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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
New Surveillance Video Shows Train Explosion; NTSB: Train Accelerated From 70 MPH to 100 MPH in Seconds; Friend of Engineer: There's More To This Story; NTSB: Train Accelerated From 70 MPH to 100 MPH in Seconds. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired May 14, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:09] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, new surveillance video captures the incident that the Amtrak train derails. Killing eight injuring hundreds.
Plus, new details tonight about the engineer at the controls of the train. His co-worker travelled the same route with hundreds of times, he tells OUTFRONT there's more to the story than meets the eye.
And Tom Brady fighting back. His team says the word deflator was really about weight loss not footballs for real. He's appealing his suspicion tonight. Can he win? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news. New surveillance video surfacing tonight of the horrific Amtrak crash that killed eight and injured hundreds. The video shows the moment of impact. Let me show it to you.
This was at 9:21 on Tuesday night. You see that massive explosion. That is when the train controlled by 32-year-old Engineer Brandon Bostian hit a curve at 106 miles an hour and flew off the rails. Also the NTSB has just revealed that the train accelerated from 70 miles an hour to 100 miles an hour in less than a minute of time. Seconds later, the train hit that curve and crashed. Investigators are also telling us several new things tonight. They actually heard physically the sound of the brakes being applied by the engineer at the last instant. That's something that Bostian says he didn't even recall doing. They say the train's brakes as well as the tracks and signals at the crash site all appeared to be in working order at the time of the crash. And investigators also say Bostian has finally agreed to meet with them for an interview. And we're going to have much more about him. We have learned a lot about him today, including our own interview with one of his close friends and former co-workers.
We'll begin with Jason Carroll who is OUTFRONT tonight in Philadelphia. And Jason, you are learning a lot more about the investigation at this hour.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the NTSB Erin says that the train does not have a mechanical history of unintended acceleration. That's why it's so very important for investigator to speak with this engineer and find out why the train accelerated. Now it appears they'll get their chance.
CARROLL (voice-over): The train's engineer, 32-year-old Brandon Bostian, the man responsible for driving the train apparently cannot remember much about what happened after suffering a minor head injury.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He remembers coming into the curve, he remembers attempting to reduce speed therefore. He was knocked out, thrown around just like all of the other passengers in that train. He does not remember deploying the emergency brake. We know that it was in fact deployed. The last thing he recalls is coming to, looking for his bag, getting his cell phone, turning it on and calling 911.
CARROLL: Bostian's attorney also says his client did not have a preexisting medical condition, was not impaired by alcohol or drugs and that his cell phone was off as he's required by Amtrak. His attorney also says Bostian did speak to investigators for several hours Tuesday. Following that questioning, the city's mayor says Bostian refused to provides a formal statement to police. The mayor also not holding back on who he believes was at fault for the derailment. Saying it was reckless for the train to be heading into a curve Monday at 106 miles per hour more than twice the 50-mile-per- hour speed limit.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There's really no excuse that could be offered literally unless he had a heart attack.
CARROLL: The National Transportation Safety Board taking a more measured stance, wanting to wait for their chance to interview Bostian himself and for more information from the train's event recorders to be extracted.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We don't want to prejudge the investigation. We want to put everything on the table and do a very careful analysis of everything. We'll be looking at the mechanical condition of the train, we'll be looking at the track and the signal system as well. So, we are looking at the human, we are looking at the machine.
CARROLL: So again, NTSB investigators will get their chance to interview this engineer. When asked how that interview process will go, apparently his attorney will be allowed during that interview process. Apparently they'll just give him a blank slate Erin and tell him to paint a picture of exactly why the train accelerated -- Erin.
BURNETT: They can find out where the gaps are. The issues. All right. Thank you very much, Jason Carroll. We're going to be speaking to the head of the NTSB in just a few moments asking him about that interview.
I want to go to Drew Griffin first though OUTFRONT from Philadelphia. Drew, you spoke with a close friend, former Amtrak colleague of Brandon Bostian. You asked him all of the tough questions. What did he tell you? DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: He says there
must be more to the story than what we're hearing if it's the Brandon Bostian he knew. Xavier Bishop was a flag man on the very route and he worked with Brandon on hundreds of trips up and down this corridor. He says he never saw anything that would alarm him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:05:20] XAVIER BISHOP, FRIEND AND FORMER COLLEAGUE OF BRANDON BOSTIAN: Good engineer. Great engineer. I mean, he was on point. If there was something he didn't know, he knew who to call to get the information. He didn't come off as a know it all and he knew everything. He knew what he needed to know and if he wasn't sure about it, he wasn't 100 percent sure, he was going to call and make sure that he got the proper information. Because he wasn't going to do anything and okay, I'm just going to assume that something was going to happen. He was always thorough.
GRIFFIN: You mentioned we all know the speech, we all know the trip, we all know the route. You know that that curve is coming up. You know that you're leaving Philly and you've got to go slow for a little while. What I can't understand then is how can this guy who you've traveled with on the tracks many, many times, have gone into that situation so hot?
BISHOP: Again, I mean -- that's the million dollar question. And to be honest with you, I'm going based on the person that I know. You know, I'm not going to sit there and say that we can't make mistakes and we don't make mistakes. We're human. We all make mistakes. But you know, for something like this, I don't know. It just -- there's not enough pieces of this puzzle for me. Like something that doesn't seem right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Full disclosure Erin, Xavier Bishop was fired from Amtrak last year due to attendance issues. He said he had family health issues he was dealing with. But in the time he worked on this route he said, they would take the train down, they would have a break at Union Station, have lunch, get back on that train. Never saw any drugs, alcohol, sleep disorders, any kind of texting issues. And to the point about the cell phone, he said, every time at lunch, after lunch he would turn off his phone, Brandon Bostian, put it in his bag and go on to the train. So, that's what he had to say which is why he desperately wants to hear Bostian's story -- Erin.
BURNETT: Pretty interesting claims. Because many people said, maybe he was texting, maybe he was on the phone. But obviously his friend says that he isn't the man that he knew. Thank you so much Drew.
And now, I want to bring in the Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Mayor Nutter, thank you so much for being with us. You just heard that man who had worked with Brandon Bostian. He said the million dollar question is, why would you come into this curve so hot? We've just learned from the NTSB that in less than a minute that train accelerated for 70 miles an hour to 100 miles an hour. When you hear that, what do you think?
MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER (D), PHILADELPHIA: Well, I don't know what to think. And literally I'm just hearing that from this most recent information. Clearly something happened, something went wrong in that engine compartment with the engineer. And because of the expertise of the NTSB and the quality of their investigatory process, obviously we're all hopeful that we'll get answers to those questions. But the 106 miles an hour, now what you're sharing or what they shared earlier, the speeding up of the train going into the curve, we know the straightaway was even rated at 80 miles an hour. So the train was already going too fast on the straightaway, let alone on an s-curve. So many many questions still need to be resolved. And the bottom-line is, the NTSB, as they've already discussed, will have the opportunity for that full interview, or I guess a series of interviews with the engineer so that they can do their job the way they expertly do their investigations and then maybe we'll know a lot more.
BURNETT: And maybe we will. I know you've obviously called the engineer's actions reckless and irresponsible. You just heard his friend there saying, he was a great engineer and he gave that anecdote, he said every time they went to get back on the train in Washington to come back to New York he would put his phone in his bag before he got on the train. Now that doesn't mean anything about what happened the other night. But that's what he said, he said he was never drinking or texting. His lawyer says he wasn't impaired by alcohol or drugs that night. You know, when you put all of that together, what do you think?
NUTTER: Well, I mean, look. It's always nice if your friends say good things about you. And hopefully most of our friends always think that we're great people. I think we need to stay focused on what happened Tuesday night after that train left 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and proceeding north on to New York. And so, you know, the anecdotes are very interesting. The facts are what we're seeking. The NTSB will get to those facts after they have a full interview with this engineer and then let's get to the bottom-line of why eight people died, why 2000 or so folks were injured in a tragic and traumatic incident here in the city of Philadelphia and this train wreck. And then get answers to these families.
[19:10:02] BURNETT: And now the engineer's lawyer actually is now saying his client, at least this is what he's saying now, I know he's going to be interviewed. We might found out more. But he said, his client doesn't even remember hitting the emergency brake. Seems to be saying I don't remember what happened.
BURNETT: Now, obviously the NTSB they have a black box for trains. They have a lot of information.
BURNETT: But the takeaway is going to be that he's going to say that he doesn't remember, whether he does or doesn't is almost not the point. That's what he says. Do you think they're actually really going to be able to figure out what happened?
NUTTER: I think that the NTSB has shown time and time and time again with the data collection, with other interviews that they will conduct with other people who were on the train, they should be able to recreate what exactly was going on. Again, those event recorders as they call them will give them a tremendous amount of information. And so, you know, I'm not going to comment on his memory. Maybe over time some things will come back to him. But they should be able to recreate exactly what was going on at different points in time. Look, he is facing, you know, obviously a pretty serious situation. He has an attorney.
And you know, he's getting whatever advice he's getting. He certainly did not share anything with us and he was with us for a long period of time but he was not questioned for a long period of time. And actually when his lawyer arrived at the east detective division, it was then then that he indicated he would not give us a statement. And so it goes on from there. He has legal representation, he has rights, we get that. But the NTSB must be able to do their work and he needs to answer a lot of questions.
BURNETT: Right. It's interesting, you say he was, you know, with you for a long period of time but not answering questions during that time.
BURNETT: Mayor Nutter, I appreciate you time. Thank you, sir.
NUTTER: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: It's an important detail because they need to get answers from this engineer. And next, we're going to talk about that very issue the mayor raises. I mean, could criminal charges be brought against the engineer.
Plus, could existing technology have prevented this train from speeding up so fast, that 70 to 1000 in less than a minute. Could that have been prevented and so many lives been saved? A special OUTFRONT report from inside the engineer's cabin.
And Tom Brady appeals his suspension tonight. The Patriots deflate-gate is about losing weight, not footballs apparently for real.
[19:16:04] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight. New surveillance video showing the sudden explosion as Amtrak train 188 derailed and crashed. You see it there on the left of your screen that then takes over the entire screen. This as the NTSB tonight reveals that in the 65 seconds before the crash the train accelerated from 70 miles an hour to 100 miles an hour, in fact, it did that all in less than a minute, then there was the actual crash. The person who applied the brakes in the instant before the crash was the engineer who would have been in-charge of the speed, Brandon Bostian. You're looking at him there. He says through his lawyer that he does not remember what happened. This is not the first time a train engineer has been at the center of an investigation.
Suzanne Malveaux is OUTFRONT.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the controls of Amtrak Train 188, 32-year-old Brandon Bostian emerged from the engine battered and bloodied.
NUTTER: That car we believe actually tumbled over and over and over numerous times.
MALVEAUX: Bostian's lawyer telling ABC after being released from the hospital with 15 staples in his head, the Amtrak engineer has no recollection of the crash. Bostian's phone and blood sample are in the hands of investigators. The NTSB and police are eager to interview Bostian further when his memory possibly returns.
ROBERT SUMWALT, NTSB BOARD MEMBER: We've seen situations of operator error in the past but this one isn't an unusual situation. You're right, the train was at a high speed for a fairly long period of time. So, that's why we feel that it would be very important to get a first-hand account from the engineer.
MALVEAUX: But railroad safety consultant and former locomotive engineer Richard Beall doubts Bostian will get a fair hearing.
RICHARD BEALL, RAILROAD OPERATION AND SAFETY EXPERT: There's almost no leniency on the railroad. They're looking to throw you under the train every time. And the bottom-line is what happened with this fellow.
MALVEAUX: We do know what happened to engineers involved in previous speed related accidents. In December of 2013, a New York City commuter train jumped the tracks in the Bronx after it took on a curve traveling three times the posted speed, killing four people and injuring more than 60. NTSB investigators discovered the engineer nodded off at the control because of an undiagnosed sleep disorder combined with a drastic shift in his work schedule.
Then there was the deadly crash in September of 2008 in an L.A. suburb, a commuter train collide with a freight train at the height of rush hour. Twenty five people were killed, including the train's engineer. It was discovered he was sending Texas messages 22 seconds before the fatal impact.
And then in July of 2013, a similar but even deadlier accident in northwestern Spain. The engineer was talking on the phone when he drove his train around a curve at 95 miles per hour, reaching twice the speed limit before it derailed, killing 79 people. He survived and was charged with 79 counts of reckless homicide.
(END VIDEOTAPE) MALVEAUX: Now the head of the NTSB says, he's going to be
obtaining the engineer's cell phone records. He is looking for any distractions that could have occurred in that locomotive cab as well as how the train was operating and whether or not the engineer suffered from any kind of medical crisis -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Suzanne. Thank you very much. I want to bring in now, a retired Amtrak engineer Doug Riddell. He worked with Amtrak for over 25 years, along with our legal analyst and former prosecutor Paul Callan.
Doug, let me start with you. You're familiar with this rout that the train was on. And we've just learned that the train accelerated in a period of less than a minute, it looks like about 44 seconds or so, it accelerated from 70 miles an hour to 100 miles an hour. Is that something that you could ever see happening there or anywhere?
DOUG RIDDELL, FORMER AMTRAK ENGINEER: Well, I'm not qualified on that particular rout. I'm a diesel man Washington south mostly. But with an electric engine, they accelerate fast. You have a throttle that's just like the accelerator on your car. The thing is, when you remove your foot from the accelerator, the car slows down with the throttle. When you move the throttle up, you continue to gain speed. It does answer a question for me though. Because I wondered about after the train left 30th street across the river and headed uphill there. Why the speed would have continued. I'm glad to hear that there was some throttle manipulation because it indicates to me that, you know, he was there and he was able to control the movement of the train up to that point. But still there's something that just doesn't explain.
BURNETT: Right. He tried to stop it. But there's nothing in your mind that could explain why you would or a person would initiate such an acceleration.
RIDDELL: No. I can't -- you know, at that point you want to accelerate to a point where you're going to get into your next curve. But you would hit the brake again to go around the curve at the junction there. So, you know, that's a question of having to really know the physical characteristics of that route and I don't. But I mean, it's like taking off with a plane. You take off, the pilot gives it everything that you've got to get off the runway. But once you reach the speed you want, you throttle off. So to continue to -- to continue with your throttle in the advanced position where you're going to accelerate your train, it doesn't make sense to me as an engineer. And I can't tell you. There's only one person that can tell you why that happened and right now he's not talking.
[19:21:48] BURNETT: And obviously Paul, he now says he's going to be interviewed. But you as a lawyer, when you're looking at whether there's criminal charges here, there's already been a lawsuit filed today by someone who says they've suffered brain trauma already has filed. But you have a question I believe for Doug too specifically that you think is very important as to whether there will be criminal charges. Go ahead, ask him. PAUL CALLAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I would like to know if there's
a so-called dead man's switch or that if you let your hands off of the throttle, will it automatically slow the train down in the absence of --
RIDDELL: That's a very good question.
RIDDELL: Yes, there is on all locomotives not just electrical locomotives -- Amtrak, but freight locomotives as well. There's a feature that's known as the dead man pedal. So, supposedly if I killed over, my foot would come off of the dead man pedal. It's more advanced than now. Every 14 seconds if I don't hit a big red button on the console, then the system senses that I'm unable to do so.
CALLAN: Here's the question ultimately, then. If the engineer fell asleep or was unconscious, wouldn't the train have stopped? Why would it be accelerating if he was putting no affirmative pressure on the throttle?
RIDDELL: Well, there's an explanation for that.
RIDDELL: If I was to pass out on the console and all I need is the least little bit of movement, my body could bounce up and down going other a switch frog or going through the interlocking, it could do it enough to fool the alerter into thinking that I'm there when in fact I could have passed out.
BURNETT: So, Paul, when you take into account some of these answers, you're getting and the situation that we now have charges, you're familiar with a lot of these cases, do you think that there will be criminal charges against this engineer?
CALLAN: You very rarely see criminal charges lodged against an engineer. Because the train is a complicated piece of machinery. This is obviously not done intentionally. He's in the front car. I mean, he would be killed himself. On the other hand if there's substance abuse involved, if he had a medical condition that he knew might incapacitate him but he didn't report it to Amtrak, that could rise to the level of criminal conduct. So we've got to see what his prior medical record looks like and what the results of the toxicology tests on his blood are.
RIDDELL: You'd be interested to know that like airline pilots, we have an annual physical. Our annual physical covers everything from drug screening to hearing to our sight, to our weight, to our blood pressure.
CALLAN: I'm sure that Lufthansa plane in Germany that crashed, they have an annual one also.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you. I appreciate your time. And next, could the deadly Amtrak crash actually have been presented? It's a crucial question because there is a technology that some say would be a panacea for this. We went and looked inside the engineer's cabin.
And Tom Brady's team firing back saying deflate wasn't about footballs at all. Can Brady beat the NFL?
[19:29:47] BURNETT: Breaking news on the deadly Amtrak train crash. The National Transportation Safety Board just revealing the train accelerated from 70 miles an hour to 100 miles an hour in less than a minute. Seconds later it hit a curve and all seven cars flew off the tracks. Investigators say as of now the train's brakes as well as the tracks and signals all appeared to been working on Tuesday night. We now know the horrific derailment killed eight, injured more than 200. But the NTSB has says that a new piece of technology could have prevented the tragedy. And you think, gosh, is that just too good to be true?
Well, Chris Frates investigates OUTFRONT.
CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Amtrak derailment that killed eight and injured more than 200 may have been preventable. Experts point to a technology called positive train control, a system of GPS, radio and computers that monitors trains and can stop them from speeding and derailing.
RON LINDSEY, RAIL SAFETY EXPER: What it means is this system had it been in place, it would have slowed the train down to the point it would have been safe, the derailment would not have taken place and people would not have died.
FRATES: The technology which Lindsey helped designed acts as a backstop for train drivers facing a increasingly demanding job.
DAVID RANGEL, MODOC RAILROAD ACADEMY: Today, the passenger locomotive engineers are being asked to do so much more than ever before. He's asked to do the job of two or three people.
FRATES: Jeff Klein is the engineer of a commuter train in Chicago that transports hundreds of people a day.
(on camera): What were you watching coming out of the station?
JEFF KLEIN, LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER, METRA: Signals, crossing, gates, pedestrians, speedometer.
FRATES (voice-over): He's piloting a seven-car train 100 miles through suburban Chicago and he has to divide his attention among signals, sounds and safety. (on camera) : About how fast are we going?
KLEIN: Sixty miles an hour.
FRATES: And how long would it take to stop?
KLEIN: A control stop, like coming into a station, probably take about four-tenths of a mile.
FRATES (voice-over): And that would take almost a full minute. And then there's the dead man pedal, designed to stop the train if the engineer is unresponsive.
KLEIN: That was the dead man pedal. If you move you foot off of it just the wrong way, it will start to sound that sound you heard and then it will stop the train.
FRATES: While not identical, the commuter and Amtrak locomotives are similar. You know how to drive it even if all of the controls aren't the same.
JOE SCHWIETERMAN, RAILROAD EXPERT: Amtrak trains are quite similar to what we see around the country on commuter trains and freight trains. All have the instruments so the engineer can, in effect, monitor how that train is rolling down the track.
FRATES: But Schwieterman said when there's nothing monitoring the engineer, we can pay a high price.
SCHWIETERMAN: Positive train control is clearly the Holy Grail, that carriers know it could solve a whole class of accidents.
FRATES: But here in Washington, Amtrak's positive train control has become a political issue, with Democrats attacking the GOP for refusing to increase funds for it. And Democrats hammered Republicans for cutting Amtrak's budget a day after a crash. When a reporter asked Republican House Speaker John Boehner today about those funding cuts, he called the question stupid. Speed, not funding cuts caused the accident, he said.
And when political tempers and emotions running high, some of the train experts I talk to worried now was not the time to be making policy -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Chris. I appreciate it.
OUTFRONT now, Robert Sumwalt of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Good to have you with me, sir.
You just hear heard our reporter saying the response from Congress was, don't be stupid it was speed not funding cuts that caused the accident. Is that right?
ROBERT SUMWALT, NTSB BOARD MEMBER: I'm certainly not going to get into the political debate. But it is pretty amazing that this train was doing 106 miles an hour as it entered a curve that had a speed limit of 50 miles an hour. So, we do believe that positive train control could have prevented this accident.
BURNETT: So, I want to talk to you about that technology in a moment. But first, the crucial point of speed that you just revealed to the American public, that this train accelerated from 70 miles an hour to 100 miles an hour in less than a minute. Is there any place or time for an Amtrak train where such acceleration would be normal or acceptable?
SUMWALT: Well, it is not -- it is normal during certain segments of this northeast corridor for this type of train to get up to 100 miles an hour. So, the fact that it was going 100 miles an hour is itself not unusual. What was unusual is it was going 106 miles an hour through a 50-mile-an-hour curve.
BURNETT: Right. And the acceleration rate itself is not unusual either. Again, you' saying in this location it's unusual. But someone accelerating from 70 to 100 in 44 seconds is what I believe the math is that you put out there, that would also be normal?
SUMWALT: Well, we want to go back and look at the rate of acceleration and compare that to normal parameters. That's part of what our analysis will do.
BURNETT: Is there any scenario, sir, that you can think of where a train would accelerate without -- like that from 70 to 100 in a place where it shouldn't be accelerating coming into a curve and is now going double the speed limits -- without an engineer directing it to do so?
[19:35:16] SUMWALT: Well, it would certainly be an abnormal situation. We're going to explore that possibility. Is there any way that this train could have accelerated without engineer input? We'll certainly look at that, Erin.
BURNETT: And I know you said that the engineer, Brandon Bostian has agreed to an interview with the NTSB. The mayor of Philadelphia just told me that they did spend a lot of time with him, but in that time he didn't really answer any questions and just left with his lawyer. Do you know when this interview is going to happen?
SUMWALT: We expect to interview the engineer within the coming days. An exact date has not been finalized but we're assured that he wants to do the interview and we look forward to that opportunity.
BURNETT: So far, as you know, of course, his lawyer says that Mr. Bostian has no recollection of the crash. I mean, if he sticks with that, whether it's true or not true is beside the point. If he says he doesn't remember anything, are you confident that you'll be able to reconstruct exactly what happened, and if he's to blame or something else is to blame just from the hard data? SUMWALT: Yes, I am confident that we'll be able to --
BURNETT: All right. Looks like we obviously lost that shot, but you got the key information. He said he's confident they would be able to reconstruct what happened even if that interview does not yield crucial information, which is a very significant point to make.
OUTFRONT next, breaking news: Tom Brady says no to the NFL, filing an appeal to overturn his so suspension.
And Jeb Bush talking about his loyalty to his brother as he tries to recover from his Iraq war answers. Can Jeb recover?
[19:40:47] BURNETT: Breaking news: Tom Brady fighting back, today formally appealing his four-game suspension from the NFL. The appeal says the NFL's disciplinary decisions are arbitrary and inconsistent. This as the Patriots released a controversial 61-page rebuttal of the NFL's deflategate report.
Our sports anchor Rachel Nichols is OUTFRONT.
And, Rachel, Tom Brady is coming out swinging in every way. He has picked big time representation, a guy named Jeffrey Kessler, who has successfully reduced penalties for Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, among others. Does Brady have a good shot of getting this appeal to zero?
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, first of all, if I had to make a legal appeal to a professional sports organization, I would go to Jeffrey Kessler's door, camp out and sit on his doormat until he represented me. His track record is out of the park.
But the real issue here isn't who is representing Tom Brady, but who is going to hear the appeal. Now, NFL rules say that Roger Goodell is allowed to hear this appeal, this appeal of a decision made by his own office, or a designee of Goodell's choosing, and that's the key here. Brady has asked for independent and neutral arbitrator. Goodell can appoint whoever he wants.
Now, there may be political pressure or national pressure here for Goodell to appoint someone who is truly neutral and independent. However, he can also go into route, a route he has gone more recently, which is to appoint someone who is either in the NFL office or very closely associated with the NFL office.
BURNETT: Brady's camp obviously trying to poke holes in all of this, Rachel. They're coming out aggressively today. You know, they even said the Patriots staffer Jim McNally, one of the guys who have been accused and actually now been taken out of his job in the equipment room, he's the one in text messages called himself the deflator. And the Brady team today said, well, that -- everyone sees that as a smoking gum -- gun, and they say, you know what? McNally is a big fellow.
This is literally what they said today in their report. "Deflate was a term he used to refer to losing weight."
NICHOLS: Yes. I mean, I don't know if you've ever caused yourself the deflator as you've tried to lose weight. It would certainly be an odd term to phrase. Even if you wanted to sort of today that losing weight is called deflating, would you call yourself the deflator, or the deflated? I mean, come on.
Look, this report that you're referring to, that was actually put out by the Patriots. We should make that distinction. It was a Web site they published 20,000 words rebutting the Wells report. And they did make some interesting points there, Erin. Look, in the Wells report, in investigation of Tom Brady and the Patriots, there are some suppositions, some conclusions drawn. And anytime one investigator is using his opinion to draw conclusions, somebody else can take that same amount of data and draw a different conclusion.
So, there are points that the Patriots made today drawing different conclusions that have some basis in fact. The problem is a lot of people felt they went too far.
And, look, when you're trying to explain the deflator, you're trying to explain away a text message where somebody threatens, hey, if I don't get what I want, I'm going to go leak to ESPN. What are they going to leak to ESPN if you think they're talking about weight loss? Are they talking about his weight loss to ESPN? I mean, there are a lot of things that don't quite match up.
BURNETT: A lot of things that seem to add up.
All right. Well, this is going to be the battle royale. Thank you so much, Rachel.
NICHOLS: Thank you.
BURNETT: I have a new term when I go to lose my baby weight. I will be the deflator.
OUTFRONT next, Jeb Bush makes a major statement on the Iraq war. Is it too late?
And we know more of the victims of the Amtrak crash. Tonight, we're going to tell you about them, the people who lost their lives so early and so unfairly.
[19:48:13] BURNETT: Jeb Bush hasn't officially declared his run for president. Already, he's having to clarify his position on whether the United States should have invaded Iraq. It's taken days to do this. The former Florida governor addressed the issue, though, finally, at today's event in Tempe, Arizona.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Knowing what we know now,
what would you have done? I would not engage, I would have gone into Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Finally, while his brother George W. Bush was president, of course, when that war begun in 2003, why did it take his brother Jeb four attempts in as many days to actually get that answer loud and clear for everybody to understand.
Our Dana Bash is OUTFRONT.
BUSH: All right.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stumble that tripped Jeb Bush up all week started when he says he misheard the question in this interview, knowing what we know today, would he have invaded Iraq?
BUSH: I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody.
BASH: That aired Monday. On Tuesday, he confused things more with this.
SEAN HANNITY: In 20/20 hindsight, you would make a different decision?
BUSH: Yes, I don't know what that decision would have been, that's a hypothetical. But the simple fact is mistakes are made, as they always are in life.
BASH: Then on Wednesday, another answer.
BUSH: Given the power of looking back and having that, of course anybody would have made different decisions.
BASH: And finally today this.
BUSH: We're all supposed to answer hypothetical, questions knowing what we know now, what would you have done. I would not have engaged, I would not have gone into Iraq.
BASH: Jeb Bush offered that clarification without even being asked, days of mixed messages about his Iraq position, such a problem, it was actually discussed on "The View", on the television right above him as he spoke in Arizona today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's between Iraq and a hard place.
[19:50:00] BASH: Even Bush supporters scratch their heads, baffled that someone named Bush whose brother's legacy was marred by invading Iraq based on faulty intelligence was not better prepared to give his position.
Sources close to Jeb say it's hard for him to throw his brother under the bus, which even he admitted.
BUSH: I don't go out of my way to disagree with my brother. I am loyal to him. I don't think it's necessary to go through every place where I disagree with him.
BASH: Jeb Bush's opponents, free of his family ties, are eager to show they can finesse it, especially Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush's protege.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, not only would I not have been a favor of it. President Bush would not have been in favor of it.
BASH: More proof of how hard it will be to run for president as a Bush this confrontation with a Democratic activist.
IVY ZIEDRICH, DEMOCRATIC ACTIVIST: Your brother created ISIS!
BUSH: All right. Is that a question? Is that a question?
ZIEDRICH: You don't need to be pedantic to me sir. You could just answer my question.
BUSH: What is your question?
ZIEDRICH: My question is why are you saying that ISIS is created by us not having a presence in the Middle East --
BUSH: Because by the time we left --
ZIEDRICH: -- when it's pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism. Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?
BUSH: We respectfully disagree. We have a disagreement.
BURNETT: All right. Dana Bash is here with me along with Matthew Dowd. He was President George W. Bush's chief strategist during the 2004 reelection. He since become an outspoken critic of the Iraq and he's currently with ABC News.
OK. Great to have both of you with us.
Dana, just want to follow up on your report here. What is Jeb Bush's camp saying about why he was not prepared for frankly what is the most predictable question of all, right? Your brother is known for this. That's his legacy. What would you have done?
BASH: The most predictable. Well, that was a question I had for his advisers. Frankly, all well, I talked to somebody today who said he was prepared, they did go over it. When they were prepping for Megyn Kelly's interview, when they've been talking more generally and that he just got tripped up because he misheard who his interpreted however you want to put it, the question as opposed -- as it was asked thinking it was back then as opposed to in hindsight.
BURNETT: In hindsight, Matthew, though, the thing is OK, fine. Let's just say that's what happened. That's what they say happened. But then it took several days and several attempts to actually say what every other candidate hasn't had a problem saying, which is no. Knowing now, I wouldn't have done it.
MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS: Well, that's the most confounding thing about this whole process, is I think Dana is right is, this is the most fundamental question to his candidacy. If you look at the entire range of questions he could get asked, this is the fundamental one. It's almost as if you would ask, why are you running for president? It's as fundamental as to that.
I think this goes to the thing that the premise that he is the most dominant candidate in this field was flawed. He hasn't run for office in 10 years. He is a little rusty in the course of this process. He doesn't have a real disciplined campaign operation set up, and it looks like he is very conflicted on this whole question, one, because it is his brother, and two, because of where he goes in the primary in this.
And I think it was a level of conflicting after he made a mistake, he didn't know where to go with it.
BURNETT: He didn't know how to fix it.
And when you talk about a level of conflict -- I mean, part of this does come down to a family relationship, right, and a lot of people when they think about the Iraq war, they think a lot of it goes to George W. Bush and his relationship with his father. Now, you got the relationship between the brothers.
Earlier this year, Jeb said, quote, "I love my brother, I love my father, but I'm my own man." Right? And that's been his whole thing. I'm my own man, I'm my own man.
Today in Arizona, though, he said something a little bit different. Let me play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I don't go out of my way to disagree with my brother. I am loyal to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I am loyal to him.
So, which is it? I'm my own man or I'm loyal to him. I understand you can be both. But in the case of Jeb Bush, that can be an important distinction. DOWD: Well, he's going to have to decide whether he wants to be
president or not and he's going to have to answer this question directly. He has to show that he's different than President Bush. He has to say, how would my presidency look different than my brother's. He has to answer that question on a number of different things.
And after the last week where he said he was his brother was his adviser in the Middle East, then all trip ups on Iraq highlights the fact he is going to have to say, here's how I would conduct a presidency different than my brother.
BURNETT: So, now, you look at the field, then what does this mean for the field? Because, Dana, as Matthew points out, people thought he was the front-runner. That was assumed. There's been a million articles about it. He has all of the money. He has it locked up. And now, all of a sudden.
BASH: Well, you know, the dirty little secret, maybe it's not such a secret, is that he might have been and is the front-runner on national polls, but not in the states. And you know about this better than anybody because you've done it, you ran his brother's campaign, about that's what really matters. Even at this early stage, how is he doing in Iowa? How is he doing in New Hampshire? How is he doing in South Carolina?
In Iowa, he came dead last, 5 percent, dead last, last time. Now, it is early and Iowa is not his kind of bailiwick. That's not really where he's going to play well. But still, those are the kind of polls that matter.
And talking to Republicans about this all week, they argue -- yes, Iraq is fundamental when it comes to who he is and his last name and if people want to change. But as a candidate, Common Core, immigration, those are things that are going to probably trip him up with Republicans.
[19:55:03] DOWD: And, Erin, let me just add one thing. This is either going to be a campaign -- a moment in a campaign where he makes a mistake and he learns from it, and he moves on and he's able to overcome it. Or it's the Roger Mudd, Ted Kennedy moment, where Ted Kennedy got ask, why are running, and he couldn't answer the question, and that point on, you knew his candidacy was done.
This could be one of those moments for Jeb Bush, is when we look back at it, it could be the beginning of his candidacy, was never going to go anywhere after this moment.
BURNETT: Wow, it is that important. And obviously, his campaign must realize that tonight.
Matthew, Dana, thanks both of you very much.
And next, we are learning more of the names lost on the Amtrak crash. One thing that many of them share that night, late at night, after a day of meetings, as they were just headed home. That's next.
BURNETT: Tonight the death toll on the Amtrak crash has risen to eight and we're learning the names of four more victims.
Laura Finamore was a loving aunt and tenacious deal-maker, as a friend say, in corporate real estate in New York.
Derek Griffith was the father of a teenage son and the dean of student affairs at Medgar Evers College.
Robert Gildersleeve was an executive at a chemical company, and officials initially had said he was missing. His family had been hoping for a miracle. His son asking for help to find his dad.
And finally, Giuseppe Piras, an Italian national who was visiting the United States from Sardinia, just on a business trip.
All these people getting ready to go home and go to bed.
Thank you for joining us. Anderson is next.