the winds, these guys gusting up, talking about Midwest and eventually in through tomorrow, we'll start to see some of those strong winds but one day, we can handle this, right? One day, tomorrow, looks so good. We can all smile except for you.
PEREIRA: But so grimace.
CUOMO: That's right. Be just like a straight-line smile. As good as you get.
PETERSONS: I got it good.
PEREIRA: Thanks, Indra.
CUOMO: Let's take a break here on NEW DAY: when we come back, we will have more breaking coverage of the disappearance of flight 370. Focus on the families, 239 souls on board, their families and loved one running out of patience and hope, frustrated with the process of this investigation.
What you are hearing is a scene that unfolded just this morning. We will take you there. It involves the mother of one of those missing on Flight 370.
PEREIRA: Breaking this morning, Russian flags now flying over parts of Crimea as pro-Russian demonstrators storm the Ukrainian naval headquarters. The question today, can Crimea remain calm or are tensions going to boil over?
PEREIRA: And welcome back to NEW DAY.
We are, of course, going to bring you the latest on the ongoing search for Flight 370 in just a moment.
But, first, I want to talk about these rising tensions in Crimea. Pro-Russian demonstrators storming Ukraine's naval headquarters in Sevastopol overnight. No reports of violent clashes at the facility, but now, it is flying the flags of Russia and its navy.
This comes after a gunman killed a Ukrainian soldier at another base in Crimea, leaving the government to authorize its troops to fire back in self-defense. And this all comes after a day after Russian President Putin signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia.
We have reports to you now from Crimea, Moscow, and Washington. We will start with Nick Paton Walsh. He's in Simferopol, Crimea.
Give us the latest, Nick.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Real concerns the these remaining Ukrainian military bases across the Crimean peninsula. You just said how one soldier was killed yesterday, the first military death of this invasion of the Crimea at a base where I'm standing here near the capital Simferopol. This morning, the main port city of Sevastopol, 200 or so protesters stormed in to the base, we understand, suggestions Russian troops were with them, assisting them. No reports of violence or deaths, but inside, it seems the Ukrainian soldiers gave themselves up, reports of them leaving unarmed their installation and Russian flag being hoisted, too.
We went to a base in the northwest of the peninsula yesterday, saw tense scenes, Russian troops moving in and around that base. We now understand this morning, a tractor broke open the gates and pro- Russian protesters and Russian troops are standing there, asking the Ukrainian soldiers to give themselves up and the Ukrainian and the Russian flags are flying above that installation.
Ukrainian's defense minister is trying to fly here. He says it's pretty clear the local government won't let him land. No such suggestions of negotiations here, a real sense of fear about what could happen to these Ukrainian soldiers or these pro-Russian protesters, they're almost predestined to join Russia, historical right. A lot of confidence amongst that crowd and I think concern what is that might do to tensions around these bases.
Back to you.
PEREIRA: All right, Nick.
Obviously, the White House watching this keenly, and the Obama administration condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to annex Crimea, calling it a threat to international peace and security. In fact, they have dispatched Vice President Biden to the region to reassure NATO allies.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski, pardon me, picks that up at the White House -- Michelle.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Michaela.
The White House has been extremely measured in its language, its response to Russia. Clearly, the administration doesn't need a war of words with Russian President Vladimir Putin, even though Russia has been exactly the opposite. The U.S.-imposed sanctions, those sanctioned have called them hilarious, an honor. Putin said the West had overstepped the line and Crimea is part of Russia.
So, the White House responded that the U.S. and Western nations will not recognize this attempted annexation and that there will be more costs. The administration has really been pressed on this the last few days. What should the response be now since it seems nothing has encouraged Russia or forced it to reverse course?
Well, what we know at this point, there will be more sanctions, more support of allies in that region. Next week, the G-7 nations will meet on this subject and that excludes Russia. And at this point, it seems extremely unlikely that those nations will attend the G-8 Summit that Russia is hosting in June -- Michaela.
PEREIRA: All right. Hilarity not exactly the desired effect they are looking for.
Michelle Kosinski, thank you so much for that.
Meanwhile, a day after Vladimir Putin signed the treaty to annex Crimea, Russian lawmakers are essentially going about the business of making it official. A Crimean delegation in Moscow today meeting with members of parliament.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Russia and in the Russian capital, and we understand quite a blizzard happening outside behind you, Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Michaela, there absolutely is. And it started early this morning and been snowing all day it's foggy, it's snowing, however, traffic moving. It seems the Russians are very used to this kind of weather. But it's certainly is something that is keeping us in arms a little bit.
But as you said, while this is going on, the Russians and the Crimeans are finalizing the deals to make Crimea part of Russia. Officially, it is. However, there are still administrative things that they need to go to.
There is this Crimean delegation that's meeting with Russian lawmakers today. They are going to talk about things like pairing up the tax systems about gas security, about energy security. So, certainly, they are giving every impression that they are moving on.
There are still a couple of things that need to be done for all of this to become permanent, Michaela, and one of them is that the constitutional court of the Russian Federation has to look at all of this and they are currently doing received the treaty that Vladimir Putin signed yesterday and looking over and seeing whether that adheres to Russian law.
And as Michelle was saying, it's absolutely true. The Russians are showing absolutely no indication of backing down on these matters. They say that any sort of sanctions that will be levied upon them will see counter-sanctions from the Russian Federation. That's exactly what Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, told Secretary of State John Kerry in a call last night.
So, certainly, it appears as though the Russians are well on their way to a big confrontation here -- guys.
PEREIRA: All right. Fred Pleitgen in Moscow, thank you so much for that. WE appreciate it.
Blatant, blatant disregard of international law, that's what Vice President Biden called this annexation of Crimea.
CUOMO: It's going to be complicated, though.
PEREIRA: Very complicated.
CUOMO: Because you also have on the other side, the people have spoken. They say it violates the constitution, we didn't monitor the vote, but it's very popular in Russia.
PEREIRA: It is.
CUOMO: Putin's numbers are very high.
We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY.
When can he come back, we will keep looking at the new information on Flight 370, testing it -- what is fact, what is just new takes on what's going on. Most frustrating for the families waiting for answers.
You are looking for the scene from this morning. They are growing desperate, more so by the hour. One mother had to be dragged from the news conference that just ended. We'll tell you about the extreme measures some families are willing to go to for answers.
PEREIRA: And we are learning that data was deleted from the personal flight simulator belonging to the pilot of Flight 370. We're going to take you inside this, our NEW DAY flight simulator, where we will attempt to recreate some of the movements of that missing jetliner.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. I'm coming to you live from Kuala Lumpur.
That is a scene that is difficult to listen to. It is a heartbreaking scene that played out here as loved ones kind of crashed this morning's Malaysia Airlines news conference with many Malaysian officials. They happened before the news conference. But they are hysterical. They are crying.